Entering December, active COVID-19 cases continue to rise for the tenth consecutive week.
As of Dec. 10, there were 345 active cases, according to the Bayonne Office of Emergency Management (OEM). Two more residents have died, including an 80-year-old woman, and an 85-year-old man.
OEM said that 2,772 residents tested positive, regardless of where that test was given, as of Dec. 10.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, 87 Bayonne residents have died, and 2,340 have recovered.
COVID-19 hospitalizations at BMC remain low because most residents recover at home. There were 24 COVID-19 patients at BMC as of Dec. 10. OEM does not have data on Bayonne residents in hospitals other than BMC.
Fire Chief Keith Weaver gave the weekly COVID-19 video update on behalf of Mayor James Davis on Dec. 10.
Weaver said the Bayonne Fire Department continues to work hard to protect the community from all types of hazards amid the pandemic.
Firefighters work in conjunction with McCabe Ambulance EMTs during COVID-19 emergency calls. Weaver said the BFD assists the Bayonne Police Department on calls daily to help protect the community.
“We have remained vigilant throughout the pandemic and are fully prepared to face the hazards associated with the second wave of this public health emergency,” Weaver said.
The COVID-19 policies and procedures instituted in the spring remain in place, including firehouse municipal building decontamination, the acquisition and use of PPE, and medical monitoring of employees potentially exposed.
The Fire Prevention Bureau and fire inspectors completed a number of fire inspections amid the pandemic as part of the BFD’s plans to reduce fires and related hazards during the holiday season.
“Our holiday traditions can increase the risk of a fire in your home,” Weaver said.
According to Weaver, half of home decoration fires started in December were from candles.
When cooking and baking, keep flammable items and children away from the oven. Keep the oven clean, and properly clean grease-based spills.
If young children live in the house, avoid heavy, sharp, or breakable decorations. Be sure young children can’t reach decorations with small removable parts that can be swallowed or inhaled
Weaver said don’t use decorations that look like candy; children may try to eat or swallow them.
Water real Christmas trees every day. The dry needles and wood can burn very fast and hot, exponentially growing from a small fire to a large one in a short time.
Don’t plug too many lights into each other. Use a power strip instead. Read manufacturers’ instructions on how many lights can be plugged into one another.
Avoid using real candles. Use electric candles as holiday decorations. If using real candles, keep things like curtains and holiday decorations three feet away and never leave the room while candles are burning.
Make sure smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors have batteries and work properly. Plan an emergency exit plan with two routes of escape.
“Let us all work together to prevent fires during the upcoming holidays,” Weaver said.
To mitigate the spread of the virus, residents are encouraged to use “COVID-sense” by wearing masks, social distancing, and practicing good hygiene.
Drive-thru testing is again available. Bayonne Medical Center (BMC) has reinstated its drive-thru testing program, but not at Veterans Stadium, which ceased operations in July.
Now patients with a prescription and an appointment can be tested inside their vehicles at the Emergency Room Driveway entrance at BMC. This testing takes place every day from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. by appointment only.
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 at 904 Bayonne Crossing Way offers COVID-19 tests for walk-ins only; call 551-497-5675 for more information.
Residents can get tested at Broadway Care Pharmacy at 516 Broadway, and Total Care Pharmacy at 596 Broadway. 201-437-5100 for Broadway Care Pharmacy and .
Testing is available by Dr. Ahab Gabriel at 449 Ave. C and Hudson DNA and Testing at 150 Pulaski St. Call 201-374-1103 for Dr. Ahab Gabriel and 201-994-6594 for Hudson DNA and Testing.
CityMD and BMC are conducting antibody testing. Residents should call 2-1-1 for a list of testing sites throughout the state.
The Bayonne Health Department is immediately notified of positive results and contacts individuals to begin contact tracing. It advises residents who have recently taken a COVID-19 test to be sure to answer their phones for contact tracers and BHD staff.
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.