COVID-19 has struck the heart of the city, as a Health Department employee has died from the virus during this ongoing pandemic.
Maureen Ciolek, 70, passed away due to complications of COVID-19 the morning of April 4, according to a statement by Mayor James Davis that evening.
“Today, we lost a big part of our Bayonne City Hall family to the COVID-19 virus,” Davis stated. “Maureen Ciolek, a woman who was well known and loved by those who worked with her at 630 Avenue C and whose smiling face was seen by hundreds and hundreds of people each day as she sat in her office in the Health Department, died this morning, and we are all stunned and deeply saddened by her passing.”
According to Davis, Ciolek was hired by the city in 2010, working for the Mayor’s Office, the Municipal Court, and the Health Department during her tenure.
Davis said that it was her position within the Health Department that most people came to know because her desk faced the busiest hallway in the building.
“Nobody, and I mean nobody, said ‘hello’ to more people during the work day than Maureen did,” Davis said. “And every single ‘hello’ from her was accompanied by a warm smile and a friendly wave or nod of the head.
Support for husband Kenny
Ciolek was not only a happy soul but also a dedicated worker. Her coworkers and friends in city hall treasured their interactions with her and will grieve her passing for a long time, according to Davis.
“Maureen came to work early and left late every day, and she was pleasant to all who came in contact with her from the moment her beloved husband Kenny dropped her off in the morning, until he picked her up at the end of the day,” Davis recalled.
As well as mourning for and coping with the loss of Maureen, her husband Kenny Ciolek has also contracted COVID-19. He is currently in recovery, battling against the virus.
“Please say a prayer for Maureen and remember that, more than ever, Kenny and the entire Ciolek family need our support, comfort, and prayers to help them get through this incredibly hard time,” Davis said.
Ciolek is the tenth resident in Bayonne to die from COVID-19.
“Our lives will be a little less joyful with Maureen not in them,” Davis continued.
While some residents die as a result of COVID-19, others are making a recovery as the pandemic intensifies. As of April 5, there were 20 residents who have been cleared per CDC guidelines of the virus.
More than 281 residents are currently infected with COVID-19, according to a Bayonne Office of Emergency Management update on April 5.
For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at email@example.com.