COVID-19 outbreak at Hoboken Community Center yields 1 death, 20 positive cases


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.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“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.

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  1. This Y building is a money pit and should have been sold to a group that knows how to safely run an affordable housing program. Seems the money it will take to fix it’s MANY problems for so few residents is not an effective return on investment. If they cant control a outbreak like this what will they do when they expand?

  2. This Y building should have been preserved as a traditional YMCA to serve the larger community instead of prioritizing a small group of men, most of whom are not from Hoboken.

      • I don’t know what you mean with that comment but Hoboken is full of rich white folks these days. I think it’s great they had yoga. It was a regular YMCA with exercise classes and after school for kids with homework help, a pool with swimming lessons, even fencing lessons and you could have a kids birthday party there without paying a fortune. Pickup basketball in the gym. All that is gone and rich white folks have other places to go, but not the regular people and kids who went to the Hoboken Y.

    • Adding a floor on top of this mess of a building was stupid mistake by a board that keeps asking for PUBLIC money but acts like a private board.
      Not to mention handicap access is impossible and women are banned

  3. This building should be converted to Senior housing, they built a new floor on a decrepit building that is full of mold and lead paint. Wouldn’t be shocked it it’s an asbestos nightmare too!

    Public money on a facility that doesn’t allow all genders housing can’t be legal?