Hoboken Low On Rapid Coronavirus Tests Due To U.S. Shortage: City

HOBOKEN, NJ — Hoboken’s uptown drive-through coronavirus test center is low on rapid tests and is “utilizing non-rapid testing at their site for some patients and reserving rapid tests for those with symptoms or who are at-risk,” the city announced Friday. Typically, Hoboken residents can head to the 15th Street […]

HOBOKEN, NJ — Hoboken’s uptown drive-through coronavirus test center is low on rapid tests and is “utilizing non-rapid testing at their site for some patients and reserving rapid tests for those with symptoms or who are at-risk,” the city announced Friday. Typically, Hoboken residents can head to the 15th Street center to get a test, but only some go because they have symptoms, while others do it to ensure they are well before seeing older relatives, or in order to travel to another state with restrictions.

The city said the issue is “due to a nationwide shortage of rapid COVID-19 tests.” As a result, “Riverside [Medical Group] has ordered more rapid tests, however, non-rapid tests may be used for most residents at their site for the near future. We apologize for the inconvenience it may have caused for residents scheduled for testing over the next several days.”

To get a test uptown during the week, call the city’s CERT hotline before 201-420-5621 Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.

If you don’t have health insurance, the city will pay the cost. Residents may also try calling their physician, urgent cares, or the state 211 hotline for more information on where to get tested.

The city also noted that residents can get (non-rapid) tests this coming Monday and Tuesday at a pop-up site at 605 Jackson St. “Prompt MD has added 350 COVID-19 testing slots on both Monday and Tuesday for Hoboken residents between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m.,” they noted. Sign up at http://www.hobookennj.gov/promptmd. “If signing up your child for a test, please enter the child’s information, and include the parent’s identification and insurance card in the respective section,” said the city.

Local and state statistics and trends

As of Thursday, 165,000 Americans had died of coronavirus, and more than 5 million have tested positive.

In New Jersey on Thursday, Gov. Phil Murphy said the number of coronavirus cases statewide has risen to 186,594, with 14,054 confirmed deaths. That included 699 new cases since the day before and eight newly confirmed deaths.

The daily death rate in New Jersey has been declining since back on April 30, when it reached a peak of 460 residents in 24 hours.

Many other states reached record daily death rates in July (see the daily totals in each state here). They have pulled back on their reopenings, including Texas, which closed bars after seeing record numbers of hospitalizations and deaths.

On Tuesday, New Jersey updated its list of states that residents must quarantine upon returning from. Two new states have been added. Read more: NJ Updates Coronavirus Travel Quarantine For 31 States

The city of Hoboken said Thursday that it now has had a total of 687 known, confirmed Covid-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic. Fatalities remain unchanged at 29, with no new resident deaths due to the virus since May.

The city of 53,000 was one of the first in the region to begin shutting facilities in mid-March.

The city also said that in the past two days, Aug. 12 and Aug. 13, it had reports of two and one new case respectively (included in the 687 total).

Rise and fall

On July 17, nearly a month ago, Bhalla said the city had a total of 645 confirmed cases. He gave this breakdown at the time:

  • 376 of the 645 have “fully recovered.”

  • 51 percent of the cases are under 40.

  • 7 residents under 16 have tested positive.

The mayor encouraged people to avoid “large gatherings or parties of any kind.” He and the governor have noted that the virus has spread at large parties.

The city experienced an uptick in new cases in July after many North Jersey cities experienced a week in June in which they had one or no cases, before facilities started reopening and people traveled more.

See below for other recent Hoboken coronavirus updates:

Recent updates:

SCHOOLS

  • The Hoboken public schools are slated to reopen Tuesday, Sept. 8.

  • The district has offered a reopening plan giving parents a choice of either full-time in-person learning (until 3 p.m.) or full-time distance learning. In the buildings, there will be restrictions, such as kids wearing masks and maintaining a 6-foot distance.

  • The governor’s school reopening guidance was published on June 26.

  • The state has said that all districts must offer a remote learning option.

BUSINESS

  • Here is the August schedule of Hoboken “summer streets” that are restricted to vehicles, to encourage walking, bicycling, and outdoor dining.

  • Applications for small business grants through the CARES Act provided by Hoboken and Hudson County close by the end of Friday. For more information and to apply, visit http://www.hobokennj.gov/smallbusinessgrants.

  • Hoboken recently received almost $1.9 million in funding for small businesses, to be distributed in $20,000 grants. Read more here.

  • Hoboken businesses received government PPP loans to help with payroll, rent, and more during the pandemic. Read the list here.

  • More than 50 of the city’s restaurants opened the week of June 15 for outdoor dining. READ MORE.

  • Some of those have added “streateries” for outdoor dining. READ MORE.

  • Two of the city’s weekly farmers’ markets reopened in June. READ MORE.

  • The city and Patch both have directories of businesses that are open and closed. Check them out and add your listing. READ MORE.

  • The city will be closing off certain blocks for businesses to expand and draw foot traffic. READ MORE.

  • Here’s what you need to know about applying for unemployment and other benefits during coronavirus. MORE.

  • Read more about unemployment, small business, and other coronavirus regulations and benefits in New Jersey here.

LIBRARY

  • Residents can return library books and other materials by placing them in the library book/media dropbox in front of the library (500 Park Ave.) from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. The library has begun no-contact “curbside pickup” service. Library patrons will be able to reserve the materials online, place their orders via email to [email protected], or call (201) 4202346, ext. 5102. For additional details, visit hobokenlibrary.org.

PARKS

GYMS

  • Bhalla said recently, “According to Governor Murphy, the following activities are permitted at indoor gyms starting July 2, as provided by his office: ‘individualized indoor instruction by appointment only where an instructor is offering training to an individual, and the individual’s immediate family members, household members, caretakers, or romantic partners. If a gym or fitness center is offering multiple simultaneous instructions at the same facility, these instructions must take place in separate rooms or, if they take place in the same room, must be separated by a floor-to-ceiling barrier that complies with all fire code requirements.’ “

NURSING HOMES

  • New Jersey residents have become alarmed at the high number of residents who have passed away in nursing homes, rehabs, and similar facilities, and have charged that the facilities are undercounting the numbers and not adequately protecting residents and staff. The state has faced questions for weeks from the press about how they will address the problems. They announced plans last month to increase testing at some long term care facilities and to bring in the National Guard to help make changes.

  • The state has begun releasing death toll statistics for long-term care facilities like rehabs and nursing homes. See the list here.

  • You can report problems with long term care facilities here, or if you suspect coronavirus related misconduct, here.

  • Some nursing homes reopened for limited visits, with precautions, in July.

Here are statewide coronavirus resources:

  • NJ COVID-19 Information Hub: https://covid19.nj.gov/

  • General COVID-19 questions: 2-1-1

  • NJ COVID-19 hotline: (800) 222-1222

Got news? Email [email protected] To keep up with breaking news in Hoboken as soon as it happens, or to get a free local newsletter each morning, sign up for Patch breaking news alerts and daily newsletters.

This article originally appeared on the Hoboken Patch

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