Home COVID-19 16 Headlines You Missed in Hoboken + Jersey City This Week

16 Headlines You Missed in Hoboken + Jersey City This Week

by Steph
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Well, Hudson County, it’s an interesting time, to say the least. As you can guess, in this week’s news roundup, we have several Coronavirus-related updates for you. If you haven’t been keeping up, read all the latest here — or scroll down.

On the bright side, there is some non-Coronavirus news to look forward to. A new vegan meal-prepping delivery service is coming to town, a Stitch Fix-esque rental service is opening a pop-up shop, and Playful Paws’ Hoboken location is opening its doors to customers. Ready to catch up on all the local news you missed this week? Keep reading:

Hoboken and Jersey City COVID-19 Updates

Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla announced on Friday, March 13th that the City of Hoboken has seen its “first known positive case” of COVID-19.  “The Hoboken Health Department that the first known positive case of coronavirus {COVID-19} in Hoboken was identified as a male in his 40’s. The affected individual has been kept in self-isolation at home. The Hoboken Health Department has been in close contact with the individual, who is only experiencing mild symptoms and is expected to recover fully,” the statement read.

Currently, the Hoboken Department of Health is creating a timeline of events and is notifying anyone who has come in contact with the individual. More on this developing story here.

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On March 12th, Mayor Fulop of Jersey City has announced a curfew on Jersey City bars in response to growing Coronavirus concerns. The curfew is for bars and nightclubs and will start this weekend through to next week.

“Those are uncontrolled environments,” Fulop said in a statement, speaking of Jersey City’s active nightlife scene. “The nightclubs and bars attract a lot of people and we classify that as uncontrolled.”

On Friday, March 13th, Jersey City Mayor Fulop announced that the city has it’s first “presumptive case” of Coronavirus. The 41-year-old female with the confirmed case is a downtown Jersey City resident. Mayor Fulop also stated that the Health & Human Services department of Jersey City will be contacting any individual who came in contact with the patient. Find out more information about this story here — we’ll keep you updated as more news becomes available.

Restaurants, however, will be allowed to stay open, Mayor Fulop told Pix11.

Fulop clarified that restaurants will continue to be allowed to stay open as of right now. “Restaurants we want to allow to stay open. We’re kind of trying to find the balance,” Fulop told Pix11. Catch up on the full story here.

A State of Emergency

As of March 9th, 2020, New Jersey has declared a state of emergency, and as of  March 12th, 2020, Hoboken has followed suit in declaring a state of emergency. On March 13th, both Hoboken and Jersey City released the news of cases of COVID-19 in the local community. If you have questions or concerns, New Jersey has set up a statewide Coronavirus Information Hotline at 1-800-222-1222. You can also contact the West New York Health Department at 201-295-5070.

“Hoboken continues to closely monitor the latest developments regarding the Coronavirus to keep the public informed,” Bhalla said in a separate official statement. “Over the past several days, my administration and the City of Health Department have been in close contact with Governor Murphy’s office and the New Jersey Department of Health to receive regular updates. Currently, there are no confirmed cases of the Coronavirus in Hoboken.”

That being said, Bhalla announced that Hoboken has assembled a Coronavirus task force, featuring members of the Hoboken Health Department, Hoboken Police Department, Hoboken Fire Department, Office of Emergency Management, Hoboken Volunteer Ambulance Corps, the Hoboken Public School District, Stevens Institute of Technology, and Bhalla’s office.

Over the last 24 hours, daycares, bars, fitness centers, movie theaters, and more in Hoboken have been ordered to close. Restaurants are ordered to do takeout only.

Bhalla pointed to the New Jersey Department of Health’s recommendation: “The best thing residents can do is to stay home if you are sick.” He also reiterated that symptoms could include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

The updates and the full story can be found here.

School Closings

Due to growing concerns about the Coronavirus in Hoboken, the school district announced it will close beginning on Monday and remain shut down for the following two weeks. The message reads:

“Due to the State of Emergency declared by the Hoboken Office of Emergency Management {OEM}, the Hoboken Public School District and the Hoboken Charter Schools {Elysian, HoLa, and Hoboken Charter} will close starting Monday, March 16 for a period of two weeks. The decision to close was made by the Hoboken OEM, as authorized in a State of Emergency, in coordination with the leadership of the four school districts and the Hoboken Health Department. Although there have been no confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Hoboken or among the student population, the decision to close the schools was done out of an abundance of caution. Each school has made preparations for remote learning programs, and will communicate those plans directly to parents.”

What to Do if You Feel Sick

“If you have symptoms like cough, fever, or other respiratory problems, please call your healthcare provider first instead of going to the emergency room. If you are having a medical emergency, please call 9-1-1. Additionally, if you are in Hoboken and believe you were exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19, you may also contact the Hoboken Health Department at 201-420-2000 ext. 5211. Healthcare providers with questions may also contact the Hoboken Health Department.”

For more information on local preparations for the Coronavirus, visit Stevens Institute of Technology, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, New Jersey Transit, and New York Waterway.

The NJ Department of Health also suggests taking the following precautionary measures:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water. If not available, use hand sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home while you are sick and avoid contact with others
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing
  • Receive a seasonal flu vaccine {while the vaccine can’t prevent the Coronavirus, it can minimize the number of residents with flu-like symptoms}
  • Review and follow the Centers for Disease Control {CDC} travel advisories when planning travel. If you become ill after returning home, call your healthcare provider before going to a doctor’s office or emergency department of a hospital.

Additional information on both safe practices and prevention is available at the New Jersey Department of Health. If you have questions or concerns, you can contact the NJ Department of Health’s Coronavirus Hotline at 1-800-222-1222.

Hoboken Fire Department Frees Mother and Infant From Flipped SUV

hoboken fire department

A crash near the 8th Street Hoboken High School and Clinton Street resulted in an SUV being flipped on its side. Daily Voice reports that the driver of the SUV, “rolled and hit two parked vehicles.” A mother and her infant child were inside the SUV, which landed overturned just a few steps from the 8th Street firehouse. Both were taken to the Jersey City Medical Center and neither sustained injuries that were considered severe.

Political Figure Charged With Conspiracy Caught Slashing Tires and Scratching Cars in Hoboken


Political operative Lizaida Camis pled guilty in 2018 to conspiracy to use mail to promote a voter bribery scheme in the 2013 municipal election in Hoboken. Now, hMag reports that 57-year-old Camis was arrested on March 9th and charged with nine counts of criminal mischief and disorderly conduct in connection with automobile vandalism.

Last week, officers Jonathon Lyons and Frank Francolino answered a call of a reported act of vandalism on a car near 300 Harrison Street. The victim had scratch marks around her car and two flat tires. Less than an hour later, the officers were dispatched again to 300 Harrison for a different victim who had similar scratches around her car and one flat tire. Six more victims came forward while officers were on the scene, citing their cars were also targeted. A sixth victim said the door to her ground-floor apartment had also been vandalized.

After a brief investigation, Sergeant David Olivera identified Camis as the potential vandalizer. Around 10:58AM that morning, Camis was located and charged with a summons, then released with a court date.

Thor Equities Buys 8-Story Property in Jersey City

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New York City-based Thor Equities has bought an eight-story property in Jersey City, according to Commercial PropertyFor $94.5 million, Thor Equities bought 95 Green Street from SJP Properties and has plans to turn the 340,000-square-foot property into a life sciences campus.

“By securing the required approvals to rezone 95 Greene Street for life science uses, we were able to effectively position the building as a highly attractive investment opportunity in the market to appeal to a growing segment of investors targeting the sector,” Steve Pozycki, the CEO of SJP, said in an official statement. “We wish the Thor team much success marketing this strategically located asset.”

Thor’s new life sciences division recently also acquired a life science complex in Bridgewater, New Jersey, and other similar properties in California. The company also bought Flushing Commons in Flushing, Queens for $42 million in February.

Boycemode Plant Nutrition Opening in Bergen-Lafayette

boycemode plant based nutrition hoboken

{Photo credit: @boycemode}

Boycemode Plant-Based Nutrition is coming to the Bergen-Lafayette neighborhood in Jersey City at 346 Communipaw Avenue come spring. The new plant-based biz looks like it will offer vegan and vegetarian meal prep options, delivered. According to Boycemode’s Instagram bio, they also offer full-body cellular cleanses and protein meal replacement smoothies. Boycemode currently operates in New Jersey and New York City, too.

Fraction Hosting Pop-Up Event at Oran Athleisure on March 19th

Mens Shopping Hoboken Oran Boutique

Fraction, an “endless closet” that allows users to rent clothes starting at $49 a month, is planning a pop-up event on March 19th at Oran Athleisure.

“Fraction is a men’s fashion technology company allowing guys to rent designer clothing with the option to purchase for the discounted members-only price,” owner Oran Luft-Goldman explains to Hoboken Girl in an email. ”

The City of Hoboken Encourages Residents to Respond to 2020 Census

hoboken 2020 census

It’s time for the 2020 Census, which the United States Census Bureau began mailing out on March 12th through March 20th. Each Census form comes with a unique household ID and an invitation to fill out the form.

“In order to gain eligibility for critical funding for our schools, roads, housing initiatives, non-profits, and so much more, it is critical that all Hoboken residents take a few minutes and complete the 2020 Census,” Mayor Bhalla said in an official statement. “Our City became eligible for hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding following our successful 2010 Census efforts, and I’m confident we’ll be able to replicate that effort this year. I ask residents to please be on the lookout in the mail for the 2020 Census form this month, and complete the process as soon as conveniently possible.”

The census occurs once every 10 years and can be completed by phone, mail, or online. Alternatively, residents can visit designated response centers — City Hall in the Office of Constituent Services at 94 Washington Street, 1st Floor, the Hoboken Public Library at 500 Park Avenue, the Office of Assemblywoman Annette Chaparro at 80 River Street, 2nd Floor, the Hoboken Historical Museum at 1301 Hudson Street, HOPES Family Resource Center at 532 Jackson Street, and the HOPES Annex at 301 Garden Street — to fill out the Census forms in person.

Hoboken City Council recently passed a resolution to enact April 1st, 2020 as “Census Day of Action,” encouraging residents city-wide to fill out their Census forms.

For more information on the 2020 Census, please visit https://www.hobokennj.gov/census.

Playful Paws Daycare Now Open in Hoboken

playful paws open hoboken

Sources say that Playful Paws, located at 714 Jefferson Street, is now officially open in the Mile Square. In addition to offering grooming services {by certified vet technicians}, Playful Paws — which also has a Jersey City location — has training, boarding, and pet sitting services as well. 

Sources Say GNC Is Closing in Hoboken

gnc closing hoboken

{Photo credit: Google Maps}

GNC Live Well, located at 302 Washington Street in Hoboken, may be closing its doors, sources tell Hoboken Girl. According to CNBC, GNC started closing down many of its locations nationwide back in 2018. The nutrition and fitness company closed close to 200 stores that year throughout the U.S. and Canada and by 2019, it was reported that as many as 900 stores could close.

Hoboken Leprecon Results in Six Arrests

leprecon st patricks day

The Mile Square has survived another Leprecon and this year, the annual St. Patrick’s Day-themed bar crawl resulted in six arrests.

Police Chief Kenneth Ferrante tweeted, “Yesterday, @HobokenPD responded to 377 calls for service over 20 hrs, compared to 2019 where it was 322 in 16 hours {this yr 18/ hr , ’19 was 20/hr}. There were 6 arrests which will be detailed later, compared to 4 in ’19. There were 16 City Ordinance Summonses issued, 12 in ’19.”

In addition to the six arrests, 32 moving violations were given out and 12 people were transported to nearby hospitals. Of the recent steady decline in Leprecon arrests, Ferrante seems to credit the cancellation of the City’s St. Patrick’s Day parade, which was suspended in 2011.

“[The] 2011 numbers need to be looked at from the last St. Patrick’s Day Parade, 555 City Ordinances issued for drinking and public urination compared to the 16 yesterday. The 166 taken to HUMC, there largest one day total ever, 12 yesterday. Then 34 arrests then compared to 6 yesterday,” Ferrante tweeted.

Included in the six total arrests were two driving while intoxicated arrests and two citing disorderly conduct.”

Plastic Bag and Styrofoam Ban Officially Now in Effect Throughout Hoboken

styrofoam plastic bag ban hoboken

The updated plastic bag and styrofoam ban in Hoboken is now officially in effect. The new ordinance bans all use of single-use styrofoam products and carry-out plastic bags from both foodservice and retail establishments, whereas the original ordinance — first adopted in 2018 — only banned the use of single-use plastic bags. Now, as part of Hoboken’s Climate Action Plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, even reusable carry-out plastic bags are also banned in Hoboken.

Here’s everything you need to know about both bans:

Ban on all carry-out plastic bags

  • The full carry-out plastic bag ban strengthens the original single-use carryout plastic bag ban that is currently in effect.
  • All carry-out plastic bags, including “reusable” plastic bags, will be prohibited at all retail and food establishments as of March 8th, 2020. Currently, all single-use plastic bags are prohibited at all retail and food establishments.
  • Retail and food establishments must still make paper bags available to customers for a fee of 10-25 cents per bag. All proceeds from the fee will continue to be collected by the retail or food establishment to offset the costs of the paper bags.
  • The following plastic bags are still allowed for free: produce bags, product bags {packaging}, bags for frozen foods, meat, fish, flowers, plants, or baked goods, pharmacy prescription bags, newspaper bags, laundry or dry-cleaning bags, and packages of multiple bags, which includes pet waste bags.

Residents are encouraged to utilize reusable bags at all retail and food establishments.

Styrofoam ban

  • Single-use products made with expanded polystyrene {EPS}, commonly known as styrofoam, will no longer be permitted for sale at retail or food establishments in Hoboken as of March 8, 2020.
  • Single-use products that consist of EPS including cups, containers, lids, closures, trays, plates, utensils, napkins and more will no longer be permitted for sale at retail or food establishments.
  • Straws are not included in the new regulations.

For more information on these bans, follow the Hoboken Green Team on Instagram and Facebook.

The Hoboken Girl Helps Formalwear Sale on March 28th Has Been Canceled

In unfortunate news, the Hoboken Girl Helps annual Formalwear Sale on March 28th has officially been canceled. In an effort to take all prudent measures to protect the health and safety of our volunteers and sale attendees as the spread of COVID-19 accelerates, the event will no longer be happening. Please do note, however, that there are no reports of the virus among any of our participants, team, or community at this time. These steps are being taken based in part on advice from public health officials about social distancing. Our ultimate goal is to make sure our community stays healthy and safe. Find our full statement of cancellation here.

The 4th Annual Hoboken Wellness Crawl Has Been Postponed to September 13th

hoboken wellness crawl canceled

In an effort to take precautionary measures to protect the health and safety of attendees, volunteers, vendors, team, and hub locations amidst Coronavirus concerns, the Hoboken Girl team has decided to postpone the annual Hoboken Wellness Crawl to September 13th. We will be addressing questions and concerns in the coming days. Please watch your email and the crawl’s web page for more updates. Find the full statement of our postponement here.

Bang Cookies’ Second Jersey City Storefront Opens on Newark Avenue

bang cookeis downtown jersey city opening

Downtown Jersey City is getting something delicious — Bang Cookies! The local cookie shop has officially opened a second storefront at 128 Newark Avenue as of Friday, March 13th. Bang Cookies is known for its creative menu of treats, which is made up of a variety of flavors including Smore’s, Sea Salt Chocolate Chunk, Kitchen Sink. More about the opening here.


Apple Closing Retail Stores Outside of China Through March 27th

Apple is temporarily closing all retail stores “outside of Greater China” until March 27th, CEO Tim Cook announced in a letter posted on the company’s website late Friday night. “The most effective way to minimize risk of the virus’s transmission is to reduce density and maximize social distance,” Cook wrote. “We are committed to providing exceptional service to our customers.”

This nationwide closure is one of the first from a major retailer in the US. However, this extends way beyond the US, with every Apple location globally shutting down effective immediately — except for the locations in China.

Apple’s online store will remain operational {as will the Apple Store app} and customers who need customer support can visit support.apple.com to find local authorized repair shops that are open or are able arrange mail-in service.

“The global spread of COVID-19 is affecting every one of us,” Cook wrote. “At Apple, we are people first, and we do what we do with the belief that technology can change lives and the hope that it can be a valuable tool in a moment like this.”

Employees affected by the stores closing the retail locations will still be paid.


Jersey City Store Fined $90K for Price Gouging Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

99 Cent Dream on Newark Avenue in Jersey City was fined $90,000 after the owners were accused of exploiting the coronavirus crisis by overcharging customers for cleaning supplies. Municipal Prosecutor Jake Hudnut, head of the city’s Quality of Life Task Force, said the 99 Cent Dream store was issued nine tickets — at $10,000 per offense — for inflating the price of disinfectant wipes, disinfectant sprays, and rubbing alcohol.

“The city received concerns through social media that certain stores were raising the cost of cleaning and disinfectant supplies,” Hudnut said. “As always with our quality-of-life enforcement, the number one goal is compliance rather than punishment.”

Mayor Steve Fulop was with Hudnut at the store on Thursday and tweeted footage of the officers inspecting prices throughout the store. A bottle of rubbing alcohol raised from in price from $2.99 to $6.99, Fulop said.

“We won’t accept people taking advantage of residents,” Fulop tweeted. “People sometimes can be terrible in how they treat each other.”

Got a news tip? Let us know — email us at [email protected]! We appreciate it.

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Did you know: We started a podcast about all things news and lifestyle in Hoboken + Jersey City! Listen to the latest episode of Tea on the Hudson here and subscribe.

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