The Township of North Bergen announced on April 8 that 39 residents have died from COVID-19. Thirty of the residents who passed away belonged to nursing homes in the Township, including Hudson View, Hudson Hills, and the Harborage.
Among the other nine residents who died was first responder Kevin Leiva, an EMT in the township, who passed away from COVID-19 at age 24. Leiva was an EMT in North Bergen and at St. Claire’s Hospital. A Paterson native, he lived with his wife Marina in Pompton Lakes.
The governor gives thanks
Gov. Phil Murphy offered his condolences to his family, honoring him in a post on social media.
“Kevin was only 24 years old,” Murphy tweeted on April 9. “We thank him for his service to our state and to our families. We will not forget him.”
While the elderly are at the highest risk of contracting COVID-19, Leiva’s death is a tragic reminder that the virus can affect anyone regardless of age.
His passing is also a harrowing reminder of the huge risk that first responders, including EMTs, nurses, doctors, and other healthcare workers take in working on the front lines to keep residents safe during the stay-at-home order.
Murphy has been honoring fallen and active heroes like Leiva on social media throughout the pandemic. Recently, he honored recovery room nurse Lorna “Mickie” Miquiabas at Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen for her outstanding efforts during the crisis.
To continue to recognize New Jersey’s essential employees, Murphy and the First Lady urge residents to use the hashtag #NJThanksYou to post photos and messages of gratitude featuring essential workers in the community on their social media accounts.
For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.