HOBOKEN, NJ - Mayor Ravi Bhalla will reportedly return to normal duties after a brief self-quarantine.
According to a statement issued by the Hoboken Health Department, "Last week, Mayor Bhalla had a low-risk exposure to a contact who tested positive for COVID-19 later in the week. Out of an abundance of caution, Mayor Bhalla went into self-quarantine at home as soon as he learned of the positive test, and subsequently received a negative COVID-19 result from a test he took [Monday]."
The self-quarantine was announced Friday, as the Mayor missed the Interfaith 9/11 Memorial Service. City Spokesman Vijay Chaudhuri has told TAPinto Hoboken that privacy laws prevent any further information being released about the individual who tested positive, or his or her contact with the Mayor and his staff.
"Given the Mayor’s low-risk exposure, which included a brief verbal interaction with face masks, along with the negative test result, a self-quarantine is no longer necessary," says the statement from the Hoboken Health Department. "Mayor Bhalla will continue to self-monitor for the full 14 days."
The Mayor has long been stressing caution and quarantines for anyone who may be exposed to COVID-19, in an effort to curb the spread of the infection here in Hoboken. Per the Mayor's own recommendations, "a COVID-19 test is recommended at least 5-7 days after a potential exposure, and that many who have contracted the virus do not have symptoms. Receiving a COVID-19 test prior to the 5-7 days after a potential exposure may yield inaccurate results."
According to this latest statement, sent out by the City Spokesman on behalf of the Hoboken Health Department, "A full 14-day quarantine is necessary for anyone who returns from a high-risk state, or who had a high-risk exposure such as being in prolonged contact within 6 feet of and individual for longer than 10 minutes, or for example, were at a large indoor gathering without face masks. Had Mayor Bhalla had a high-risk exposure, he would have been advised to quarantine for a full 14 days, consistent with the recommendations provided to Hoboken residents."
Seemingly there is no further immediate need for concern in City Hall, according to the Hoboken Health Department. "The Mayor, his staff, and others who may have been in contact with the individual who tested positive have been appropriately following all health and safety guidelines as provided by the Hoboken Health Department."