The City of Hoboken will end their indoor mask mandate on Wednesday as the COVID-19 rate of transmission plummets through the state.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
The city’s office of emergency management issued the mandate at the end of December due to an Omicron-related spike in cases, where OEM Coordinator Sgt. William Montanez said it would be lifted when the state’s rate of positivity hits five percent below for a week or the daily city case average falls below the weekly average of the cases in November.
The end of the mask requirement will take effect Wednesday, February 9th, with today marking the first time Hudson County’s positivity rate fell below 5 percent.
“Since the very first decision to shut down at the beginning of the pandemic, Hoboken has used science and data to guide decisions on keeping the public safe. In recent days, the numbers make it clear that cases are significantly falling in the region, which is welcome news,” Mayor Ravi Bhalla said in a statement.
“This data point, combined with Hoboken’s high vaccination rate, robust testing options, and low hospitalizations, make it possible for us to lift our indoor mask requirement. I thank the many residents and businesses who adhered to this safety precaution as we navigated through the Omicron phase of the pandemic.”
Local businesses and schools will have the option to implement their own mask policies, with face covering still required at municipal buildings.
The decision is not shocking, with New Jersey’s rate of transmission down to just 0.52 percent, according to the state Department of Health, and Gov. Phil Murphy (D) announcing this morning that he will lift the statewide school mask mandate next month.
“Although our mask requirement for indoor locations is currently coming to an end, it is still important to utilize the tools we have at our disposal to stay safe from COVID-19,” added Bhalla.
“COVID-19 remains a significant health risk for those who are unvaccinated, and I ask anyone who has not yet done so, to get vaccinated or boosted, and get tested if you believe you’ve been exposed.”