As America responds to confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19), I wanted to share the most comprehensive, up-to-date safety information for our community.
Symptoms and Prevention
It is important to note that the risk of contracting a severe form of COVID-19 remains low for most New Jerseyans. However, it is possible to exhibit no symptoms of the virus and still pass the virus onto others, particularly to populations such as older adults and individuals with underlying health problems.
Please contact your primary care provider if you are experiencing symptoms such as:
- Shortness of breath
- And you have had close contact with a person known to have COVID-19
Additionally, if you have recently traveled from an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19, contact your health care provider.
If you believe you have symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19, do not go to the emergency room or your doctor without contacting them first. This could expose more people to COVID-19 unnecessarily.
How you can prevent the spread:
Healthy habits can go a long way in preventing novel coronavirus transmission:
- Wash your hands: Regular hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of transmission. If soap and water is not readily available, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol can be used.
- Avoid close contact: Try to avoid close contact with individuals who are sick, limit the use of handshakes, and practice social distancing.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes: Be sure to cover your coughs and sneezes with either the inside of your elbow or a tissue that is immediately thrown away.
- Disinfect: Be sure to clean and sanitize surfaces frequently touched surfaces.
- Self-Isolation: If you are feeling sick, stay home. If you are sick and live with other people, try to restrict yourself to a separate bedroom and bathroom as much as possible and limit contact with pets.
- Facemasks: If you are not sick, please refrain from wearing a face mask to ensure that the supply is available for health care workers and individuals who need them.
Federal, State, and Local Resources
**UPDATE** The State Department has raised the global travel advisory to a level 4. All U.S. citizens are advised to avoid all international travel and if possible, U.S. citizens who are abroad and live in the U.S. are advised to arrange for immediate return. Country-specific information can be found here.
The State Department has also set up hotlines for Americans abroad that have been impacted by the outbreak. If you are in the U.S. or Canada call 1-888-407-4747, if you are overseas call 1-202-501-4444.
- CDC Central Resource Guide
- Preventing COVID-19 Spread in Communities
- Information for Travelers
- FAQs About COVID-19
The CDC has a 24-hour hotline for COVID-19 related questions at 1-800-232-4636.
New Jersey has partnered with 211 to provide information to the public:
County and Municipality Resources
- In Bergen County you can call the BCDHS Health and Safety Hotline at 201-225-7000 (201-785-8505 after hours and weekends) or visit their COVID-19 information page here.
- Essex County's COVID-19 update page can be found here.
- Hudson County has set up a COVID-19 information page with updates here.
- Union County has an information page with FAQs, updates on county operations, information for local health departments, and more here.
- Hoboken has set up a hotline for general inquiries related to COVID-19 at 201-420-5620 and for senior specific inquiries at 201-420-5625.
Please feel free to reach out to my office in Washington, D.C. at 202-225-7919 if you have further questions or need assistance.
More on Coronavirus
This week, I attended a House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee vote on an important water infrastructure bill and submitted public comments opposing the Administration’s proposal to rewrite asylum rules. I also signed onto letters opposing the Administration’s recent attempted rule on international students, urging the Administration to extend the current public health emergency, pushing for protections for immigrant victims of domestic violence, and encouraging the Administration to keep protections in place for Medicaid beneficiaries.
Last week, I was in Jersey City to announce more CARES Act funding to assist small businesses in the area. A long-time Jersey City resident returned to the United States after being wrongly imprisoned in Egypt. I also attended a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing focused on the Administration’s response to reports of Russian bounties on U.S. troops.
(Washington, D.C.) – Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ) released the following statement urging continued support for COVID-19 testing:
This week, I continued to work with my colleagues addressing police brutality, the coronavirus pandemic, and other issues facing our community. Additionally, the 2020 Census is ongoing and needs your help! If you have not done so already, take 10 minutes to respond online at 2020census.gov or by phone at 844-330-2020. During this time of social distancing, check in with your family, friends, and neighbors to make sure they have filled out their forms too! Together, we will make sure the 8th District is counted fairly and received the proper federal funding for the next decade.
Last week, I returned to Washington with my colleagues to vote on legislation impacting veterans and small businesses. We continued to advance policies addressing this unprecedented global pandemic and its economic impact.
The 8th District has raised its 2020 Census self-response rate to 50.4%. It is great to have seen the effort to reach our full representation over the past few weeks, but even more is needed. Check in with your friends, family, and neighbors this weekend and ask if they have filled out their census response.
(West New York, NJ) – Today, Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ) assisted the Hudson County Board of Health, West New York Housing Authority employees, along with the Mayor and Commissioners of the town as they kicked off an initiative to test residents of senior living facilities in West New York, New Jersey. Over the next 7-10 days all residents of the town’s senior buildings and low-income housing facilities will be offered a COVID-19 test.
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ) voted in favor of the Heroes Act, legislation introduced by House Democrats to respond to the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 epidemic.
(Washington, D.C.)- Today, Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ) announced multiple community health centers (CHCs) that are either located in the 8th District or serve 8th District residents, would receive federal funding to support expanded COVID-19 testing capabilities.