After reaching a single-digit number of active COVID-19 cases by late summer, Bayonne is currently experiencing an increase, as New Jersey remains stuck in Phase 2 of reopening.
In the weekly COVID-19 update on Aug. 13, the Office of Emergency Management announced there were now 26 positive residents, jumping from just nine on Aug. 6.
COVID-19 hospitalizations at BMC remain low, as most residents recover at home.
A total of 1,300 residents tested positive, regardless of where that test was given, as of Aug. 13. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 74 Bayonne residents have died.
Contact tracers hit a roadblock
According to OEM, some of those who have recently tested positive include 20-year-olds, who are causing problems for contact tracers.
According to the Bayonne Health Department, contact tracing has been a key mechanism in breaking the chain of transmission and slowing community spread.
“Currently, the Bayonne Health Department is investigating multiple cases of young people in their late teens and early 20s who are not responding to our calls and/or not providing us with contacts,” according to a statement from the BHD.
“So, families of these young people, if you know your young adult is getting tested for COVID, please inform them that they MUST answer the call. We need cooperation, not just from this group, but everyone in an effort to reduce the spread of transmission.”
There was no video update from Mayor James Davis regarding the state of COVID-19 this week.
COVID-19 by the numbers
As of July 10, BMC had tested 3,918 people. Of that, 2,860 were negative, and 760 were positive, for a 19.39 percent Positivity Rate.
“Please continue to use good hygiene, and do not touch your face,” OEM said.
On July 30, the OEM announced there were only 17 positive residents. The number of positive cases in the city has been declining from June and into August.
On July 23, cases dropped to 23 from 62 on July 16, and 75 cases on July 10.
Nearly four months after the declaration of the State of Emergency, the city has been on track to recover. On July 3, the number of positive cases fell below 300, and the number of recoveries topped 800.
“The 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,” said the OEM’s Junior Ferrante.
On June 25, COVID-19 cases dropped below 400. On June 10, the city had more residents who had recovered than who are still sick with the virus.
Only 49 residents tested positive in June.
According to Ferrante, testing was an early challenge due to the limited number of test kits nationwide. As testing has become widespread, the number of positive residents declined.
BMC’s drive-thru testing at Veterans Stadium has ceased. Residents with a prescription and an appointment well be tested at BMC.
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 on Route 440 offers COVID-19 testing, walk-ins only.
CityMD and BMC are conducting antibody testing. Residents should call 2-1-1 for a list of testing sites throughout the state.
Ferrante said the BHD is immediately notified of positive results and contacts the individual to begin contact tracing.
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.