COVID-19 cases in Hudson County, and across New Jersey, are again on the rise. This is reportedly due to the Delta variant of the virus and unvaccinated people not wearing face coverings.
In late July, Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla signed an executive order mandating municipal employees be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Aug. 9 or submit to regularly testing.
As a result of the measure, thought to be the first of its kind in the state, other Hudson municipalities are weighing in. Meanwhile, the state has mandated that all healthcare workers in certain state and private facilities be required to be fully vaccinated or be subject to testing.
Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop said in a Facebook post that Jersey City will not issue mandates for employees.
“I have been clear that we feel we get more favorable results by creating positive incentives or using positive peer pressure than mandates,” he said. He reiterated the city’s mask mandate for unvaccinated employees.
In regard to vaccine requirements for restaurants or gatherings, the mayor said that Jersey City will wait for statewide guidance from the governor. This comes after New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a city vaccine pass for activities such as dining and gyms.
Jersey City Councilman James Solomon called on the mayor and schools superintendent to have a vaccine mandate for city and school employees. In response to his comments, Mayor Fulop’s office echoed his previous comments on masks and vaccines.
Bayonne reviews the data
Bayonne has no immediate plans to enforce a mandate similar to Hoboken’s, according to Public Information Officer Joe Ryan. The city is looking at the numbers before making a move.
“We are in the midst of analyzing the latest data from state and federal agencies,” Ryan said. “After completing the analysis, the City Administration will make decisions about the appropriate course of action.”
It is not clear when the analysis will be completed.
Weehawken and Union City
In Weehawken, Mayor Richard Turner has said that the township is considering implementing a mandate similar to Hoboken’s.
“Right now, we’re just working on getting the council’s support,” Turner said.
It is not clear when the township will act, but Turner is anticipating the Delta variant will hit the area hard in the coming months.
Union City is also contemplating a mandate similar to Hoboken’s, but has not yet committed to a decision.
The rest of North Hudson
According to officials, there are no plans right now to institute a similar mandate in North Bergen and Secaucus. Secaucus Mayor Michael Gonnelli highlighted the town’s over 93 percent vaccination rate as the reason a mandate may not be necessary.
It is not clear how West New York will act.
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. Mark Koosau can be reached at email@example.com.