A COVID-19 outbreak at the Hoboken Community Center has yielded one death and 20 positive cases, according to a board member and sources familiar with the situation.
“Since the start of the pandemic, the Hoboken Community Center’s (HCC) affordable housing program has been proactive in taking a variety of measures to provide for the health and safety of its residents and staff,” HCC board member Juan Melli said in a statement.
“As a congregate living setting, the HCC implemented new and continuing measures to address the risk of infection including installing plexiglass partitions at the front desk, hand sanitation machines, distribution of PPE to residents and staff, signage requiring masks and social distancing, limiting elevator rides to 2 people maximum, distributing meals and groceries to residents to encourage isolation, third-party cleaning including frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces, and other measures.”
As of Saturday, February 20th, 3,191 cases of the coronavirus had been confirmed, along with 41 related deaths.
“Late last week, HCC learned from residents and family members that there were several positive COVID-19 cases in the building including one resident who sadly passed away. Upon learning this, HCC contacted the City of Hoboken Health Department, which was instrumental in connecting HCC with services provided by Hudson County.”
Melli continued that after they contacted Hudson County on February 19th, has dedicated a temporary facility to relocate and isolate residents that have tested positive to the coronavirus – as well as providing additional support on site, 1301 Washington St., along with the Hoboken Health Department.
Hoboken officials then provided door-to-door testing for the building, which has been operating a meal service to residents via the Hoboken Food Pantry on the first floor, on Monday, February 22nd and HCC was notified that “a significant number of residents” tested positive, Melli noted.
While he declined to comment on the particulars, 44 residents were tested and 20 had tested positive, according to sources familiar with the situation who spoke under the condition of anonymity.
Since then, HCC, Hudson County, the Hoboken Health Department, and Hoboken Office of Emergency Management, “have worked to encourage all positive residents to relocate to the County’s facility including providing transportation,” Melli stated.
“We remain in close contact with the City of Hoboken and Hudson County to identify options for any of its residents – whether they have tested positive or not – to voluntarily temporarily relocate if they choose to. HCC will continue to take all possible measures to protect our residents and staff.”
Two other residents of the HCC have passed away in recent weeks, though what caused their death remains to be determined.