December 1, 2020

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Hoboken Adds Signs To Playgrounds: ‘No Mask, No Entry’

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HOBOKEN, NJ — Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla said in an update on Wednesday night that...

HOBOKEN, NJ — Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla said in an update on Wednesday night that the city’s Health Department had reported three new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, for a total of 622 since the pandemic began. Fatalities in town have remained unchanged for the last six weeks, at 29.

Bhalla noted that on Wednesday, Gov. Phil Murphy ordered residents to wear face masks outdoors in public places where they can’t social distance, such as crowded sidewalks and waiting in line at restaurants. Masks have already been mandated for inside stores and other areas.

There are exceptions outside, Bhalla said, including “exercise outdoors while remaining socially distant,” kids under 2, and children getting wet in sprinklers.

To keep up with breaking news in Hoboken when it happens, and get a free local newsletter each morning, sign up for Patch breaking news alerts or daily newsletters.

Bhalla said that “No mask, no entry” signs are being placed at all playground entrances. The city is also placing 75 “Mask up” signs on street poles and businesses.

Also, “City staff will also be repurposed to help hand out masks and inform residents of the new face mask requirement, with … official warnings and potential for summonses soon after,” Bhalla said.

[After City Hall layoffs, Hoboken finally introduces budget: Read more here.]

Most cities in New Jersey are seeing an uptick in cases as facilities reopen and people travel back from states that reopened sooner than New Jersey.

On Saturday, the death toll in America from coronavirus was over 128,000 people, with 50,000 new cases in one day, a record.

Bhalla posted about the new signs and requirements on Facebook on Wednesday, earning mixed responses.

Other states seeing record deaths

States around the country have had to pull back on their reopenings, including Texas, which closed bars and which yesterday saw a record number of hospitalizations and deaths.

New Jersey has asked residents to self-quarantine and get tested after coming back from 19 states. Delaware, Kansas and Oklahoma were added to an original list Tuesday. The other 16 states are: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah.

A week ago, before the July 4 holiday weekend, on Wednesday, July 1, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said there had been 423 new cases of the virus statewide in the previous 24 hours, and 45 more deaths. That meant that the number of cases statewide had risen to 171,928, and 13,244 deaths.

A week later, this Wednesday, July 8, Murphy reported 335 new cases in 24 hours and 53 more deaths, bringing the death toll to 13,476. Two residents die from the virus in the state each hour.

But this rate is down from New Jersey’s peak: a high of 460 deaths in 24 hours on April 30, or one person every three minutes.

Testing demand has remained high in this mile-square city of 53,000 people, particularly with the mayor recently saying that cases are rising again.

On Monday and Tuesday, the city’s volunteer emergency response team fielded 400 calls for testing, Bhalla said Tuesday.

Also on Tuesday, Bhalla noted that the city’s uptown coronavirus testing center will close from Wednesday through Sunday, but alternatives are being offered in nearby towns during that time.

To read more of Bhalla’s alerts, click here.

To check out Patch reports on reopenings and more, see these other recent Hoboken coronavirus updates:

SCHOOLS

  • The Hoboken public schools are slated to reopen Tuesday, Sept. 8, but whether it will be in person will be determined by the state. The state is presently considering in-person schooling, virtual schooling, and a “blended option” involving both. There will be restrictions, such as kids wearing masks and maintaining a 6-foot distance. Superintendent Christine Johnson gave information about the local planning process on Monday evening.

  • The governor’s school reopening guidance was published on June 26.

  • The summer camp run by the Hoboken schools has been canceled. Limited recreational options have been scheduled. The mayor made reference to them here.

  • Day cares were able to reopen June 15, with certain rules in place, and recreational camps can reopen in July. READ MORE.

LIBRARY

  • Residents can return library books and other materials by placing them in the library book/media dropbox in front of the library (500 Park Ave.) from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. The library will begin no contact “curbside pickup” service. Library patrons will be able to reserve the materials online, place their orders via email to [email protected], or call (201) 4202346, ext. 5102. For additional details, visit hobokenlibrary.org.

PARKS

GYMS

  • Bhalla said last week, “According to Governor Murphy, the following activities are permitted at indoor gyms starting July 2, as provided by his office: ‘individualized indoor instruction by appointment only where an instructor is offering training to an individual, and the individual’s immediate family members, household members, caretakers, or romantic partners. If a gym or fitness center is offering multiple simultaneous instructions at the same facility, these instructions must take place in separate rooms or, if they take place in the same room, must be separated by a floor-to-ceiling barrier that complies with all fire code requirements.’ “

TESTING

  • To get a rapid, 15-minute test through the city’s partnership with Riverside Medical, call the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) at 201-420-5621 Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. If you don’t have health insurance, the city will pay the cost.

  • There are other medical offices in Hoboken with coronavirus and antibody tests; if in doubt about what to do, call your physician, then check with your insurance. Many insurances are waiving fees and copays for these tests.

BUSINESS/ECONOMY

  • More restaurants are adding “streateries” for outdoor dining. READ MORE.

  • Murphy said on Wednesday that he may expand indoor dining if it extends outdoors. READ MORE.

  • More than 50 of the city’s restaurants opened two weeks ago for outdoor dining. READ MORE.

  • Kings supermarkets updated residents on their sanitizing procedures and on an employee who tested positive last month. READ MORE.

  • Two of the city’s weekly farmers’ markets reopened in June. READ MORE.

  • The city and Patch both have directories of businesses that are open and closed. Check it out and add your listing. READ MORE.

  • The city will be closing off certain blocks for businesses to expand and draw foot traffic. READ MORE.

  • Here’s what you need to know about applying for unemployment and other benefits during coronavirus. MORE.

  • Read more about unemployment, small business, and other coronavirus regulations and benefits in New Jersey here.

NURSING HOMES

  • New Jersey residents have become alarmed at the high number of residents who have passed away in nursing homes, rehabs, and similar facilities, and have charged that the facilities are undercounting the numbers and not adequately protecting residents and staff. The state has faced questions for weeks from the press about how they will address the problems. They announced plans last month to increase testing at some long term care facilities and to bring in the National Guard to help make changes.

  • The state has begun releasing death toll statistics for long-term care facilities like rehabs and nursing homes. See the list here.

  • You can report problems with long term care facilities here, or if you suspect coronavirus related misconduct, here.

  • Some nursing homes reopened for limited visits, with precautions, in July.

Here are statewide coronavirus resources:

  • NJ COVID-19 Information Hub: https://covid19.nj.gov/

  • General COVID-19 questions: 2-1-1

  • NJ COVID-19 hotline: (800) 222-1222

Got news? Email [email protected] To keep up with breaking news in your town and statewide when it happens, and get a free local newsletter each morning, sign up for Patch breaking news alerts and daily newsletters.

This article originally appeared on the Hoboken Patch

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