HOBOKEN, NJ - With COVID cases, positivity rates, and transmission rates on the rise nationwide, authorities continue to advise against travel or congregation this Thanksgiving holiday.

"There is no way to sugar coat it—numbers are continuing to rise in Hoboken and New Jersey, in the midst of our second wave. We unfortunately expect numbers to increase even more given the holiday season, colder weather, and increased likelihood of indoor gatherings," said Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla, after announcing 22 cases new per day over the past two days. "As always, I encourage all residents to take the necessary precautions that will protect us to the greatest extent possible until a vaccine is widely distributed: avoid socializing—especially indoors—with others outside the household, wear a face mask whenever you’re outside your home, maintain six feet of distance from others at all times, and avoid crowds."

Statewide, there are 4,383 new, confirmed cases and 48 COVID-19 related deaths. Hoboken's fatalities currently remain steady at 31, while Hoboken University Medical Center is currently treating 13 patients with COVID-19, which includes four Hoboken residents. The current rate of transmission is 1.27—anything above 1 indicates the virus is spreading.

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"The best way to give thanks to your family members this Thanksgiving is by staying home and keeping them safe. We only need to look to Canada, where COVID-19 cases surged in the weeks after Canadians celebrated their Thanksgiving in October," said Mayor Bhalla, who expressed caution for those relying on test results as a pass. "If you do happen to gather with extended friends or family, please note the characteristics of the virus, and that a negative test is not a guarantee of being virus free. If you received a COVID-19 test on Monday, but went to an indoor gathering one day before and were exposed, the test has a high likelihood of coming back negative—even if 7 days after the initial test, you test positive. A COVID-19 test is more likely to be accurate at least 5-7 days after a potential exposure.
 
For those who plan to follow through with Thanksgiving travel plans, Bhalla asks, "If you are gathering with others, please consider taking the precautions of keeping groups small, staying outside if possible, and social distancing and wearing a face mask whenever practical." Testing will continue after the holiday, but anyone who may be exposed should wait at least 5-7 days to get tested. "If this type of incident occurs on Thanksgiving," said the Mayor, "please wait until at least Wednesday to get a COVID-19 test, to ensure accurate results."

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