As Phase 2 of reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic comes to a halt due to the increasing rate of transmission in the state, some municipalities continue to experience a decline in the number of residents who are positive with the virus.
In Bayonne, such is the case.
Office of Emergency Management Coordinator Junior Ferrante gave an update of the COVID-19 pandemic in Bayonne on July 2.
Nearly four months after the declaration of the State of Emergency, the city has been consistently on the track to recovery. On Friday, July 3, the number of positive cases in Bayonne fell below 300 and the number of recoveries topped 800.
Cases continue to decline in the city as more residents recover.
Downward trend in June
“This recovered number grows each day, as our health officials make contact with residents who tested positive and they are able to remove them from the list,” Ferrante said.
COVID-19 case numbers in Bayonne have been trending downward throughout June. On June 10, the city had more residents who have recovered from COVID-19 than who are still sick with the virus.
On June 25, COVID-19 cases dropped below 400 in the city. Nearly a week later, cases dropped to 300 on July 3.
Bayonne Medical Center reported no patients or individuals under investigation for the virus as of June 25. This means all residents with COVID-19 are recovering at home.
And in total, only 49 residents tested positive for COVID-19 in June, Ferrante announced.
According to Ferrante, testing proved to be an early challenge due to the very limited number of test kits available within Bayonne as well as NJ, and the rest of the country.
Now, as testing opportunities have increased, the number of positive residents continues to decline.
Testing widely available
While some options have changed, COVID-19 testing is still widely available to Bayonne residents.
Bayonne Medical Center’s drive-thru testing at Veterans Stadium has ceased, the Office of Emergency Management announced.
“Anyone getting an appointment for a test by a Bayonne physician by the Bayonne Medical Center, will be tested on their property.”
Meanwhile, the the RiteAid at 54th Street and Broadway offers free testing for all residents over 18 via drive-thru.
Visit riteaid.com to register. Residents do not need to be symptomatic, nor do they need a prescription.
CityMD and Bayonne Medical Center are conducting antibody testing as well. The Office of Emergency Management has advised residents to dial 2-1-1 for a list of testing sites throughout the state.
In addition, senior testing throughout the city has ended.
Protecting senior citizens
Faced with the challenge of limited testing, the Bayonne COVID-19 Task Force, which included the Bayonne Housing Authority, worked to ensure the protection of the most vulnerable to the virus by being “hyper vigilant” at the senior housing buildings.
When testing became more available, Mayor James Davis and Dr. VIjay Singh, Chief Medical Officer of CarePoint Medical Group and CEO of BMC, worked together to stand up mobile testing platforms to test seniors at all congregate housing.
The testing is now complete, according to Ferrante, however it is not clear if any residents of senior buildings tested positive.
Ferrante said the Bayonne Health Department is immediately notified of any positive result and makes contact with the individual to begin contact tracing.
While the numbers continue to trend in a positive direction in Bayonne, Coordinator Ferrante asks residents to continue to practice good hygiene and to not touch your face to stop the further spread of COVID-19.
“As we continue to work our way down to lower positive numbers and the city begins reopen, we need to remind everybody to please continue to use common sense,” Ferrante said.
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.