Read the latest Hudson County coronavirus news here

New developments added here as they happen

Hudson County residents have tested positive for COVID-19.
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Hudson County residents have tested positive for COVID-19.

(Updated March 30, 1:43 p.m.) Number of cases in Hudson County: 974

Jersey City to reinstate alternate side parking rules

According to Mayor Steven Fulop, next week from April 6 to 10  Jersey City will return alternate side of the street parking rules because the city needs to clean the streets.

“We are seeing an increase in everything from regular trash to medical masks, etc. Please let your neighbors know – We’ll do our best to make sure people are aware,” tweeted Fulop. “We are going to get this done next week quickly and properly then look to return to giving residents a break. We are making a decision here around cleanliness that is important.”

Infection spreads across Hudson County

Positive COVID-19 cases have increased in every municipality and will continue to do so as health officials expect the surge of cases to peak in one to two weeks.

As of March 30, the total count of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Hudson County included:

  • 334 cases in Jersey City
  • 117 cases in North Bergen
  • 103 cases in Bayonne
  • 96 cases in Hoboken
  • 89 cases in Union City
  • 77 cases in West New York
  • 50 cases in Secaucus
  • and 38 cases in Weehawken

Bayonne now has 103 COVID-19 cases

In a March 29 update by Bayonne Office of Emergency Management, there are now 103 cases of COVID-19 in Bayonne.

According to OEM, this number reflects Bayonne residents that are currently positive, not the cumulative total number of cases. Recovered residents are no longer counted as positive.

OEM stated that all current positive patients in Bayonne are under appropriate isolation and or quarantine protocols. Most of the patients are recovering at home, while others are recovering at Bayonne Medical Center.

First resident dies of COVID-19 in West New York

The town of West New York recorded its first case on March 8, and as of March 29, the town has a total of 77 positive cases of COVID-19 and 1 death.

“Our thoughts are with those who have been affected by this virus and we offer our deepest condolences to the families who have lost someone as a result of COVID-19,” according to a statement by the Town.

Weehawken resident is first COVID-19 death in township

A resident of Weehawken has died from complications due to COVID-19 at an area hospital. No further information is being released regarding the death.

There are currently 38 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Weehawken, according to a March 29 update from the town. Of the 38 cases, 29 are considered active while 8 case have been cleared as the infected patients recover.

Hoboken schools offer meals to all families in need

Hoboken Public School District Superintendent Dr. Christine Johnson reports that the “Grab & Go” breakfast and lunch program will continue each week, including the week of Spring Break (April 10-17).

This program has been expanded for all families in need of meal service whether or not your child qualifies for free or reduced lunch.

Meal service continues to be available from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the 9th Street side door of the Hoboken High School cafeteria, between Clinton and Grand Streets.

Hoboken closes all parks 

Hoboken closed all city and county parks, and dog runs,  on March 30 at 8 a.m. for two weeks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“While it may not be popular and will cause further disruptions to our daily lives, closing our parks is necessary to contain the spread of this deadly virus and can literally save the lives of Hoboken residents,” Mayor Ravi Bhalla said.

He said while many people are social distancing, “we’ve still seen congregating in our public green spaces, including at our waterfront parks, despite our best efforts to dissuade people from doing so. Even though the majority of people are behaving responsibly, those who still congregate put not just themselves at risk, but also everyone in our community.”

(UPDATED on March 28.)

Second resident dies in Bayonne of COVID-19; 60 infected

A 75 year old woman passed away on March 26 in Bayonne whose test results came in on March 28 indicating that she was positive. The current number of residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 in Bayonne is 60.

(UPDATED on March 27.)

29 residents infected with COVID-19 in Bayonne

Of the 29 Bayonne residents that are positive, 22 are recovering at home, while 7 are hospitalized.  As residents are cleared by the CDC guidelines, the city will publish that information.  Once a person has been cleared, medical experts advise, they are no longer susceptible or contagious.

North Bergen contact tracing as COVID-19 cases reach 58

In the interest of public health and transparency, the North Bergen Department of Health continues to release daily updates on the number of individuals who have tested positive for the coronavirus in our state, county, and municipality.

Although the names and locations of individuals who test positive are not released to the public, health officials conduct a thorough and detailed “contact tracing” investigation for each one. This involves determining anyone who has been in contact with the individual, and reaching out to them personally to advise what steps to take next.

(UPDATED on March 26.)

Jersey City Police Department launches Telephone Reporting Unit in response to COVID-19

Mayor Steven Fulop and public safety officials announced a new Telephone Reporting Unit in response to the international Covid-19 pandemic.

The rebirth of the Telephone Reporting Unit, TRU, within the Jersey City Police Department designates a small group of officers who will handle nonviolent and nonemergency calls over the phone to generate police reports, freeing up dozens of officers around the clock for street patrol and emergency calls, officials said.

“Our police officers, who have remained steadfast in their duties during this entire crisis, will now have their operations more streamlined to respond to emergencies, while non-urgent calls are facilitated accordingly,” said Mayor Fulop.  “Like most cities, we’ve seen an influx of 911 calls as people understandably have a heightened sense of fear and uncertainty amid this pandemic. This police line will free up our officers for better emergency response and ultimately to enhance the safety of our community overall.”

TRU was started in the mid-1990s before it was eventually phased out, and was brought back after the coronavirus pandemic resulted in two officers in “serious condition” and 16 officers in quarantine.

The new TRU includes a new component in which residents who insist upon having a police officer respond to their location in a non-emergency or a nonviolent incident will be granted that request.

For all non-emergency and nonviolent calls for police service, residents should call (201) 547-5477. An officer will generate an official report that will be made available to the resident within five days.

(March 25)

Drive-thru testing starts at Veterans Stadium in Bayonne by referral

The drive-thru testing site will be set up at Don Ahern Veterans Stadium starting at 10 a.m. Veterans Stadium is located in Veterans Park behind Bayonne High School at 669 Avenue A. The stadium will be closed each day that testing occurs.

Testing will occur each weekday at the testing site from 10 a.m. until approximately 3:30 p.m.

During the drive-thru testing, authorized scripted patients will drive up and be tested, while remaining in their cars throughout the entire process. No testing will occur outside any vehicle.

Only motorists with a valid prescription from a CarePoint doctor and an appointment will be admitted for testing. Residents are advised not to come to the testing site without an appointment and script from their doctor.

This testing is only for patients scheduled for COVID-19 testing by CarePoint doctors because of the limited availability of screening tests for the virus.

Also due to the limited number of tests available, only symptomatic patients will be tested. If more tests become available, CarePoint will begin more widespread testing site.

Bayonne announces first COVID-19 death, 26 other residents infected

Bayonne Office of Emergency Management (OEM) announced that the total number of cases in Bayonne had more than doubled over the course of the day on March 25.

The total has grown from 11 to 27 residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 in Bayonne.

In addition, one of the residents who had tested positive for the virus has also died. A 64-year-old male with pre-existing medical conditions passed away while receiving treatment at Bayonne Medical Center this morning.

Of the 26 other residents with COVID-19, some are hospitalized and rest are recovering at home. According to OEM, all patients are under proper isolation and quarantine protocols.

OEM expects the number of cases to increase in the city as testing becomes more widely available.

In addition to reporting the number of infected, OEM will also begun sharing news of patients who have been cleared of COVID-19 following Centers for Disease Control guidelines. Once a patient is cleared, they are no longer susceptible to the virus nor infectious

North Bergen schools closed until April 20, virtual learning to begin on March 30

In a video message, Superintendent of Schools George Solter told North Bergen residents that schools in the district will be closed until April 20.

Students need to finish the packet handed out prior to school closure and submit them by March 29.

On March 30, virtual learning will begin for grades 1 through 12.

Students in kindergarten through 2nd grade will find their virtual learning information on their teacher’s website. Grades 3 through 12 will use Google classrooms.

For more information, residents can watch Solter’s video update online.

Temporary field hospital to be set up at Meadowlands in Secaucus

A temporary field hospital will be set up at the Meadowlands Convention Center in Secaucus amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Gov. Phil Murphy.

The state has identified three locations where temporary hospitals can be set up, one in each region of our state: north, central, and south.

A total additional 1,000 beds can be activated in just a matter of days and weeks through the construction of the the temporary hospitals.

The first site will be 250 beds at the Meadowlands Convention Center in Secaucus, according to Gov. Murphy.

“We will begin work on immediately in hopes of having it fully functional and ready to call into service,” Murphy stated.

Following that will be the construction of the Central Jersey temporary hospital consisting of 500 beds at the New Jersey Convention Center in Edison, and the South Jersey temporary hospital including 250 beds at the Atlantic City Convention Center.

It is not yet clear when the hospitals will be set up and ready to take patients.

Essential businesses expanded amid stay-at-home orders

On March 25, Gov. Murphy expanded the list of essential businesses to include mobile phone retail and repair shops, bicycle shops only for service and repair, livestock feed stores, nurseries, garden centers, and farming equipment stores.

North Bergen COVID-19 daily tally

In an effort to keep the public fully informed about the extent of the coronavirus outbreak in our region and community, Mayor Nicholas Sacco and Health Department will be posting daily totals on the number of reported positive cases.

Number of individuals who have tested positive in North Bergen: 34

11 total cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Bayonne

The Bayonne Office of Emergency Management confirmed that three more cases of COVID-19 were confirmed on March 25.

The residents include a 44-year-old female, a 35-year-old female, and a 14-year-old female. The 44-year-old and 14-year-old are recovering at home while the 35-year-old is hospitalized.

Pandemic fact sheet released by FEMA to curtail rumors

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has posted a page online to help the public distinguish between rumors and facts regarding the response to coronavirus pandemic. Rumors can easily circulate within communities during a crisis.

FEMA is asking residents to do their part to the stop the spread of disinformation by doing three easy things: don’t believe the rumors, don’t pass them along, and go to trusted sources of information to get the facts about the federal response to COVID-19.

For more information on the coronavirus, visit coronavirus.gov. Residents can also visit FEMA’s coronavirus (COVID-19) response page for more updates on the federal response.

North Bergen library expanding online services

Although the North Bergen Free Public Library remains closed until further notice in order to help contain the spread of COVID-19, that doesn’t mean they’ve ceased providing services to the public.

Residents can use library cards to download and enjoy Hoopla (tv, movies, ebooks), Libby (ebooks & audiobooks), RB Digital (emagazines), and more. Visit www.nbpl.org for a full listing of available online resources.

With social distancing currently in effect, the library’s busy schedule of in-person events has been suspended. Instead, the staff is working hard to make many of their services available in other ways.

For example, in lieu of their normal classes the library is providing online programming via the website and social media. Offerings include virtual bilingual story times, database showcases, and book talks, among others. The library has also launched a new series called BOOK SNIP-ITS, in which librarians read short excerpts from books available on Hoopla digital.

In addition, they offer live chat services on their website at www.nbpl.org. Ask a librarian for help with research, logging onto online resources, book recommendations, and more. Live chat hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Additional hours may vary.

Volunteers needed at COVID-19 testing center

Hudson County is seeking volunteers to work the COVID-19 mass testing site at Hudson Regional Hospital. Medical and non-medical volunteers are being requested.

Medical volunteers to conduct testing are needed for 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. These individuals may be perfusionists, physicians, physician assistants, pharmacists, dentists, nurses, paramedics, respiratory care practitioners, medical technicians, laboratory technicians, and emergency medical technicians.

Fit testing and training will be provided.

Non-medical volunteers are being requested to assist with a call center for scheduling from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. This will be done at Hudson Regional Hospital as well.

Training will be provided. Volunteers need to be able to read a script, answer calls, and take down non-medical information (check boxes).

Please contact Christina Butieb-Bianco at cbutieb@hudsonregionalhealth.org.

(UPDATED on March 24.)

Bayonne confirms eighth resident tests positive for COVID-19

Mayor James Davis announced on March 24 that an eighth Bayonne resident has tested positive for COVID-19. The patient is a 39-year-old male, with mild symptoms recovering at home. Of the 8 confirmed positive cases, five are at home recovering, while 3 remain hospitalized.

14 Union City residents infected

The City of Union City announced that there were 14 residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 as of March 23. No further information is available at this time.

Secaucus counts five residents with COVID-19

There are currently five residents of Secaucus who have tested positive for COVID-19, with 3 symptomatic residents self-quarantining at home.

Two COVID-19 patients recovered in Weehawken, eight cases total

According to the Weehawken COVID-19 update on March 22, there are eight residents who have tested positive for the virus in the township. However, two patients have apparently recovered and are pending clearance.

North Bergen starts daily updates of COVID-19 cases; 24 cases confirmed

In an effort to keep the public fully informed about the extent of the coronavirus outbreak in our region and community, Mayor Nicholas Sacco and Health Department will be posting daily totals on the number of reported positive cases.

Number of individuals who have tested positive in North Bergen: 24

Garbage and recycling times changed in Bayonne

Mayor Jimmy Davis advised residents that garbage and recycling in Bayonne will be picked up early from now on, starting at 3:30 a.m.  Residents are urged to put out their garbage and recycling out the night before scheduled pick-ups to ensure that their refuse is collected.

Garbage or recycling that is placed at curbside too late in the morning on collection days will not be picked up.  Refuse that is not picked up would have to be held back until the next scheduled pick-up day.  Suburban Disposal is the company that has Bayonne’s garbage and recycling collection contracts.

(UPDATED on March 22.)

Bayonne announces seventh resident infected with COVID-19

Mayor James Davis confirmed a seventh resident has tested positive for COVID-19 in Bayonne. The patient is a 26 year-old male is recovering at home, under self-isolation and the monitoring of the Health Department.

North Bergen stores offers senior citizen hours

A growing number of local stores are opening their doors to senior citizens only for specific hours during the coronavirus outbreak. Seniors are among the most vulnerable segments of the population.

The following stores are open to senior citizens only during the hours indicated:

  • Food Bazaar, 1425 Kennedy Blvd.: 7-8 a.m. every day
  • ShopRite of Columbia Park, 3147 Kennedy Blvd., North Bergen: 7-8 a.m. Wednesdays
  • Target, 7101 Tonnelle Ave., North Bergen: first hour on Wednesdays
  • Walmart, 2100 88th St., North Bergen: 6-7 a.m. through April
  • ACME, 19 Avenue at Port Imperial, West New York: 7-9 a.m. every day
  • Dollar General, 2010 Kennedy Blvd. Union City: 7-8 a.m. every day
  • ACME, 481 River Road, Edgewater: 7-9 a.m. Monday to Friday
  • Whole Foods, 1400 Waterfront Terrace, Weehawken: 7-8 a.m. every day
  • Target, 543 River Road, Edgewater: first hour on Wednesdays
  • Whole Foods, 905 River Road, Edgewater: 8-9 a.m. every day

Some stores are also allowing other vulnerable populations during certain hours, such as pregnant women or individuals with underlying health concerns. Contact the stores for more details.

(UPDATED on March 21.)

Statewide stay at home order announced

Gov. Phil Murphy announced a statewide Stay at Home Order, and closures of all nonessential businesses will take effect by 9 p.m. on March 21.

To mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and protect the capacity of New Jersey’s healthcare system he signed  Executive Order No. 107, directing all residents to stay at home until further notice.

The order provides for certain exceptions, such as obtaining essential goods or services, seeking medical attention, visiting family or close friends, reporting to work, or engaging in outdoor activities.

“From day one, we’ve made a commitment to be guided by the facts and take any action necessary to protect the health and safety of New Jersey’s nine million residents,” Murphy said. “We know the virus spreads through person-to person contact, and the best way to prevent further exposure is to limit our public interactions to only the most essential purposes. This is a time for us all to come together in one mission to ‘flatten the curve’ and slow – and eventually halt – the spread of coronavirus.”In New Jersey positive cases climbed to 1,327 by March 21. Statewide there are 16 COVID-19 fatalities and Hudson County has a total of 97 positive cases.In an effort to strengthen the existing social-distancing measures in place, the order prohibits all gatherings of people, such as parties, celebrations, or other social events, unless otherwise authorized by the order.When in public, individuals must practice social distancing and stay at least six feet apart whenever possible, excluding immediate family members, caretakers, household members, or romantic partners.Murphy’s Executive Order directs the closure of all non-essential retail businesses to the public.Exceptions include grocery stores, farmer’s markets and farms that sell directly to customers, and other food stores, including retailers that offer a varied assortment of foods comparable to what exists at a grocery store, pharmacies and medical marijuana dispensaries, medical supply stores, gas stations, convenience stores, ancillary stores within healthcare facilities, hardware and home improvement stores, banks and other financial institutions, laundromats and dry-cleaning services, stores that principally sell supplies for children under five years, pet stores, liquor stores, car dealerships but only for auto maintenance and repair, and auto mechanics, printing and office supply shops, and mail and delivery stores.Nothing in the order limits the provision of healthcare or medical services, access to essential services for low-income residents, such as food banks, the operations of the media,  law enforcement agencies, or the operations of the federal government.The order mandates that all businesses or nonprofits, wherever practicable, must accommodate their workforce for telework or work-from-home arrangements.To the extent a business or nonprofit has employees that cannot perform their functions via telework or work-from-home arrangements, the business or nonprofit should make best efforts to reduce staff on site to the minimal number necessary to ensure that essential operations can continue.Examples of employees who need to be present at their work site in order to perform their job duties include, but are not limited to, law enforcement officers, firefighters, other first responders, cashiers or store clerks, construction workers, utility workers, repair workers, warehouse workers, lab researchers, IT maintenance workers, janitorial and custodial staff, and certain administrative staff.Murphy also signed Executive Order No. 108, which invalidates any county or municipal restriction that in any way might conflict with any of the provisions of Executive Order No. 107.Municipalities or counties cannot make any additions to or deletions from the list of essential retail businesses, impose any additional limitations on businesses beyond the Governor’s Order, impose any additional density or social distancing requirements,  or impose any additional restrictions on freedom of movement.  The only exceptions to which municipalities or counties may impose any additional restrictions: online marketplaces for arranging or offering lodging and municipal or county parks.All additional county and municipality restrictions, subject to the provisions above, are not only invalidated, but, going forward, municipalities or counties may not enact or enforce any rule or ordinance which will or might conflict with any of the provisions of Executive Order No. 107.
(UPDATED on March 20.)
Bayonne confirms four additional cases of COVID-19

Mayor Davis announced four more residents have tested positive for COVID-19 in Bayonne on March 20.

In the first update on the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor Davis gave details on two patients. One is a 70 year-old female and the other is an 84 year-old female.  Both victims are currently patients at Bayonne Medical Center under care of their physicians.  They are both isolated through all proper protocols and guidelines.

Later in the day, Mayor Davis announced in conjunction with Bayonne Office of Emergency Management that two more cases had been identified.

The patients are a 35-year-old male and a 72-year-old male both in stable condition at Bayonne Medical Center. No further information is available regarding these residents.

Nine residents total have tested positive for COVID-19 in North Bergen

The Township of North Bergen is announcing that nine residents have now tested positive for COVID-19/Coronavirus. Each case is being thoroughly investigated by the North Bergen Health Department, including tracing each resident’s contact with others during the time in which they may have been contagious, to assess community spread. The cases involve:

  • 60 year old male, stable condition, at home quarantine
  • 43 year old male, stable condition, at home quarantine
  • 31 year old male, stable condition, at home quarantine
  • 29 year old male, stable condition, at home quarantine
  • 42 year old female, stable condition, at home quarantine
  • 78 year old male, hospitalized, stable condition
  • 76 year old male, hospitalized, stable condition
  • 64 year old male, hospitalized, stable condition
  • 70 year old female, hospitalized, stable condition

“This unprecedented public health crisis demands a comprehensive response at all levels of government to keep people safe, protect our communities and provide economic relief to those in dire need,” said Mayor Nicholas J. Sacco. “In North Bergen, we are doing our part to promote social distancing and I ask all township residents to please stay home as much as possible to help us bend the curve of new cases and protect the most vulnerable, like our seniors and people with adverse medical conditions. This is a challenging time and we all must rise to the occasion and do our part to protect our community.”

North Bergen closes school until April 20

All North Bergen Schools will be closed from Monday, March 16, 2020 through Monday, April 20, 2020. Anticipated school opening for students will be on Tuesday, April 21, 2020.

To better accommodate virtual schooling, the lunch pick-up schedule will change to 12-2 p.m., effective Monday, March 23.

Students who receive free/reduced lunch are able to pick up a bagged lunch at North Bergen High School, Lincoln Annex, Franklin School and Kennedy School.

Bayonne schools will continue virtual learning until April 20

The Bayonne School District will continue remote instruction through virtual learning until April 20, according to Superintendent of Schools John Niesz. The course of the COVID-19 pandemic will determine when the school district can re-open schools and resume normal operations.

Second resident tests positive for COVID-19 in Bayonne

Mayor James Davis announced on March 20 that the city of Bayonne has confirmed that a second resident has tested positive for COVID-19.

According to Mayor Davis, a 27-year-old woman from Bayonne has tested positive for the virus after days of isolation and monitoring. It is not clear yet if the woman is isolating at home or at Bayonne Medical Center.

Davis said that the city expects the number of cases to rise in the coming days. He urged the public to remain calm and continue to practice social distancing measures.

Testing center to open in Hoboken

According to the city, Riverside Medical Center will set up a drive-through COVID-19 testing center in North Hoboken which is expected to open Saturday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Riverside has the capability to test only patients currently enrolled in its system, due to limited testing kits. However, if it is able to acquire additional testing, it could be opened to the public.

Riverside patients should schedule appointments by calling 201-863-3346.The exact location of the testing site will be announced later today.

Hoboken currently has 13 positive COVID-19 cases, according to Mayor Ravi Bhalla, who noted this is not abnormal compared to the rest of the region. As results come back from initial testing adding more positive cases are expected in the coming weeks.

He said due to confidentiality laws, the city cannot notify a person’s building of a positive COVID-19 case in the same building.

He said that a comprehensive investigation occurs by the Health Department, and that those in regular contact with a person who tests positive are notified and asked to self-isolate, as a precaution.

“I advise all residents to operate with the assumption that when you leave your home, that anyone could have COVID-19 and that any location you visit may have a surface with traces of the virus,” said Bhalla. “That’s why it’s absolutely necessary to practice social distancing at all times, especially given that certain individuals may not be exhibiting symptoms within the first few days of actually having COVID-19. It also underscores the need to sanitize frequently when outside your home, and also after entering your home.”

(UPDATED on March 19.)

North Bergen will continue to pay part time employees

North Bergen Mayor Niccholas Sacco and the Board of Commissioners are announcing that all Township part time employees will continue to be paid during the COVID-19 crisis. The action is being taken so that affected employees such as crossing guards, recreation staff, and many others will still be able to provide for their families.

“These are unprecedented times, therefore unprecedented measures must be taken,” Sacco said. “This crisis will test every aspect of our life, and we must support one another in whichever way we can. Our workers should not worry about their ability to put food on the table for their loved ones.”

Election changes made by executive order to mitigate COVID-19 spread 

On March 19, Gov. Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 105, implementing changes to upcoming elections to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 but still allow voters to vote without risking their health and safety.

The executive order temporarily changes certain election procedures and changes the date of upcoming elections during this unprecedented crisis.

“As the coronavirus outbreak continues to unfold, we must take aggressive and swift action to help mitigate further spread and flatten the curve,” Murphy said. “My top priority is to keep New Jerseyans healthy and safe during this pandemic, and these new measures will ensure that all New Jersey voters are able to safely exercise their right to vote and be engaged in our democracy.”

All candidates filing petitions for the June 2 primary election are due by 4 p.m. on March 30.

Under the order, candidates will be able to submit their petitions online, in addition to in person, and the Secretary of State will create an online form that allows voters to electronically submit their signatures on petitions.

It also postpones March elections scheduled takeingplace in Atlantic City, Township of West Amwell, and Township of Old Bridge to May 12.

The school board elections scheduled for April 21 are also postponed until May 12.

All elections scheduled for May 12 will be conducted solely via vote-by-mail ballots.

Election rules have been modified during prior emergencies, including by Governor Kean in 1982 during a severe winter storm and by the Christie Administration in 2012 in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.

NJ set one day record for new unemployment claims on March 16

Over 15,000 new claims for unemployment benefits flooded the NJ Department of Labor’s computer system on Monday, March 16, after fears of the spread of COVID 19 led to widespread business closures and layoffs, according to local media.

Both Radio 101.5 and NJ.com reported that the system was operational again on Tuesday and quoted Gov. Phil Murphy urging the newly unemployed to be patient as the department copes with the avalanche of claims.

“For residents who are out of work as a result of this emergency, help is available,” Murphy said. “Workers whose place of employment has closed or whose hours have been cut as a result of this emergency are in all likelihood eligible to receive either full or partial unemployment insurance benefits for however long they will either be out of work or working fewer hours.”

Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo said workers should visit his agency’s website, NJ.gov/labor, before they apply for benefits to research whether they may be eligible for unemployment, temporary disability, family leave or workers’ compensation.

“Look at the chart on our website to determine which program you think you might be eligible for,” Asaro-Angelo said. “This is really important. Applying for a program you are not eligible for could set your application back weeks, delaying your much-needed income support.”

Weehawken: two residents positive, schools closed, new hotline announced

Two residents have tested positive for COVID-19 in Weehawken, according to an update from Mayor Richard Turner. However, no further information is available regarding the two patients.

Superintendent of Schools Eric Crispo announced that schools would be closed until further notice.

The Weehawken COVID-19 hotline is 201-773-7620. Calls will be answered by a live person on Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

First case of COVID-19 in Secaucus, four residents in self-quarantine

As of March 19, there is one confirmed case of COVID-19 in Secaucus. However, no additional information is available to the public.

In addition, there are currently four residents currently in self-quarantine apparently suspected of having the virus. The town noted that there may be more residents self-quarantining who have not reported it to town officials.

North Bergen supermarket sets special hours for Senior Citizens

Food Bazaar Supermarket, located at 1425 Kennedy Blvd. in North Bergen, is setting aside one hour a day for senior shoppers only. The store is allowing access to senior customers only from 7 to 8 a.m. to make shopping easier for them.

Senior citizens are among the most vulnerable segment of the population during the current coronavirus outbreak.

With shortages of certain items causing stock to run low, and many senior citizens unable to purchase online due to lack of computers or technical knowledge, dedicating a certain time each day to senior shopping provides seniors with the ability to obtain food and other necessary commodities as safely and conveniently as possible.

Secaucus closes schools until April 3, lunch program continues

The Secaucus School District will be closed until April 3, 2020, for all students as a precautionary measure to ensure the health and safety of everyone. All student activities and clubs are cancelled during this time.

The free and reduced lunch program will continue for all eligible families and information will be provided by the SBOE. Please check the SBOE website for all school related updates and information at https://www.sboe.org

North Bergen Free Public Library services still available

Although the North Bergen Free Public Library buildings are currently closed, the staff is working to make many of their services available in other ways.

Click here for a detailed listing of available programs, including checking out books via doorside delivery; returning items via book drop; access to the library’s educational and entertainment databases; expanded internet access via Wi-Fi and internet hotspots; and even “virtual storytime” for kids, with fun stories delivered online.

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

Braddock Park playground closed in North Bergen

For reasons of public health and safety, the playground in Braddock Park is closed.

Parents visiting the rest of the park with their families are strongly advised to make sure children keep their hands off of fences, grounds, etc. Please use caution and common sense and distance yourself from other visitors, as recommended by the CDC.

All municipal parks in North Bergen remain closed.

Hoboken supermarkets set dedicated shopping hours for those at risk

Kings, ShopRite, and Acme supermarkets will host dedicated times for Hoboken residents at risk of exposure to COVID-19, including seniors, pregnant women, and people with disabilities.

The two Hoboken Kings locations (333 River Street, 1212 Shipyard Lane) are hosting these designated hours from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m.

Acme designated 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.  for these at risk populations, and ShopRite will begin hosting special designated hours for these individuals on Friday from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m.

Given the mandated closure of businesses at 8 p.m. by the governor and the city-wide curfew at 10 p.m. residents can put our recycling and garbage starting at 4 p.m.

The city also shut down the HOP service except the senior shuttle, which will also be used to help provide additional travel and delivery of goods for seniors.

The Office of Emergency Management has recommended regulations, including prohibition of parking at crosswalks and meters, to remain in effect.

According to Mayor Ravi Bhalla this provides turnover of parking spots that are available for critical needs, including residents that need to travel by car to doctor offices, supermarkets, health care facilities, and more.

“To suspend meters would turn Hoboken streets in commercial districts into a parking lot, especially with street sweeping suspended, with no parking for those who need spots available for critical needs,” said Bhalla. “Additionally, suspending meters for a long period of time with limited parking spots would likely result in cars beginning to park illegally at corners and other locations, which would hinder emergency vehicles from making wide turns and delay emergency responses.”

While meter regulations remain in effect, the state Supreme Court announced new rules in response to COVID-19, allowing individuals who receive a parking ticket and believe it was issued in error or there are extenuating circumstances to skip a court appearance and plead by mail.

To plead by mail, you can download the form by clicking here and mailing it back to the Municipal Court  at Hoboken City Hall,  94 Washington Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030.

(UPDATED on March 18.)

State expands COVID-19 call options

Gov. Phil Murphy, the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management, the New Jersey Department of Health, and the United Ways of New Jersey have announced that NJ 211 has been activated to help handle COVID-19 related calls from New Jersey residents.

All residents with questions or concerns about COVID-19 and resources available to them can call 2-1-1. NJ 211 is New Jersey’s statewide information and referral service operated by United Ways of New Jersey.

Residents call also text NJCOVID to 898-211 to receive text information and stay informed.

To receive live text assistance, residents can text their zip code to 898-211.

This will supplement, the existing COVID-19 hotline, operated by the New Jersey Poison Control Center.

State residents with questions about COVID-19 illness can continue to call the COVID-19 hotline at 1-800-962-1253, but they can also call 211 to get answers about their COVID-19 questions.

Additionally, the Department of Health has a COVID-19 website with resources including CDC updates, guidance for schools, colleges, businesses, long-term care facilities, health care professionals and public health professionals. The website is available at https://nj.gov/health/coronavirus.

Two additional COVID-19 fatalities reported

Gov. Murphy announced the deaths of two more individuals related to COVID-19.That brings the total state count of COVID-19 fatalities to five. According to New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli, they were high-risk individuals because they were over 60 years and had co-morbid conditions.

She reported that New Jersey has a total of 427 cases statewide and Hudson County had an additional nine cases. That brings Hudson County’s total to 34.

The age range of all statewide positive coronavirus cases is from as young as 5 years-old to 95 years-old.

According to Gov. Murphy, he will be meeting with the Army Corp of Engineers to discuss how the corp can help build out plans to expand New Jersey’s hospital capacity.

Bayonne confirms first case of COVID-19

A 74-year-old male, who is currently in stable condition at the Bayonne Medical Center, has tested positive for COVID-19. The medical staff at BMC is following all proper isolation and quarantine protocols.

There is no further information available regarding the COVID-19 patient. It is not clear if the man had an interaction with the Bayonne Medical Center healthcare practitioner who tested positive for the virus on March 16.

The practitioner was not considered the first case of the virus in Bayonne as the man is not a resident of the city.

For updates on the COVID-19 in Bayonne, residents can visit the city website at www.bayonnenj.org and on Mayor Davis’s social media pages, as well as City of Bayonne and Bayonne Office of Emergency Management social media pages.

West New York temporarily relaxes parking meter enforcement

Mayor Gabriel Rodriguez and Board of Commissioners announced the Parking Utility will be relaxing Parking Meter enforcement as of Wednesday March 18 until further notice.

Guttenberg suspends street sweeper ticketing

Street sweeping is continuing as usual throughout Guttenberg. Sweeper ticketing of parked cars has been suspended until further notice.

Newark Archbishop cancels public mass indefinitely due to pandemic 

Archbishop of Newark Cardinal Joseph Tobin announced that all public celebrations of daily and Sunday Mass will be suspended until further notice, effective  Wednesday, March 18.

“This decision comes after exhaustive discussion and with an especially heavy heart,” said Cardinal Tobin. “It is critical that all comply with this directive to protect the health of all throughout the archdiocese and beyond. Please be assured of my continued prayers for you and for the communities we serve.  During this challenging time in the life and mission of the Archdiocese of Newark, I ask for your cooperation and leadership as we mobilize the resources and support needed to care for all in our communities. Our Eucharistic fast continues, as we pray for its quick end.”

According to a press release, the Archdiocesan Coronavirus Task Force carefully assesses the situation each day and is comprised of clergy, religious, lay leaders, and medical professionals. The Task Force evaluates statements and direction from state and local officials to determine the most appropriate course of action in maintaining safe and healthy environments.

Under Cardinal Tobin’s directive, all public celebrations of the Sacraments and other public forms of worship are also suspended until further notice.

This includes Confirmations, celebrations of First Communion, penitential services, Communion services, and Liturgies of the Word.

Exceptions include baptisms, funerals, burial services, and previously scheduled weddings but attendance must be limited to a maximum of 10 participants, including the celebrant.

Anointing of the Sick and Reconciliation will remain available, but the archdiocese recommends the celebrants take precautions including wearing a gown, mask, and gloves and using a cotton swab or cotton ball as an instrument to announce a sick person.

Parishes are encouraged to expose the Blessed Sacrament and remain open for private prayer, and clergy are instructed to remind people to maintain a prudent distance from one another and remove Holy Water from fonts.

Mass will continue to be streamed online.

For the most up-to-date information and latest Archdiocesan news,  visit the Archdiocese of Newark’s website and COVID-19 resource page at RCAN.org/covid19 and social media: @NwkArchdiocese.

Eight positive cases in Jersey City 

Mayor Steven Fulop announced Jersey City has a total of eight positive COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, March 18.

He said the first positive cases were healthcare workers noting measures local hospitals are taking to protect their employees.

“Sharing info we’re doing to protect people on the front line,” tweeted Fulop. “We have 8 cases in #JerseyCity + our first cases were healthcare professionals. We’re better understanding precautions/steps at the local level needed to protect the public + healthcare professionals.”

He said local hospitals are setting up tents to screen people coming into emergency rooms to not overwhelm the system and to prevent contaminating medical professionals.

“We’re doing our best to think ahead + be flexible as we learn more,” tweeted Fulop.

Jersey City residents can now park in school lots

Mayor Steven Fulop and the Superintendent of Jersey City Public Schools Dr. Franklin Walker announce expanded parking options for Jersey City residents at all public school parking lots during the Covid-19 State of Emergency to encourage residents to work from home.

School officials opened 33 school parking lots throughout the city for residents to park their vehicles in during the State of Emergency declared by Jersey City on March 16.

“This is a tremendous gesture and a smart move by the School District to alleviate overburdened parking resources in the city with so many people sensibly staying home to avoid transmission of this highly contagious disease,”  Fulop said. “This new availability of the lots illustrates how we are all pulling together to not only keep our residents safe, but to also ease the transition into to the emergency procedures we must follow to stop the spread of the Coronavirus.”

For the full list of schools and spaces available click here or visit jcnj.org/coronavirus.

“There are so many people who are usually going to work or taking their children to school, but now they are staying home due to the emergency but there aren’t enough parking spaces,” said Walker. “By opening up the lots around the city, we can at least ease those anxieties somewhat and share what we have to be a part of the process in helping the community get through this challenging time.”

Anyone who believes they have been infected with the virus or has come into contact with someone infected is urged to contact their health care provider.

Jersey City also established a hotline for anyone who believes they have contracted the virus at 201 547-5208.

All city offices remain open. However, people must first make an appointment. Walk-ins are not permitted at this time.

Mayor Fulop is keeping residents informed by daily updates at 3 p.m. via Facebook Live on the Jersey City Facebook Page Residents can send questions to fulops@jcnj.org

Hoboken lists nonessential businesses to close

After Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla issued a policy of self isolation and ordered nonessential businesses to close by 9 a.m. March 18, the Office of Emergency Management provided a list of essential businesses and nonessential businesses.

Essential businesses permitted to stay open until 8 p.m. include emergency medical cares, restaurants and food establishments for takeout or delivery only, supermarkets, grocery stores, bodegas, banks, pharmacies, coffee shops, veterinarians, pet stores, laundromats, dry cleaners, liquor stores, chiropractors, physical therapists, dentists, and other medical care facilities, UPS/Fed Ex stores, post office, and moving companies.

All nonessential businesses which were to close at 9 a.m. include clothing/retail stores, book stores, nail salons, hair salons, barber shops, massage parlors, smoke shops, shoe repairs, and any places of retail/public accommodation.

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

Hudson Regional Hospital starts drive-up COVID-19 testing

Hudson Regional Hospital staff are providing quick and easy drive-up COVID-19 testing by appointment at 55 Meadowlands Parkway in Secaucus.

The process appears to be quicker and more efficient than other methods, also preventing some contact between potential COVID-19 patients and other patients at the hospital.

Residents who have a fever, cough, and shortness of breath are advised to call 201-388-1097 to begin the screening process. During the phone call, a healthcare professional will discuss your symptoms, and, if appropriate, take your information and set an appointment time for a screening.

According to Hudson Regional Hospital, the screening will take place in the hospital, and if needed, additional tests will be performed in a specially designated area. After undergoing the screening, test results will be provided once available within three to five days.

(UPDATED on March 17.)

Bayonne School District offers free lunches and Wi-Fi to students during remote learning

Mayor James Davis and Superintendent of School John Niesz announced that students in the Bayonne School District would receive lunches starting on March 18.

Each elementary school and Bayonne High School will have a meeting point for parents to pick up breakfast and lunch between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. each weekday. Elementary schools will be set for pick up at the school’s bus drop off locations, and BHS will have food pick up service at the Korpi Ice Rink.

All students who have a district issued Chromebook will receive free Internet service provided by Optimum. Additionally, elementary school yards and BHS parking lots are open and available to Bayonne residents to park on during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hoboken mayor urges self-isolation, limits gatherings to 5 people, and closes non-essential businesses

Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla announced new measures the city and its residents will be taking to combat the spread of COVID-19 .

Starting tomorrow at 9 a.m. all non-essential businesses in Hoboken including retail stores, nail salons, hair salons, massage parlors, and non-essential medical offices will be closed.

All gatherings are limited to five people or less and all places of worship are encouraged to suspend in-person services.

Restaurants are permitted through delivery and take-out service only and grocery stores, supermarkets, bodegas, banks, pharmacies, and coffee shops will remain open until 8 p.m.

According to Mayor Ravi Bhalla, Hoboken currently has five positive COVID-19 cases but due to the lack of testing, this number will most likely increase substantially especially as Hoboken, is the fourth most densely populated city in the country.

“The idea that there are ‘alternative facts’ and that science is ‘fake news’ is why we find ourselves, as a nation, in this trouble,” said Bhalla. “Let me be clear: facts are facts and science is science, and it’s about time we listen to the science.”

He noted that on March 17, the Harvard Global Health Institute called for a nationwide shut down to slow the spread of COVID-19.

As such, the the city is issuing a new policy of self isolation.

“I’ve previously advised residents that if you’re sick, to stay home, call your doctor, and self-isolate,” said Bhalla. “That is simply not enough.  Whether you feel sick or not, all residents should immediately begin self-isolating at home.”

The policy, similar to the one enacted in San Francisco, requires people to stay home except for essential needs, the purchasing of food, care for a family member or friend, to get health care, or employment where remote work is not possible.

He said activities such as running, jogging, bike-riding, walking, and other similar types of exercise are permitted under the new self-isolation policy, but only if social distancing of at least six feet is observed.

All travel on public transportation or by vehicle is restricted for non-employment purposes.

He said he hopes other municipalities and state will take similar actions which he said will help save lives.

“We have a responsibility to one another,” said Bhalla. “We must take this seriously.  We must do everything we can and we must do it now before we become like Italy or Spain where health care systems are collapsing and doctors have to make decisions about who will receive lifesaving treatment and who will not.  Listen to me, Hoboken will get through this.  We will all get through this, but we have to do the right thing and we have to do it now.”

North Hudson Sewage Authority moves operations online

The North Hudson Sewerage Authority (NHSA), the owner and  operator of the wastewater infrastructure in Hoboken, Weehawken, Union City, and West New York, will convert all business operations to a virtual platform starting March 18 to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The offices are closed to the public, and payments will no longer be taken in person.

Customers can  pay online or by return mail to:  NHSA. PO Box 71352, Philadelphia, PA  19176‐1352. Billing clerks can also be reached at 201‐963 6043.

Sewer maintenance will continue.

To report sewer problems call 866‐689 3970 or go to www.nhudsonsa.com.

Developers may continue to submit applications for connections using the website.

“Please note that although we are operating virtually, our invoices wll continue to be mailed, and payment is expected on time to avoid interest charges,” states the press release from NHSA.

Treatment workers and sewer maintenance crews, who have limited contact with the public, have implemented enhanced disinfectant and public interaction protocols.

“We want to keep our employees healthy and contribute to the safe well‐being of the residents of our service area. That’s why we are acting before the virus can spread to our organization,” said  Executive Director Dr. Richard  J. Wolff.

North Bergen suspends enforcement of parking tickets, other updates

The North Bergen Parking Authority has announced that all parking ticket enforcement has been suspended until further notice.

Students who receive free or reduced lunch are able to pick up a bagged lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at various locations. Students may go to the most convenient sites at either North Bergen High School, Lincoln Annex, Franklin School, or Kennedy School.

Town hall is open with limited access to the public. Residents are encouraged to conduct all matters via phone, email, or online when possible. Click here for information on available services.

All township parks are closed off to the public. The Recreation Center is closed.

The Senior Center is closed. Senior citizen transportation is available to those with critical medical needs ONLY.

All senior citizen shopping trips are cancelled until further notice.

All open public meetings are canceled, except Board of Commissioners meetings.

Child and adult day care centers are closed.

Street sweeping will remain in effect. Zone 1 and 5 parking permits are extended until April 30.

The North Bergen Municipal Court’s court sessions are canceled. Parties will be advised of rescheduled matters via mail. Payments that can be made online should be made in that manner.

Mayor Turner declares State of Emergency in Weehawken

Mayor Richard Turner declared a State of Emergency in the Township of Weehawken.

The State of Emergency adds a number of measures to the executive order and other guidelines instituted by Gov. Phil Murphy.

All public and private gyms, fitness centers, swimming pools, and movie theaters are to be closed 24/7, until further notice.

Weehawken Municipal Court is closed until March 27 at the minimum. Residents are discouraged from visiting Weehawken Town Hall except for urgent matters.

The Waterfront Park has been closed until further notice.

The Weehawken Public Library will also be closed to the public effective March 15 to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19.

WNY issues additional emergency measures

The Town of WNY announced that Gyms, Movie Theatres, Swimming Pools, Nightclubs, and Social Clubs of private and public nature are closed until further notice.

Essential retail businesses, specifically supermarkets, grocery stores, gas stations and pharmacies may remain open during normal business hours

All businesses that serve food must comply with hours of operation restrictions from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Food service is limited to pickup and delivery only, no one can eat inside any establishment.

Non-Essential retail and all other businesses’ hours of operation are restricted to 5 a.m. to 8 p.m.. Occupancy is limited to a maximum of fifty  people at any given time. If possible, limit to ten at any given time.

Residents must practice Social Distancing Guidelines by keeping a distance of at least 6ft.

Playgrounds are closed until further notice.

Street Cleaning will still be performed, but no violation summons will be issued.

Meters and residential enforcement are still in effect. Any residential permits that have expired in March or that will expire by the end of March will be extended another month until the end of April.

More closures in Union City 

All private daycares in Union City are closed until further notice

Union City Municipal Court and Landlord Tenant Court are closed until further notice

Union City Parking Authority is extending expired or set to expire parking permits for 30 days.

Visiting City Hall should be limited to urgent matters only. If business can be conducted over the phone or through the website, residents are encouraged to do so.

Additionally, all gyms, bars, restaurants, movie theatres and casinos are closed 24/7, indefinitely until further notice. The only exceptions to restaurants are drive-thru, delivery or curb-side take away only.

Bayonne cancels Earth Day clean-up for 2020

Mayor Jimmy Davis announced that the citywide clean-up and Earth Day celebration that were scheduled for April 18 have been cancelled, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Public access limited to Secaucus municipal offices

Physical public access to all Secaucus municipal offices will be suspended through at least Sunday, March 29.

This includes but may not be limited to: 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).

Prior to March 29, the administration will make a continuing determination as to public access.

The lobby of Town Hall, 1203 Paterson Plank Road, 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.

All Departments will currently be open and Town Staff will be available to the public during the hours of 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. to answer questions and concerns via telephone and email only. No in office visitation will be permitted for the duration of this protocol and/or extension of such as noted above.

Jersey City Public Schools offer free meal program

All Jersey City children under the age of 18, regardless of the school they attend, can pick up free meals at a school nearest their home between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. daily.

Meals are offered at Frank R. Conwell, PS #3; Dr. Michael Conti Public School PS #5; Franklin L. Williams School, MS #7; Martin Luther King, Jr. School, PS #11; Whitney M. Young Jr. School, PS #15; Joseph H. Brensinger School, PS #17; Dr. Maya Angelou School, PS #20; Rev. Dr. Ercel F. Webb School, PS #22; Mahatma K. Gandhi School, PS #23; Chaplain Charles Watters School, PS #24; Ollie Culbreth, Jr. School PS 14; Alfred Zampella School, PS #27; Christa McAuliffe School, PS #28; President Barack Obama School, PS #34; Rafael Cordero School, PS #37; James F. Murray School, PS #38; Ezra L. Nolan, Middle School, MS#40; F. W. Martin Center for the Arts, PS #41; Abraham Lincoln High School.

Food for AHM students is also available at G. J. Dynes Regional Day School.

Check the district’s website regularly for updated information at www.jcboe.org.

Another CarePoint Health practitioner tests positive for COVID-19

On March 17, a second practitioner at a CarePoint Health facility, this time at Hoboken University Medical Center, tested positive for COVID-19.

This result was reported to the local health department and the New Jersey Department of Health. CarePoint Health stated that the employee is considered high-risk and was self-quarantined at home immediately upon symptom onset.

Upon advisement of the local and state health officials, and in accordance with the CDC recommended protocol, the healthcare provider and other healthcare employees who were in contact with him, who are considered low to high-risk exposure, will continue to self-quarantine until symptom-free and until they meet the recommended time frame to return to work.

No other information is available about the practitioner and it is not clear how many staff and patients the employee may have interacted with. This is the second case of COVID-19 among CarePoint Health employees in Hudson County.

(UPDATED on March 16.)

Guttenberg declares local disaster

All necessary Town Departments are authorized to take appropriate action to assist in containing, preparing for, responding to, and recovering from this COVID-19 outbreak.

All Town employees shall follow all local, County, State and Federal health recommendations, in addition to Centers for Disease Control recommendations including but not limited to handwashing, sanitizing and basic infection control procedures.

Town residents, particularly seniors as well as those with underlying health conditions, are strongly encouraged to avoid large crowds and large gatherings while COVID-19 remains a threat.

A town wide curfew be implemented daily from 10:00PM to 5:00AM.

Access will be restricted to public buildings and facilities. Municipal Court shall be closed.

All gymnasiums or health clubs shall cease operations until further notice. All daycare centers shall cease operations until further notice.

All restaurants, including those with plenary retail consumption licenses, are permitted to serve take out or delivery orders only. All bars, taverns, clubs or other locations with plenary retail consumption licenses cease operations until further notice.

All parks, playgrounds and recreational fields shall be closed to the public until further notice.

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

Bayonne Municipal Court adjourned

All matters scheduled in the Bayonne Municipal Court, located at 630 Avenue C, between Monday, March 16, and Friday, March 20, will be adjourned. You will receive a new notice in the mail.

Additionally, the payment window will be closed. Residents will not be charged a late fee on a failure to appear notice, proposed suspension, or suspension during this time. Payments for traffic and parking tickets may be made online via NJMCDirect.com.

Third NJ death from COVID-19

A third person who was being treated for COVID-19 has died in New Jersey, according to Governor Phil Murphy.

The deceased was a man in his 90’s from who was being treated at Hackensack University Medical Center in Bergen County.

“Our prayers are with his family during this difficult time,” tweeted Gov. Murphy Monday night.

New Jersey mobilizes National Guard

Gov. Phil Murphy is mobilizing New Jersey’s National Guard to help combat the spread of COVID-19.

The service men and women will “assist our efforts in anyway necessary,” he said Monday.

This may include help with testing, distributing food, and possibly converting buildings for quarantining.

Murphy also announced New Jersey will be one of 12 states in which the Federal Emergency Management Agency will set up COVID-19 testing sites.

“To the folks who think the COVID19 public health emergency isn’t real – trust me, it’s real,” said Murphy. “To those who think #COVID19 can’t affect them – I’m here to tell you that it can. This is not time to panic. It’s time to be smart, proactive, and aggressive.”

Foreclosure sales and evictions postponed

Hudson County Sheriff Frank Schillari announced that all Hudson County foreclosure sales and eviction notices will be postponed until after the COVID-19 outbreak subsides.

Jersey City Public Library closed; streaming story time

Jersey City Public Library buildings are closed but it is still offering story hour. Video Story Hours will be available on Facebook Live, which will then be available on YouTube. Go to facebook.com/JCFPLnj and youtube.com/JCLibrarynj.

Fifth positive case of COVID-19 in Hoboken

Hoboken announced another positive confirmed case of COVID-19 on Monday, March 16. He is a male in his late 20s. The individual has self-isolated at home, and is expected to make a full recovery.

As in previous cases, the Hoboken Health Department is conducting an ongoing investigation to help develop a timeline and is contacting individuals that may have come into contact with him, who will be asked to self-quarantine.

“We keep him, and the other four individuals confirmed to have COVID-19, in our thoughts and wish them a speedy recovery,” said Mayor Ravi Bhalla.

North Bergen declares a State of Emergency

Mayor Nicholas Sacco has declared a Local State of Emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The declaration will allow the township government to bypass purchasing regulations if necessary.

In addition to the restrictions on the public announced by Gov. Murphy today, Mayor Sacco is announced a number of changes to Township operations.

According to Sacco, Town Hall is open with limited access to the public. Residents are encouraged to conduct all matters via phone, email or online when possible.

All township parks are closedto the public. The Recreation Center is closed.

The Senior Center is closed but senior citizen transportation is available to those with critical medical needs only. All senior citizen shopping trips are cancelled until further notice.

Township board meetings are cancelled, except Board of Commissioners meetings. Additionally, Child and Adult Day Care Centers are closed.

“The local state of emergency highlights the severity of the situation we are dealing with,” said Mayor Sacco. “We are looking to keep our residents safe and will continue to do so as this situation develops. I strongly urge everyone to take this matter very seriously, to practice social distancing and proper hygiene to slow down the spread of this devastating virus.”

Any residents who witness or experience price gouging are encouraged to contact the Hudson County Office of Weights and Measures at (201) 369-4323 ext 7305. Residents with questions regarding the COVID-19 outbreak should call the State’s Coronavirus hotline 1-800-222-1222 or visit its dedicated website at https://www.nj.gov/health/cd/topics/ncov.shtml

Jersey City declares State of Emergency

Mayor Steven Fulop declared a state of emergency via executive order on March 16 due to the threat of spreading the deadly COVID-19 (coronavirus).

The new order will significantly reduce non-emergency governmental staffing levels as non-essential employees will be allowed to work from home on a rotational basis.

While each office will remain open, residents are still required to make appointments to visit city buildings or sites to receive services.

“With the threat if this virus spreading throughout the state, I believe it is necessary to do whatever makes good health sense for the community at large, limit the opportunity for the virus to spread while still finding a balance for people to live their lives in a safe and healthy manner,” said Fulop.

The work schedule of the city’s uniformed workforce such as the Jersey City Police Department and Jersey City Fire Department will remain unchanged with their staffing totals completely intact.

The emergency mandates the closure of movie theaters, performance centers, gyms, fitness center, barber shops, day care centers, nail salons, and bars and nightclubs that don’t serve food, by midnight tonight.

These restrictions do not apply to grocery stores; however, supermarkets have reserved 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. only for senior residents’ shopping; The rest of the day is open to all residents.

Other initiatives the city instituted include allowing restaurants to remain open but only for takeout orders and deliveries, and encouraging medical offices to focus on urgent appointments where possible and to exercise social distancing.

None of the restrictions apply to grocery stores, cafeterias within nursing homes or similar facilities.

Also, all schools in Jersey are closed until further notice.

Last Friday, the first confirmed case of a resident with the coronavirus was identified.

As of today, there are five confirmed cases in the city, three of whom are recovering at home and two non-residents who are hospitalized in hospitals outside of Jersey City. Anyone who believes they have been infected with the virus or come into contact with someone infected is urged to contact their health care provider. Jersey City also established a hotline for those who have been exposed where health officials can provide guidance at 201-547-5208.

Mayor Fulop is keeping residents informed by daily updates at 3 p.m. via Facebook Live on the Jersey City Facebook Page. If you have ‪specific questions you want answerd, email fulops@jcnj.org

Hoboken closes council meeting to the public as precautionary measure.

According to the posted council agenda, the Hoboken City Council meeting scheduled to take place on Wednesday March 18 at 7 p.m. will be closed to the public.

Residents and community members who wish to make a comment, statement, testify, or ask a question are asked to instead email or call the city clerk’s office to submit their comment or question by 3 p.m. on March 18.

The clerk can be reached at cityclerk@hobokennj.gov or at 201-420-2000 EXT. 2004.

All comments and questions received by the clerk’s office will then be forwarded to Council President Jen Giattino who will read them aloud into the public record.

All statements are to be a maximum of two minutes.

Bayonne sets up 24-hour hotline, announces more closures

Mayor James Davis of Bayonne has ordered the Mayor’s office to remain open 24 hours a day and has installed two hotlines for residents to use in connection with COVID-19 issues. The General COVID-19 Hotline is 201-858-6705 and the Senior COVID-19 Hotline is 201-858-6105.

At the directive of Bayonne Office of Emergency Management on March 16, all retail commercial establishments in the city will be limited to no more than 25 patrons at any time, this includes shops, salons, department stores, etc, not covered by the Governor’s Directive. The directive excludes supermarkets and pharmacies.

All Day-Care and Child-Care facilities will be closed. The Bayonne Public Library will be closed in addition to municipal playgrounds. On top of that, all social clubs, religious houses of worship, and non-profit organizations will be closed for any gathering.

Mayor Davis is asking every citizen to abide by the emergency measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“I am aware that these measures may seem drastic, but I have a commitment to each citizen of this city to ensure that we do everything in our power to protect the health and well-being of everybody,” Mayor Davis said. “These directives have been put in place to help stop the transmission of this illness.”

Mayor Davis advised residents to continue to follow his Facebook page and Twitter feed as well as the feeds of OEM and City of Bayonne for further COVID-19 updates. Residents of Bayonne can also sign up for the Swift911 Notification System in order to receive important messages online at www.bayonnenj.org by clicking the Swift911 Banner, or by downloading the Swift911 Public App to a mobile device.

Despite everything, there is no need for panic or fear, according to Mayor Davis.

“Our city is strong,” Mayor Davis said. “Bayonne has endured numerous difficult times over our history and I am certain we will get through this emergency TOGETHER.”

CarePoint Health podiatrist at Bayonne Medical Center contracts COVID-19

A resident podiatrist at Bayonne Medical Center has tested positive for COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, according to a source who spoke to the Bayonne Community News on the condition of anonymity.

In response to queries about the situation, CarePoint Health released a statement confirming that a Bayonne Medical Center healthcare provider tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday, March 15.

This result was reported to the local health department and the New Jersey Department of Health.

CarePoint Health stated that the man is considered high-risk and was self-quarantined at home immediately upon symptom onset.

Upon advisement of the local and state health officials, and in accordance with the CDC recommended protocol, the healthcare provider and other healthcare employees who were in contact with him, who are considered low to high-risk exposure, will continue to self-quarantine until symptom-free and until they meet the recommended time frame to return to work.

According to the source, the podiatrist is a middle-aged man who is apparently doing fine.

CarePoint confirmed that the health care provider’s symptoms are mild and he is expected to make a full recovery at home.

Additionally, the hospital will follow established exposure procedures for involved staff and patients, again following CDC guidance for high risk exposure.

“We will also continue to follow strict protocol including visitor restrictions to reduce exposure and to protect our patients, our staff, and the public,” a spokesperson for CarePoint Health stated.

Governor announces statewide measures to limit COVID-19 spread 

Governor Phil Murphy announced additional statewide measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 on Monday, March 16.

All schools pre-k through 12th grade as well as higher education institutions will close starting Wednesday, March 18.

“We’ve worked closely to ensure that the overall educational and individual needs of students can be met during this closure, including appropriate home instruction and continued access to free and reduced meals,” said Murphy.

All casinos, racetracks, theaters, and gyms are ordered to close.

All non essential retail, recreational, and entertainment buisnesses will also be closed after 8 p.m. daily.

During daytime hours, these businesses may remain open if they limit their occupancy to no more than 50 persons and adhere to social distancing guidelines.

All bars and restaurants are closed for eat-in services effective 8 p.m. tonight. After 8 p.m., these establishments may open for takeout and delivery services only until further notice.

Essential businesses which are necessary for the public’s health, safety, and welfare like supermarkets, grocery stores, pharmacies, medical offices, and gas stations will be allowed to remain open past 8 p.m.

Starting tonight, all non-essential and non-emergency travel in New Jersey is strongly discouraged between the hours of 8 p.m. and 5 a.m.

Gov. Murphy additionally banned all gatherings of 50 people or more, starting at 8 p.m. tonight.

“We do not take any of the steps we’ve announced today lightly,” tweeted Gov. Murphy. “We know that these will impact residents and families, communities, and businesses. But our paramount concern is to ‪#FlattenTheCurve – these steps will ensure we do not overload our health care system.”

Hoboken mayor urges federal assistance for small businesses.

Mayor Ravi Bhalla issued a letter to Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker and Representative Albio Sires to request federal assistance for small businesses and their employees affected by Hoboken’s closures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and support social distancing.

In Hoboken, where four people have already tested positive, Mayor Ravi Bhalla and the Hoboken Office of Emergency Management ordered all bars and restaurant establishments, with or without a liquor license, to no longer serve food within the restaurant or bar limiting them to takeout and food delivery service only.

If a bar does not currently offer food, they are longer permitted to operate at all.

Other businesses such as daycares, gyms, pop-up camps for children, health clubs, and movie theaters are also closed.

“While I believe this decision will save lives, I also know that our small businesses and their employees are suffering,” stated Bhalla in the March 16 letter. “Business owners fear that an extended closure will make it difficult if not impossible to remain in business. Their employees – many without benefits – don’t have the option of working from home, and they are fearful. We need the help and resources of the federal government now more than ever.”

He applauded the recent bipartisan emergency relief package which will ensure free coronavirus testing, paid sick leave, paid family and medical leave, unemployment insurance, and food assistance programs.

He urged that the legislatures include “meaningful relief” for small business and their employees in a third legislative package he said is already in discussions.

“We are in uncharted waters, trying to navigate through an unprecedented global crisis,” said Bhalla. “What is clear is that this is a time where we must pursue bold solutions to give our businesses a fighting chance.”

North Bergen confirms two residents test positive for COVID-19 on March 16.

The Township of North Bergen has confirmed that two residents of the township have tested positive for COVID-19, the novel coronavirus.

The first patient is a 60-year-old male who was tested at a New York hospital after showing flu like symptoms and was discharged to his home where he is now recovering under self quarantine.

The second case is a 29-year-old male who was tested and received treatment at a local health care facility. He is now hospitalized at an undisclosed facility and remains in stable condition. No other information regarding the cases will be released due to medical privacy laws.

The North Bergen Health Department is conducting a full investigation to determine potential community exposure. This includes tracing each individual’s timeline and contacts since before they started showing symptoms.

The investigation has determined that community exposure from the first case is very limited, while the second case is still being investigated.

“It’s important for all of us to take the recommendations from public health professionals regarding social distancing and safe hygiene practices very seriously during this troubling time,” said Mayor Nicholas Sacco. “We are committed to doing whatever is necessary to keep our community safe and limit the spread of Coronavirus and we will be releasing more information as it becomes available.”

The Township of North Bergen has taken numerous actions at the direction of public health officials to limit the spread of COVID-19. Mayor Sacco has also released a video announcement detailing those actions, available in both English and Spanish.

Additional information about event and program cancellations and social distancing strategies is available on the Township of North Bergen website.

A second West New York resident has tested positive for COVID-19.

The resident is a 51-year-old female who is currently in stable condition and is undergoing self-quarantine at home.

The case is under review by the West New York Health Department and no further information is available to the public.

With the confirmation of a second case of COVID-19, the Town is taking measures to limit the spread of the virus.

“We are continuing to work with public health experts to protect our community to the best of our ability,” said Mayor Rodriguez on March 16. “We urge residents to stay home if they are able and to practice social distancing and proper hygiene.”

Mayor Rodriguez stated that the Town will continue to provide whatever information possible and take whatever steps necessary to keep the community safe.

Out of an abundance of caution, the Town of West New York has postponed all Municipal Public Programming, including all Senior Citizens programming, Cultural Affairs events, Recreation activities, Library activities.

Nutrition Center Daily Supermarket Runs and Medical Appointments will continue as needed.

In addition to cancelled Municipal Public Programming, the Town has further suspended physical public access to all municipal offices through at least Sunday, March 22.

All offices will be open and Municipal Staff will be available to the public during the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. to answer questions and concerns from the public via telephone and email only. No in-office visitation will be permitted for the duration of this protocol and or extension of such as noted above.

According to Mayor Rodriguez, more information can be found on the Town’s website.

West New York institutes curfew, closes daycares

Additional services were limited as a result of further preventive measures. Mayor Rodriguez signed an executive order instituting a Town Wide Curfew effective Monday, March 16 at 10:00 p.m.

The policy will mandate that residents remain in their homes between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m., except for serious obligations such as reporting or returning to work.

Additionally, the curfew applies to all restaurants and bars in the Town of West New York and mandates that all patrons must be gone from the establishment by 10:00 p.m. sharp. The curfew will be in effect until further notice.

“We are taking an aggressive, proactive stance with this curfew policy in an effort to keep our community safe during this public health crisis,” said Mayor Rodriguez. “According to public health experts, social distancing is the only effective way to slow the progress of the COVID-19 pandemic and West New York will do what is necessary to meet those guidelines.”

The Town has further ordered all daycare centers in West New York to be closed from Tuesday, March 17th through at least Friday, March 27.

Except for urgent matters, residents are discouraged from visiting the West New York Municipal Building. Residents are encouraged to reach town hall by calling (201) 295.5200 and make an appointment if needed.

Residents can stay informed by keeping up with the latest updates via the Town of West New York website and social media platforms.

Town officials continue to strongly recommend practicing social distancing by not congregating in large groups, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distances of approximately six feet from others, washing and sanitizing hands frequently, and working from home if able.

The State Department of Health has set up a 24-Hour Hotline for the community; that number is 1.800.222.1222. The State Department of Health has also developed a dedicated link to their website as follows: http://www.nj.gov/health/cd/topics/covid2019_resources.shtml.

For further questions, residents can call the Town’s Department of Health at 201.295.5070 or visit the Town’s website at http://www.westnewyorknj.o

(UPDATED on March 15.)

COVID-19 has spread across the Tristate area with 98 cases in New Jersey alone, Gov. Phil Murphy disclosed on Sunday, March 15.

Over the course of eight days, cases in Hudson County increased from one to eight with residents in West New York, Jersey City, and Hoboken all confirmed or presumed positive.

A 32-year-old West New York man, who tested positive for COVID-19, is recovering positively, and the local Health Department has remained in frequent contact with the man throughout the process, according to West New York Mayor Gabriel Rodriguez.

Following the diagnosis, the New Jersey Department of Health initiated a full interview and investigation with the patient, per the state’s protocol guidelines to determine the patient’s timeline, and assess the level of exposure to the community.

According to Rodriguez, the patient’s contact with the community was deemed to be extremely limited. However, that’s all the information that is being released to the public at this time.

“In order to comply with federal and state privacy laws, no other personal information about the patient can be disclosed at this time, however it is important to note that the risk to the community remains low,” Rodriguez stated.

Rodriguez confirmed that the resident tested positive for the virus on March 8 and that the man is hospitalized at Hackensack University Medical Center. He does not have children who could have been exposed to the virus.

“It’s important to note that the individual does not have any children who are students in the West New York school district, and we have communicated that fact to the Board of Education,” Rodriguez said.

For more information or to ask questions, residents are encouraged to call the state’s COVID-19 Information Hotline at 1-800-222-1222 or the West New York Health Department at 201-295-5070.

Later that day, Hoboken announced another two positive cases.

The Hoboken Health Department identified one as a male in his 30s and the other as a male in his 40s.

Both individuals are currently in self-isolation at home and the department been in contact with them, and both are expected to recover.

A woman in her 40s is also infected, according to a March 15 announcement by Bhalla.

She is  under observation at a hospital, and her family is in self-quarantine as a precaution.

According to the announcement, the woman has informed those that she may have come into contact with, and the Hoboken Health Department is conducting a timeline of interaction and monitoring all individuals.

“Unfortunately, this type of announcement may become the new normal as we expect a substantial increase of cases both locally and across the country,” said Bhalla.  “Doing everything now, proactively to address this national crisis can literally save lives in Hoboken, especially our large senior population. Please keep them in mind during these difficult times.”

The Health Department recommends that residents who believe they have been exposed to a confirmed case should contact their healthcare provider first instead of going to the emergency room.

CarePoint Health, operator of Hoboken University Medical Center, is urging all residents to observe this protocol to keep the emergency room available for those needing critical emergency care.

Residents are instructed to call 9-1-1 if they are having a medical emergency and can also contact the Health Department at 201-420-2000 ext. 5211 if they believe they were exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19.

“As an important reminder, please continue washing your hands frequently, avoid putting your hands in your mouth and eyes, avoid contact with others if you feel sick, and maintain a clean environment through frequent disinfecting of common areas,” Bhalla said.

For FAQs about COVID-19, visit www.nj.gov/health or call the New Jersey COVID-19 hotline at 1-800-222-1222 or if using an out-of-state phone line 1-800-962-1253.

Trained healthcare professionals are standing by to answer 24/7.

According to an announcement on March 13, Jersey City confirmed its first presumptive positive case of COVID-19.

According to the city, a 41-year-old female who lives in downtown Jersey City felt symptoms and initiated testing with her private physician.

Those results were then transmitted to the city’s Health Department Communicable Disease Reporting Surveillance System.

On March 14, Fulop announced on Twitter that the city has a second confirmed COVID-19 case.
The person is a  61-year-old female living in downtown.
“We have already started outreach to all of her contacts/interactions and we will do that proactively,” tweeted Fulop. “We are going to continue to be aggressive on policies/educating the public. We want to make sure the public knows as I have information you will immediately have information as this the best way to avoid rumors.”
On March 15, Fulop announced the third case of COVID-19. According to Fulop, it is an 80-year-old Jersey City Heights resident.

“He has been in isolation. We are following up proactively w/all contacts, although of note for residents he has had limited interaction w/JC residents overall,” tweeted Fulop.

The city established a 24-hour hotline on Tuesday, March 10.

If you suspect you have been exposed to Covid-19, self-quarantine and call 201-547-5208.

To avoid overburdening medical facilities, those who believe they are infected are asked not to use public transportation to get to hospitals. Instead, call the hotline first, which will tell you where and how to go.

The city will continue to post all information and guidance as it relates to Jersey City at www.jcnj.org/coronavirus.

Four Hoboken residents infected 

Mayor Ravi Bhalla announced on March 13 that a Hoboken man in his 40s is positive for Coronavirus or COVID-19. The man has been kept in self-isolation at home, according to Bhalla. The city Health Department has been in close contact with the individual, who is “experiencing mild symptoms and is expected to recover fully.”

According to Bhalla, the Health Department has been developing a timeline of events, and people who may have come in contact with the man are being notified to self-quarantine and are being monitored closely by the Health Department.

Bhalla said the man was a “model case for what to do if you feel sick” because once he felt symptoms, he reached out to his doctor, was tested, and began self-isolation before even receiving his results.

Due to confidentiality laws, the city is not permitted to give out more information about this individual.

COVID-19 facts

According to the CDC, the novel coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, has been identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness.

A coronavirus is a type of common virus that can infect the respiratory tract and spread much like cold viruses, according to the novel coronavirus fact sheet. The new type of coronavirus that emerged in Wuhan, China in December of 2019 is infecting people for the first time, which means people do not have any immunity to it.

According to the NJ Department Of Health, the virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person, between people who are in close contact with one another.

The virus is also thought to spread via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes that can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

The NJ DOH notes that people could contract COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

For confirmed novel coronavirus infections, reports range from people with few to no symptoms to people being severely ill and dying. Symptoms can include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

The CDC recommends ways to limit the risk of contracting and spreading the virus.

Recommendations include frequent handwashing with soap and water or use of hand sanitizer with a minimum of 60 percent alcohol; covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing; avoiding touching your eyes, nose, or mouth; avoiding close contact with people who are sick; and if you are sick, staying home from work or school.