The new normal

State and local measures combat COVID-19

The new normal
Hudson County residents and municipalities have taken precautionary measures to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

As Hudson County residents become enmeshed in the global pandemic, a barrage of updates on the Coronavirus crisis stream in by the hour.

Like a scene from the medical disaster film “Outbreak,” residents are self-isolating. Some venture out in masks, staying six feet away from others, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.

State, county, and local officials have taken measures to protect residents. As of March 20 the virus has left 66 Hudson County residents infected and killed 11 people throughout the state.

Over the past week, North Bergen, Guttenberg, Weehawken, Jersey City, and Hoboken have declared states of emergency.

Statewide, Stay at Home Order is in effect,  all nonessential businesses closed, and students are receiving remote instructions, with classes cancelled until further notice.

Under a state mandate, gyms, movie theaters, and performing arts centers are closed. Nonessential retail, recreational, and entertainment businesses have ceased operations and Barber shops, hair salons, spas, nail and eyelash salons, and tattoo parlors are closed.

Restaurants, with or without liquor licenses, offer only delivery and/or takeout services. Gatherings are limited to 50 or fewer.

As businesses have been impacted and furloughs and layoffs issued, over 15,000 new claims for unemployment benefits flooded the NJ Department of Labor’s computer system on March 16.

New Jersey’s U.S. senators introduced legislation to allow small businesses to access interest-free Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs), with a 3.5 percent interest rate for loans above $2 million.

A statewide moratorium against evictions or foreclosures is in effect.

Local municipalities have instituted various measures to prevent the virus from spreading.

Jersey City  

Mayor Steven Fulop declared a state of emergency on March 16, which reduced non-emergency government staffing. Nonessential employees will work from home on a rotating basis. While city offices remain open, residents must make appointments to visit city buildings.

The work schedule and staff levels of the police and fire departments remain unchanged.

Movie theaters, performance centers, gyms, fitness centers, barber shops, daycare centers, nail salons, and bars and nightclubs that don’t serve food are closed.

Grocery stores and supermarkets have reserved 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. for seniors. The rest of the day is open to all residents.

Medical offices are to focus on urgent issues where possible.

Jersey City children under age 18 can pick up free meals at a school nearest their home between 9 a.m. and noon daily.

Check the district’s website at www.jcboe.org. for updated information and to learn where lunches can be picked up.

Residents can now park in 33 school parking lots throughout the city.

For the full list of schools and spaces, visit jcnj.org/coronavirus.

Library buildings are closed but offering story hour online. Video story hours will be available on Facebook Live and on YouTube. Visit facebook.com/JCFPLnj and youtube.com/JCLibrarynj.

Those who believe they’ve been infected or have come into contact with someone infected should contact their healthcare providers.

Anyone who believes they’ve contracted the virus can call a hotline at 201 547-5208.

Hoboken

Nonessential businesses, including retail stores, nail salons, hair salons, massage parlors, and nonessential medical offices will be closed. Gatherings are limited to five people or less, and all places of worship are encouraged to suspend in-person services.

Restaurants are permitted delivery and takeout service only. Grocery stores, supermarkets, bodegas, banks, pharmacies, and coffee shops must close at 8 p.m.

A self-isolation policy requires people to stay home except for the purchasing of food, care for a family member or friend, to get health care, or employment where remote work is not possible.

Running, cycling, walking, and similar exercise are permitted, but only with social distancing of at least six feet.

Public transportation is permitted for purchasing food, care for a family member or friends, to get healthcare, or employment.

Riverside Medical Center will set up a drive-through COVID-19 testing center in North Hoboken, scheduled to open March 21 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Currently it is testing only patients enrolled in the system, due to limited testing kits but plans to expand once it acquires more kits.

Riverside patients should schedule appointments by calling 201-863-3346.

Hoboken Kings locations at 333 River Street and  1212 Shipyard Lane will hosting shopping hours for seniors from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. Acme designated 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. for at-risk populations, and ShopRite designated 7 a.m. to 8 a.m for these individuals.

The HOP service has been shut down except the senior shuttle, which will also deliver goods to seniors.

Street sweeping and alternate side parking are terminated. Meter regulations remain in effect.

The COVID-19 hotline is 201-420-5620. The separate hotline for seniors or anyone in contact with a senior in need is 201-420-5625. Both are open from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m.

CERT members will answer questions pertaining to Hoboken’s COVID-19 response, but will not offer medical advice.

North Bergen  

Mayor Nicholas Sacco has declared a State of Emergency, which allows the township to bypass purchasing regulations if necessary.

Town Hall is open with limited access to the public. Residents are encouraged to conduct all matters via phone, email, or online. Parks, recreation centers, and senior centers are closed. Senior citizen transportation is available to those with critical medical needs only. Senior citizen shopping trips are cancelled.

Township board meetings are cancelled, except Board of Commissioners meetings. Child and adult daycare centers are closed.

Parking ticket enforcement has been suspended until further notice. Street sweeping will remain in effect. Zone 1 and 5 parking permits are extended until April 30.

The North Bergen Municipal Court’s sessions are canceled.

Students who receive free or reduced lunch may pick up a bagged lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at North Bergen High School, Lincoln Annex, Franklin School, or Kennedy School, whichever is most convenient.

Part-time city employees will be paid during the COVID-19 crisis, including crossing guards, recreation staff, and others.

Food Bazaar Supermarket, at 1425 Kennedy Blvd., will be open to senior citizens only from 7 to 8 a.m.

Libraries are closed, but resources can be accessed online.

For more information visit www.nbpl.org or call 201-869-4715.

Guttenberg

Guttenberg has declared a local disaster. A curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 p.m. is in effect. Access is restricted to public buildings and facilities. The Municipal Court is closed. Daycare centers are closed.

Bars, taverns, clubs or other locations with plenary retail consumption licenses have closed. Parks, playgrounds, and recreational fields are closed.

The Joint Planning/Zoning Board and Rent Control Board meetings have been cancelled.

Street sweeping is continuing, but ticketing of parked cars has been suspended.

Weehawken

Mayor Richard Turner has declared a State of Emergency. Public and private swimming pools are closed until further notice. Weehawken Municipal Court is closed until at least March 27. Visiting town hall is discouraged except for urgent matters.

Waterfront Park and the library are closed.

The COVID-19 hotline is 201-773-7620, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

Union City  

All private daycares are closed.

Union City Municipal Court and Landlord Tenant Court are closed. Union City Parking Authority is extending expired parking permits for 30 days.

Visiting City Hall is limited to urgent matters. Residents are encouraged to conduct business by phone or over the website.

Gyms, bars, restaurants, movie theaters, and casinos are closed. Restaurants may offer drive-through, delivery, or curbside takeout only.

West New York

A town-wide 10 p.m. curfew is in effect. Municipal public programming, including senior citizens programming, cultural affairs events, recreation and library activities have been suspended.

Public access to municipal offices through at least March 22 is suspended. Offices will be open via telephone and email only between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Daycare centers are closed until at least March 27. Swimming pools and playgrounds are closed.

Supermarkets, grocery stores, gas stations, and pharmacies remain open. Businesses that serve food may open between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m. Nonessential retail and all other businesses are restricted to the hours of 5 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Residents must practice social distancing guidelines, staying at least six feet from each other.

Street Cleaning will be performed, but no violation summonses will be issued. Meters and residential enforcement are in effect. Residential permits that expire March will be extended until the end of April. Parking meter enforcement has been temporarily relaxed.

Residents may stay informed through the town’s website and social media platforms

They can call the Department of Health at 201.295.5070 or visit the town’s website at http://www.westnewyorknj.org

Secaucus

Public access to municipal offices will be suspended through at least March 29.

This includes departments within town hall at 1203 Paterson Plank Road, Recreation Department (20 Centre Avenue); Health Department (20 Centre Avenue); Department of Public Works (370 Secaucus Road); and Senior Service Department (145 Front Street).

The town hall lobby will be open to the public weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for access to the Tax Collector and Construction Department Drop Boxes, Secaucus Municipal Court payment window, and public restrooms only.

Town staff will be available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. via telephone and email only.

Free and reduced lunch for district students will continue for eligible families. Information will be provided by the SBOE. Check the SBOE website for updates and information at https://www.sboe.org

Hudson Regional Hospital will offer drive-up COVID-19 testing by appointment at 55 Meadowlands Parkway.

Residents who have a fever, cough, and shortness of breath should call 201-388-1097 to begin the screening process. A healthcare professional will discuss symptoms, and, if appropriate, set an appointment for screening.

For updates on this and other stories check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Marilyn Baer can be reached at Marilynb@hudsonreporter.com.

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