COVID, Remote School, Dining: Hoboken's Top Stories 2020

Caren Lissner

HOBOKEN, NJ — It's hard to deny that the coronavirus pandemic was the biggest local and national story of 2020, with the U.S. death toll reaching more than 341,000 Americans Wednesday.

On the local level, mayors and other officials suddenly were thrust into a new role: fielding questions, helping residents find tests (in short supply in spring), consoling those who lost loved ones.

After the initial state lockdown from March to June to slow the spread, what was next?

Hoboken, with its proximity to Manhattan, has attracted a diverse population of commuters who appreciate their shops and restaurants. But how could those businesses survive? And how could students best learn at their computers?

But of course, there were other big stories:

  • The controversy surrounding the ICE contract at the county detention center

  • Protests against racial inequities after the death of George Floyd in June

  • Severe storms with flooding and downed trees.

Here are some of the top stories in Hoboken this year:

Coronavirus:

In March, Hoboken was one of the first in the area to close facilities. The state often followed Hoboken's lead. In December, the city got its first vaccination center.

Hoboken Closes Playgrounds, Day Cares Amid Coronavirus

Second Coronavirus Death Reported In Hoboken, Mother Of 2 Police Officers

Local Mom/Big Brother Star Shares Scary Coronavirus Fight

Four Hoboken Residents Die Of Coronavirus In December, After No Deaths Since May

Hoboken Gets Its Own Coronavirus Vaccination Center

No Nursing Home COVID-19 Vaccines On Monday; NJ Missed Deadline

Schools:

To be remote, or not to be remote? In spring, schools suddenly had to figure out how to teach kids via computer. In fall, they had to figure out how to send them back safely. Some districts chose a hybrid plan, but had to close temporarily due to positive tests.

Hoboken Schools Will Reopen With Five-Day On-Site Learning

Video Of Schools Shows Hard Work Amid Pandemic

Real estate:

Many Hudson County residents left for the suburbs, but more than 3,000 New Yorkers moved to Jersey City and Hoboken.

1,000 New Yorkers Moved To Hoboken During Pandemic

People Move To New Jersey, Find It Nice

Business stories:

The state released guidelines for outdoor dining. Local towns allowed restaurants and shops to sell outdoors, and many restaurants expanded their delivery and takeout options. Some establishments had to close, while others opened.

Hoboken And Jersey City Restaurateurs Discuss Surviving The Winter Months

New Parents Start Cafe In Hoboken, Then Struggle Amid Coronavirus

James Beard-Winning Hoboken Restaurant Closes, With Note About Pandemic

Racial inequity:

Local police chiefs spoke out after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Protests were held in the area.

Hoboken Protest For George Floyd: Photos

Hoboken Mayor, Police Form Policy Task Force On Use Of Force

Then, local observers became outraged when the county of Hudson renewed a 10-year contract for ICE to oversee the county jail. One activist filed charges against a Hoboken-based freeholder.

Outrage Continues Over Hudson County Renewing ICE Contract

Hospitals:

Three hospitals were up for sale, and words were exchanged.

Judge Tosses Restraining Order In Hudson County Hospital War

Officials Fear Closure Of Some Hudson County Hospitals

Crime:

Domestic violence tends to rise during the holidays, with financial pressures ramping up. In a shocking and sad crime in spring, a Jersey City man killed his restaurateur wife. And a Hoboken woman spoke up about domestic violence, sharing the story of her mother's death at the hands of her father years earlier.

Hoboken Woman Lost Mom To Domestic Violence. She's Worried Again.

Slain Jersey City Restaurateur Was 5 Months Pregnant

Animals:

Don't forget puppies!

Puppies?

Yes, puppies were popular in lockdown, but that meant puppy scams, puppy thefts, and luckily, some happy (scrappy) endings.

With New Book, Hoboken's Gone To The Dogs

Woman Says Couple Swiped Her Dog, Escaped On Jersey City Light Rail

Stormy weather:

Several severe storms swept through the area. Many Hoboken corners flooded during two "50-year storms."

PHOTOS: Hoboken Floods From Second '50-Year-Storm' In 2 Weeks

And in December, a nor'easter dumped more than 10 inches of snow on the area and closed most schools.

Nor'ester Impacts Hoboken: Schools Go Remote, Snow Continues

What's to come in Hudson County? Watch for Patch's previews in the new year: Development, business, more.

Got news? Email caren.lissner@Patch.com. To be the first to get news alerts with breaking stories in your town, or to get a free local newsletter each morning, sign up for Patch breaking news alerts or daily newsletters.

This article originally appeared on the Hoboken Patch