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City of Hoboken, NJ
Wednesday September 30th, 2020 :: 08:51 p.m. EDT


Update from Mayor Bhalla on COVID-19 and Halloween (9/30)

Update on COVID-19
The Hoboken Health Department has reported the following, new COVID-19 cases in Hoboken:
September 27: 0 new cases
September 28: 2
September 29: 5
September 30: 5
Since the beginning of the pandemic, 786 residents have reported testing positive for COVID-19. 740 residents have made a full recovery, according to the Hoboken Health Department, with 31 fatalities remaining unchanged.
Update on Halloween
As we enter October, I know that Halloween has been a topic of discussion among our residents and children. As with many other activities over the past seven months, the challenge is – how do we balance a day that has traditionally been a favorite of our children (and adults), with the fact that we remain in a pandemic? It is a topic that my family has been grappling with as well, especially with my two children.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently came out with guidelines regarding trick-or-treating and other Halloween related activities. These include avoiding door-to-door trick-or-treating, or trunk-or-treats, given the challenges of social distancing and the potential spread of COVID-19. Given these CDC guidelines, the most common question I am receiving is if trick-or-treating is going to be prohibited in Hoboken? The short answer is no. I believe this is a choice parents and families will be making with the most up to date information on the pandemic and infection rates available that we provide on a weekly basis, among other factors. However, taking into account the CDC’s recommendations, I am encouraging families and children to consider alternatives to trick-or-treating, including (but not limited to) the following activities:

  • Pumpkin carving and decorating
  • Halloween-themed movie night
  • A Halloween-themed scavenger hunt in the home
  • Decorating the house with a Halloween theme
  • Virtual costume contest with friends or relatives
  • Coordinating with schools to wear costumes during designated days
I’m pleased to share that as a City, we will be hosting a Halloween-based drive-in Movies Under the Stars on Thursday, October 29, Friday, October 30, and Saturday, October 31. The times and movies to be shown will be announced in the near future. Additionally, we will be hosting a virtual costume contest for children, where photos of costumes can be submitted electronically, with winning costumes to be announced on or around Halloween on the City of Hoboken Facebook page.
Given the challenges of Halloween taking place during the pandemic, we are also taking precautions to keep residents as safe as possible and reducing scenarios where COVID-19 is more likely to spread. To that end, in consultation with the Hoboken Health Department, Hoboken Police Department, and Office of Emergency Management, we have made the following adjustments and recommendations for this Halloween period:
  • Canceling the Ragamuffin parade. Unfortunately, the parade – which is one of the most well-attended parades we have in Hoboken – is naturally likely to result in congregation, especially among our children
  • No street closures and the prohibition of block parties on Saturday, October 31
  • Postponing any open streets on Saturday, October 31
  • Strongly discouraging any type of indoor parties (For those hosting and attending large indoor parties – both adults and children - the Hoboken Health Department advises to quarantine for a full 14 days) 
We also recognize that some parents may come to the decision to allow their children to trick-or-treat as well. For those children trick-or-treating, along with accompanying parents, we are making the following recommendations:
  • Wear a face mask, which can be incorporated into a costume or outfit
  • Trick-or-treat with family members or household contacts only
  • Trick-or-treat only in your local block or neighborhood – please avoid areas there that traditionally get crowded during Halloween if you do not live there
  • Wait for others to complete gathering candy at a door or stoop before asking for candy, to maintain appropriate social distancing
  • Coordinate with members of your block or building to host trick-or-treating during off-peak hours for children on the block, such as early in the morning on Saturday

If residents in households or apartments do not want to participate in handing out candy to children, which is completely understandable, we recommend shutting your lights off with a note on your gate or door.
Flu shots available Thursday
As a reminder, Hoboken Family Pharmacy is providing flu shots to Hoboken residents (12 years of age and older) at 605 Jackson Street on Thursday between 7 am and 4 pm. To sign-up for a test, please visit with insurance information and proof of address. The City will pay for the cost of a flu shot for any Hoboken resident without insurance.
I’m also pleased to share that thanks to our partnership with Hoboken Family Pharmacy, their staff will be going door-to-door to provide flu shots to our seniors in senior buildings (Adam Gardens, Fox Hill, Columbian Towers and Monroe Gardens) over the next week.
COVID-19 testing with Prompt MD
Prompt MD will resume COVID-19 testing at 605 Jackson Street for up to 350 Hoboken residents at 605 Jackson Street on Monday, October 5. Based on the demand earlier in the morning, Prompt MD will begin testing at 7 am, and continue through 2 pm. To sign-up for an appointment, please visit
Update on noise complaints
As mentioned in an earlier update, we continue to work in City Hall at finding a balance between supporting our small businesses given continued restrictions indoors, prioritizing outdoor activities which are safer from a health perspective, and taking into consideration quality of life impacts to residents. For that reason, and based on resident feedback, we are continuing some open streets activities but restricting noise levels coming from televisions and amplified music outdoors. I’m thankful that the vast majority of businesses have complied with these regulations; however if there are noise complaints pertaining to businesses, please email [email protected] as it is occurring so our staff can follow up and try to help resolve the issue.
For previously issued noise guidelines for businesses operating outdoors, please visit
Vote as soon as possible
With the November 3 election right around the corner, all active, registered voters should receive a Vote By Mail (VBM) ballot in the mail in the very near future, if it has not already been received. If you are already registered to vote, you do not need to do anything, as a ballot will be sent to you. Some residents have reported receiving ballots, while others have not. Once you receive your ballot, I recommend filling it out as soon as possible and either putting it in the mail (no postage necessary) or submitting it at our secure voter drop-box at City Hall (Newark Street between Washington Street and Bloomfield Street) to ensure your vote is counted, without delay. As mentioned in a previous update, one polling site per Ward (there are six Wards in Hoboken) will be available for in-person voting on Election Day through provisional, paper ballots only, as per state regulations. For the location of the polling sites as well as other voting information, please visit the City Clerk’s website at
If you need to register to vote, or switch your address, you can do so online for the first time this year at The deadline to register to vote is Tuesday, October 13.
Tenant advocate hours available for Hoboken residents
In the recent budget passed by the City Council, we allocated funding for our tenant advocate, in large part due to COVID-19. If you are in need of assistance or legal advice pertaining to housing matters or landlord/tenant issues, Andrew Sobel, Esq. is hosting virtual office hours for Hoboken residents. To schedule an appointment, please call Mr. Sobel’s office at (201) 603-3697 or email [email protected] with a description of the issue.
Please fill out your census
As a reminder, we continue to ask all Hoboken residents to fill out the census to help determine our allocation of federal funding for schools, healthcare, social programs, infrastructure, and COVID-19 recovery. As of today, the Census Bureau will be conducting non-response follow-up (in-person visits) and accepting self-response until Monday, October 5th. We continue to recommend any household or resident that has not yet responded do as soon as possible at or over the phone at 844-330-2020 (English) or 844-468-2020 (Spanish).
Residents may have noticed Census Bureau workers asking neighbors, real estate agents, or property managers for proxy information on a non-responding household. This is customary procedure for the Census; data collected through this process is used for statistical purposes only and is held to the same confidential standard as that collected through self-response. These knowledgeable parties help the Census Bureau progress toward its goal of the most accurate count possible, and we thank residents and Census takers for their cooperation.
Finally, I wanted to provide a shout-out to businesses like Benny Tudino’s for continuing to provide food to our local medical professionals at our testing sites. Many of our small business owners have given back to our community in various ways despite the challenges they have faced due to the pandemic, and we appreciate their generosity.
Ravi S. Bhalla

City of Hoboken, NJ
94 Washington St
Hoboken, NJ 07030

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 201-420-2000

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