Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop joined other city officials to announce their latest multi-faceted approach to the second wave of COVID-19 during a press conference this morning.
By Daniel Ulloa/Hudson County View
Stacey Flanagan, the city’s director of health and human services, explained there will be several different testing sites throughout the city. Some of the sites will be able to process the results within 15 minutes.
“When there’s an uptick in a particular community, whether it be a school or religious group that has called us, we can schedule a test quite rapidly and get results overnight. We’re very excited about that,” she said at a mobile site set up at the intersection of Sip and Bergen Avenues.
She also noted that resident will be receiving face masks in the mail soon as part of the city’s #MaskUpJC program.
“We’ve tried our best to preach personal responsibility. We’ve put in place a lot of tools for people to get tested and have resources so they can be safe,” added Fulop, who noted that state guidelines such as 10 people per private gathering would not be enforced harshly.
Jersey City Public Safety Director James Shea then elaborated on that topic.
“From the beginning of our fight against COVID in Jersey City, we took the idea that rather than an enforcement model in forcing people to behave a certain way, we would trust our citizenry and go with an educational and cooperative model,” he said.
“ … Our rates of fatality and infections have been less than we expected because of the work of everyone in Jersey City.”
Despite that fact, Shea warned that the upcoming holiday season is likely to see a surge of cases since people want to gather and students in college will be coming home for the holidays.
If law enforcement is called on a gathering, Shea said Jersey City police have been advised to talk to the residents, explain the dangers of hosting events indoors, and provide personal protective equipment.
“Only if people are completely unwilling to follow our advice will we be going to an enforcement model,” Shea explained.
“Our quality of life people under our Municipal Prosecutor Jake Hudnut have had the lead on this since the beginning. We purposefully decided we didn’t want our law enforcement to be at odds with our citizens about everyday interactions.”
This is a different approach than neighboring Hoboken, who put a law on the books that allows police to issue up to a $1,000 fine for indoor gatherings that exceed state guidelines – with six summonses being issued last weekend alone.
On another note, Fulop said that relative to the population in the county, COVID-19 statistics have been lower than expected in Jersey City.
“What we’ve been doing up till now has been successful based on our education model,” Fulop concluded.
According to Jersey City’s COVID-19 dashboard, their most recent tallies show 9,053 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 553 deaths.
Meanwhile, Hudson County’s COVID-19 tracker lists 29,638 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 1,487 fatalities across all 12 municipalities.
Jersey City will be administering testing at the other following sites:
Monday – Saturday:
- 465 Marin Boulevard – walk-up nasal testing
Mondays and Wednesdays:
- Bethune Center, 140 Martin Luther King Dr. – Saliva tests – 1 p.m. through 7 p.m.
- United Way, 857 Bergen Ave. – Rapid testing 9am through 4 p.m.
- PACO, 346 Cental Ave. – 5 p.m. through 8 p.m.