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
NEWARK, N.J. – Congressman Albio Sires (NJ-8), U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker (both D-.N.J.), along with Congressmen Donald Payne, Jr. (N.J.-10) and Tom Malinowski (N.J.-11), members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, today announced that New Jersey airports, hard hit by the public health and economic crisis, will receive a total of more than $160 million in federal funding from the COVID-19 stimulus package.
Many people have lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which could also mean a loss of health insurance coverage. As the coronavirus continues to spread in New Jersey and throughout the country, it is absolutely essential that individuals have access to the coverage they need to protect themselves and their family. The good news is that if you have lost your job, there are options. The type of coverage you are eligible for is based not on your employment status, but your household size and income.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for our nation, but my colleagues and I continue to work towards solutions. I wanted to share updates on the policies I am fighting for as Congress responds to this public health emergency.
(Washington, D.C.)- Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ) announced additional community health centers serving the 8th District of New Jersey also received critical CARES Act funding to combat the coronavirus from the CARES Act.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have announced that New Jersey will be receiving an additional $5.6 million in funding to bolster its COVID-19 response efforts. This funding will supplement an existing cooperative agreement and is third round of funding awarded to the state, whose total CDC funding amounts to $21.2 million dollars. This recent award was provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, which was signed into law on March 6, 2020.
Bergen New Bridge Medical Center – Drive Thru – BERGEN CO. FIRST RESPONDERS ONLY
230 East Ridgewood Avenue, Paramus, NJ 07652
By appointment only, this testing center is for first responders and hospital employees in Bergen County. Complete the self-assessment here: https://www.newbridgehealth.org/bergen-covid19-screening/ and if you meet the qualifications, you will be scheduled for a test.
(Washington, D.C.)- Today, Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ) and Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. (D-NJ) announced that HHS has awarded two Community Health Centers (CHCs) that serve North Jersey residents with much needed funding to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Newark Community Health Centers, Inc. was awarded $1,608,965 and North Hudson Community Action Corporation received $2,547,890. This funding was provided through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was signed into law on March 27, 2020.
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Congressman Sires, Co-Chair of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus, released the following statement thanking President Tsai Ing-wen for pledging to send two million surgical masks to the United States, including 100,000 for New Jersey:
Recently a number of towns in the 8th District received grants from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), funds locally developed projects with the goal of creating more affordable housing and enhancing our community’s resources. The Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG), supports homeless individuals and families, provides rapid re-housing, and ensures they do not become homeless again. ESG funds also go towards providing essential services in homeless shelters.
At the end of last week, Congress passed the CARES Act, to provide desperately needed relief to American families, individuals, industries, health care systems, and businesses. However, as the country faces an escalation of COVID-19 cases around the country, I continue to advocate for assistance that will address the needs of my constituents and the country. Expanded access to health care services, coverage, and ensuring adequate resources for our health care providers is a top priority for me and many of my colleagues.