HOBOKEN, NJ – Besides offering rapid coronavirus testing uptown in Hoboken, the city has also been scheduling dates to provide antibody testing on the west side of town. Unlike the coronavirus tests that show whether a person presently has the virus, the antibody tests can reveal antibodies that were built up in response to past exposure.
The last date scheduled so far is this Wednesday. Residents can sign up here. However, not everyone who has signed up has gotten a date.
Mayor Ravi Bhalla said Friday that he will try to get more dates scheduled.
He explained in an update, "I was recently informed that June 17 would be the last date for pop-up antibody testing at our Seventh and Jackson site. I know this has been frustrating for some residents who still have not been provided an appointment for an antibody test, and I personally take responsibility for the shortcomings in this regard ... I spent time with my staff today to work on additional antibody testing options and sites to fulfill the demand, and am considering longer-term options for the months ahead. We will work diligently to facilitate testing for those residents who were not offered a scheduled antibody testing time."
He said that Hoboken has tested 3,000 people for antibodies so far.
When the program was introduced in mid-May, a city press release explained, "Unlike certain other antibody tests, the Boditech rapid tests also tests levels of IgM, the first antibody to appear in the response to initial exposure, which would indicate a current infection. If an antibody test comes back positive for either IgG or IgM, the individual should not assume he or she has full immunity to COVID-19, and continue to take precautions including social distancing."
Scientists are unsure right now whether a positive test means a person will have full immunity.
Hoboken statistics and trends
Bhalla said in an update on Friday that a total of 571 Hoboken residents have tested positive for the virus. There have been no new cases reported since last Wednesday, when one case was reported.
A total of 30 residents have passed away due to the virus so far. There have been no new deaths reported since May 21. On June 9, Bhalla said the city had learned of a woman in her eighties who had died of the virus a month earlier, but hadn't been counted with residents. She was the 30th announced case.
Bhalla said on Friday that 300 residents have recovered from the disorder. Some sufferers have said that even with recovery there are health effects afterward, ranging in severity.
Hoboken was one of the first cities to begin shutting down certain facilities and businesses in March. As some reopen, Bhalla urged wearing a mask and social distancing. The Centers for Disease Control currently recommends wearing a face covering to reduce the transmission of coronavirus. While it may not completely stop the virus, it cuts down on the spread, particularly if both parties next to each other are wearing masks properly, scientists say.
As of Tuesday, a total of 12,727 New Jersey residents have died from the virus. Gov. Phil Murphy said that New Jersey had 470 additional coronavirus cases and 51 more deaths since the day before.
The rate is lower than Thursday, April 30, when the state reached an all-time high death rate. That day, Murphy had said that 460 New Jerseyans had been lost to the virus in 24 hours, or one person every three minutes.
Murphy explained Tuesday why he believes the state still must reopen slowly to avoid another spike.
Here are some Hoboken coronavirus updates:
- Starting Monday, 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. Starting this coming Monday, the library will begin no contact "curbside pickup" service. Library patrons will be able to reserve the materials online, place their orders via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (201) 4202346, ext. 5102. For additional details, visit hobokenlibrary.org.
- Any resident can get a 15-minute rapid coronavirus test at the Riverside site in uptown Hoboken by appointment by calling 201-420-5621 Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you don't have health insurance, the city will pay the cost.
- There are other medical offices in Hoboken with tests; if in doubt about what to do, call your physician.
- The Hoboken public schools are slated to reopen Tuesday, Sept. 8, but whether it will be in person will be determined by the state. The state is presently considering in-person schooling, virtual schooling, and a "blended option" involving both. The state is likely to offer more guidelines some time this week, one official said.
- The summer camp run by the Hoboken schools has been canceled. Limited recreational options have been scheduled. The mayor made reference to them here.
- Day cares were able to reopen June 15, with certain rules in place, and the state said that recreational camps can reopen in July. READ MORE.
- Most Hoboken parks reopened last month, but not all. See the list here.
- The mayor hoped to open playgrounds this Thursday, but was overruled by the governor's office. READ MORE.
- More than 50 of the city's restaurans opened Monday for outdoor dining. READ MORE.
- Two of the city's weekly farmers' markets reopened this month. READ MORE.
- The city and Patch both have directories of businesses that are open and closed. Check it 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.
- 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.
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
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