The Honorable Mayor Ras J. Baraka said today that the 10-day lockdown proved useful in keeping people inside and away from large gatherings, thereby mitigating the significant rise of COVID-19 in Newark. He also signed a new Executive Order for winter and holiday protocols to continue to curb the spread of the virus.
“I want to thank the great majority of Newark residents and businesses that cooperated with our lockdown that began the day before Thanksgiving and ended today,” Mayor Baraka said. “Our collective efforts have resulted in early data that shows our positivity rate has dropped and we anticipate further declines when we have data from the full shutdown period.”
The Mayor also said the lockdown served an essential purpose in reminding people the virus was very active and very dangerous.
“We also doubled our testing efforts during the period and are encouraged by the numbers of people who got tested, which is evidence that Newark residents are heeding our words to continue to take this disease very, very seriously.
Despite some outlier businesses cited for violations, the entire City appreciates the sacrifices made by the residents and businesses who continue to fulfill their civic duty to help keep everyone safe.”
The Mayor noted 53 businesses were shut down during the lockdown for violating the Governor’s Executive Order.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Mayor Baraka’s two-pronged message is for residents to stay safe but not give up hope in the face of the COVID-19 challenges.
“We are going to get to the other side of this pandemic. A vaccine is coming,” Mayor Baraka said. “But the quickest way to stop the spread and keep ourselves safe is to work together as a united City, and the closer we get to the finish line the harder we have to push.”
Mayor Baraka also released a new Executive Order and guidelines for the winter months and holiday seasons, urging residents not to gather indoors for large family parties and to take the usual precautions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, including social distancing, frequent hand washing and wearing masks.
“It is imperative that we continue to follow current COVID-19 protocols, as well as adhere to State Executive Orders and previous active Municipal Executive Orders,” the Mayor said.
Attached is a summary of the rules, including protocol for indoor/outdoor gatherings, holiday travel, restaurants/businesses/offices, senior housing, religious services, indoor/outdoor ice rinks, and curfew. Municipal Executive Order (MEO-20-0016) can be viewed here.