Stay Informed, Stay Faithful: JC vs. COVID-19


A Proactive Approach

If you didn’t know, Mayor Fulop has committed to daily updates on the coronavirus for residents of Jersey City to help keep everyone informed and up to date. Beginning March 16th at 3:00pm these daily updates will be streamed via Facebook Live on the Jersey City Facebook page.

“Yesterday evening we had our 4th positive case and we recognize where this can trend if we don’t get ahead of it.  This morning, we will be reaching out to all of the local grocery stores (3 registers or more) to set aside hours at supermarkets for elderly residents, ppl w/disabilities and pregnant residents only, during the hours of 9-11am starting Tuesday March 17th. They are our most vulnerable residents + crowded supermarkets are a challenge in particular for these residents.”

In addition, all public schools will be closed indefinitely until further notice from Gov. Murphy. Jersey City Crossing Guards will work to distribute free meals to all Jersey City youth from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. all week while schools are closed.  See below for a list of the 18 pick-up locations citywide (click the image for more info).

JC vs COVID-19
Pick up locations for free meals for kids under the age of 18. Photo courtesy of

In further efforts to thwart the coronavirus, bars and nightclubs that do not serve food, movie theaters, performance centers, gyms, fitness centers, barber shops, day care centers and nail salons will be closed effective today at 8pm. “All restaurants are prohibited from providing dine-in services, but will be allowed to have take-out, delivery, and drive-through services. Medical Professional offices (dentists, physical therapy, chiropractors, etc.) are strongly advised to focus on urgent appointments where possible, and to please be diligent in pushing social distancing.”

The Mayor’s proactive approach to distributing quick and relevant information is calming the fears of JC residents and limiting the rumors and misinformation circulating around.  His office has set up a 24-hour hotline. If you suspect having been exposed to COVID-19, please call 201-547-5208 before going to a medical facility.


A Time of Reflection, A Time for Service

Yesterday, thousands of churches across our nation—and many here in Jersey City–closed their doors to help stop the spread of the virus. The White House declared yesterday Sunday March 15th as a National Day of Prayer. Families from all walks of faith gathered together to pray, read scripture, and help their neighbor.

JC vs COVID-19
Photo courtesy of

Faith and service go hand in hand. The strength obtained from a time of meditation in scripture and spending quiet time alone with God, can produce practical service for one’s neighbor. Jersey City is the home to hundreds of houses of worship. They are the cornerstone to the City’s loving community. In many ways, like the hands and feet of Jesus, the places of worship minister to the hearts and needs of the people in our city.

That’s why it was encouraging to hear and see so many people throughout our city and country helping each other during this time.

To help contribute your service, below are a few “neighborly” things you can do right now:

  • Call on your elderly neighbors and see if they need any groceries or supplies
  • Volunteer to help clean and disinfect your local church
  • Buy extra groceries and give them to families that are in need
  • If healthy, reach out to your local hospital or urgent care facility to see if they need help

There’s nothing more satisfying than living out your faith in these practical ways.

JC vs COVID-19
Doctor praying. Photo courtesy of

If you didn’t get a chance to go to your house of worship yesterday, many churches streamed their services to continue to seek help from God in these times of uncertainty. People logged on to be encouraged and strengthened in their faith.

Below are a few places of worship in Jersey City that customarily stream their services:

Mt Pisgah AME Church

LIVE Stream

Cityline Church

LIVE Stream

Hope Center Tabernacle

LIVE Stream

Hope Church Jersey City

LIVE Stream

Downtown Community Church

LIVE Stream

Redeemer Jersey City

LIVE Stream

Tapestry Church

LIVE Stream

New Hope Missionary Baptist Church

LIVE Stream

Riverside Church

LIVE Stream

JC vs COVID-19
Photo courtesy of


Practical Reminders

In addition to following Mayor Fulop’s daily updates, we should also practice the things outlined for us from the Federal Government and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Doing so will help us from contracting and spreading the virus.

Below are a few links to assist you with up-to-date recommendations:

Not since 9/11 have we seen so many communities come together. Do you remember the pride, the camaraderie and American spirit we all shared? Well, that’s what got us through that terrible time when terrorism was our enemy.

We have another enemy on our doorstep.  How will we respond Jersey City? Will fear drive us away from each other? Let it not be so. We need the resolve that through common sense, and a spirit of perseverance we can defeat this enemy as well. But we must do it together.

Let us not forget our faith in God. In my own Christian faith, I personally had a crisis. The Bible revealed to me that I was lost and infected in the human condition (called sin). However, the heavenly Father out of His love for me (for us) sent His son Jesus to be my vaccine, my cure to forgive my sins. May he help us all find peace during these difficult days.

Kaz Ortiz
Author: Kaz Ortiz

Kaz Ortiz born and raised in Jersey City now resides in North Arlington with his wife Rosie, daughter Cassie and son Philip. He is an Elder at Grace Gospel Chapel in Jersey City Heights and seeks to live a life that honors his Lord and savior Jesus Christ by serving his congregation and community.