Hoboken Police Chief Kenneth Ferrante said that three officers have tested positive for COVID-19, the third being diagnosed yesterday, while 21 officers have been placed on self-quarantine since March 8th.
“Our current staff is at 89 percent. We’ve had three officers that have tested positive. Our third was today. Fortunately, the first officer is returning to work tomorrow fully cured and the second officer is returning Friday fully cured,” Ferrante said during last night’s remote city council meeting.
“They’ve been fully cured for over a week, but we’ve been very cautious not to present any further exposure to them until they are fully healed – and also not to have any exposure to our officers and the residents.”
The police chief continued that seven officers are currently quarantined, three because of the officer that tested positive on Wednesday, and that 21 officers in total have been placed in self-quarantine since March 8th. Only one of those officers is still awaiting test results.
Later in the meeting, Hoboken Health and Human Services Director Leo Pellegrini said that there are currently 346 confirmed COVID-19 cases citywide.
Ferrante also detailed how officers are overwhelmed with state and local directives, with calls for service spanning from 256 in the past 24 hours to over 300 in a couple of instances last week.
“The officers are taxed right now in so many areas: realize that there’s been 130 [executive] orders from the governor and the attorney general. That averages out to what officers usually get, in procedural changes, over 10 years,” he explained.
“We’ve had that in six weeks. That does not count the dozens of orders we’ve had come from our local OEM, our Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, and the many changes that I’ve made in order department, again, trying to reinvent policing.”
Yesterday, the New Jersey Department of Health indicated that there are 8,511 coronavirus cases in Hudson County and 312 deaths, both the third in the state by county.