HOBOKEN - Wider testing is essential for safely reopening small businesses, according to medical and governmental authorities alike. With that in mind, Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla and Council President Jen Giattino today announced that all employees of any local Hoboken business are now eligible for rapid, COVID-19 testing through the Riverside Medical Group testing location in Hoboken. This expansion of testing capabilities is part of Hoboken’s plan to reopen small businesses with additional safety precautions.

“Hoboken is committed to providing businesses with the tools they need to safely re-open,” said Mayor Bhalla. “Access to COVID-19 testing for employees is a critical component of restoring confidence to customers and lending a helping hand to our small businesses during this pandemic. I’m thrilled our partnership with Riverside continues to provide a major benefit for our City and thank Dr. Brahmbhatt and his staff for the continued support, and to members of the Hoboken Economic Recovery Task Force for providing this excellent suggestion.”

The task force, co-chaired by Grace Sciancalepore, owner of Leo’s Grandevous, and Anthony Pino, owner of Anthony David’s and Bin 14, was created earlier this month to help local businesses recover as best the can amidst the difficult contemporary economic climate.

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“Our small businesses are what make Hoboken a special place, and I am happy to support this initiative to expand testing to all of our hardworking employees,” said Council President Giattino. “When Hoboken re-opens, we are making sure our businesses can do so with as many safety precautions as possible. We appreciate the services provided by Riverside Medical and are glad for the help for our mom and pop stores.”

To register for a COVID-19 test, the Hoboken business owner or employee should call the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) hotline in City Hall at 201-420-5621, Monday through Friday from 9 am until 5 pm to register for an appointment. Business owners can also call the hotline and provide a list of employees over the phone. Proof of employment at a Hoboken business, such as a copy of a paycheck, tax form, or signed letter from the owner of a business, is required at the time of testing. If an employee does not have health insurance, the City will pay for the cost of the test. Walk ins are not permitted.

Employees of Hoboken businesses do not need to have COVID-19 symptoms in order to receive a test.

“We at Riverside Medical Group understand that COVID-19 testing plays an integral part in reopening our cities and towns as safely as we can along with following other safety precautions and continued social distancing,” said Dr. Gaurang Brahmbhatt from Riverside Medical Group. “With the ongoing support of the Mayor and the City of Hoboken, Riverside will continue offering testing to residents and business owners as we work together to reopen as well as fight this pandemic.”

The news is certainly welcome, as Hoboken businesses were among the first in the entire nation to deal lockdown conditions, with the City taking action back on March 14.

“We plan to do everything we can to keep our staff and our customers safe once we reopen,” said Meghan Lukin, owner of Washington General Store, and member of the Hoboken Economic Recovery Task Force. “The option for testing adds another layer of comfort as we get back to business in this new norm. We’re thankful for the support of the City, as we know the retail community is about to embark on a whole new set of challenges in the reopening phase.”

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