Coronavirus concerns prompt closure of popular Hoboken senior center

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Concerns over the coronavirus COVID-19 have prompted Hoboken officials to close a popular senior citizen center.

The city says that the center will close on Wednesday for the foreseeable future as a precaution to protect Hoboken’s elderly population from the virus. Older people and those with underlying health issues are particularly vulnerable to the illness.

“I have a lot of medical problems. [My friends have] medical problems. We just don’t want to get this,” says 81-year-old Marilyn Jacoby.

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Jacoby says that she will be disappointed that she can’t visit the senior center for a while. But she says she understands why.

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“We want to make sure we don’t have large gatherings of seniors where it could increase the chances of exposure,” says Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla.

Hoboken will also increase how often its HOP shuttles are sanitized. The shuttles are popular with senior citizens and other Hoboken residents. Bhalla says that they will be cleaned multiple times a day.

Hoboken’s Stevens Institute of Technology is also taking precautions against the virus. Classes were canceled on Tuesday. And classes going forward will be held online. School officials are urging students who can go home to do so.

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“Spring break is coming up in a week from now. They are likely to travel and we have to make decisions at that time as far as what we’re going to be doing – offering classes online and will the students come back?” says Stevens vice president of communications and marketing Edward Stukane.

The decision will impact 7,000 students.

State officials say that as of Tuesday evening there are 15 cases of coronavirus in the state. A 69-year-old man from Little Ferry died on Tuesday from complications surrounding the virus.

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