The pandemic isn’t over

Things are looking up in Bayonne, but COVID-19 is far from gone

Epidemiologist Michael Rosanoff of Bayonne's COVID-19 Task Force
Epidemiologist Michael Rosanoff of Bayonne's COVID-19 Task Force

On May 28, Mayor James Davis gave another COVID-19 update, introducing a key member of the city’s COVID-19 Task Force.

After Junior Meteorologist Colin Schaefer’s popular weather update, Davis said the city had a good week, dropping 30 cases overnight. He then introduced Columbia University Epidemiologist and Bayonne resident Michael Rosanoff.

In early March, city schools were closed before Gov. Murphy’s executive order. This helped the city in the long run, according to Rosanoff. This was followed by the stay-at-home and social distancing directives, and other closures.

A flattened curve

“Because we listened, stayed at home, and followed social distancing guidelines, we were able to flatten the curve and stop the spread,” Rosanoff said.

Since then, the city has seen a consistent and steady decline in the number of new COVID-19 cases and new hospital admissions. According to Rosanoff, any reopening must be done slowly and in stages.

“We should not mistake this moment as the end of the pandemic,” he said.

To stop the spread of new infections, Rosanoff said that eight out of ten people would need immunity.

The preferred way to reach that number is through a vaccine, as opposed to residents catching the virus and building immunity by surviving the infection.

Rosanoff said that no vaccine is expected to be available until the end of 2020 or early 2021.

According to Rosanoff, residents should not be fearful, but aware that the virus is still out there, is highly contagious, and can lead to serious illness.

Keep social distancing

As the weather gets nicer, residents must still social distance.

“Though we may no longer be told to stay at home, we are still safer at home,” Rosanoff said. “We must continue to maintain six feet distance from others, not only at the park but at the supermarket, walking the Bayonne Bridge, or anytime we are out in public.”

Rosanoff encouraged all residents to wear face masks, noting that the face coverings significantly reduces spread of any respiratory droplets. Limit your exposure to a small and trusted circle of family and friends.

Rosanoff said that the city must be ready for a resurgence of the virus in the fall and winter.

“If we see a resurgence, we will be ready,” Rosanoff.

As the situation continues to evolve, Davis said to keep an eye on Gov. Murphy’s statements for the most current information regarding re-openings.

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