• Beginning with the positive numbers, the United States has 8,413 people who have recovered from COVID-19.
• The grim reality is that in the United States there are 186,101 confirmed cases and 3,603 deaths. Right here in Newark, we have risen to 661 confirmed cases and 22 deaths; in Essex County, we have 2262 cases and 69 deaths; and in New Jersey, we have 22,255 confirmed cases and 355 deaths.
• Thank you to all of our residents, abiding the curfew and shelter in place. The majority people are doing it.
• The problem is that there’s a small group of people still not abiding by it. Today we issued 115 summonses (400 since Monday) and turned around hundreds of cars. If people get multiple summonses they will get referred to the prosecutor. If it amounts to behavior that’s risking other people’s lives, then that can turn into charges because it’s obstruction of law. We will continue to enforce the measures until everyone is adhering to what needs to be done.
• There are 22 families mourning because of an invisible killer that we can’t arrest that sneaks into their household and attacks their lungs and respiratory systems. Our heart and prayers go out to their families. We hope that there are not 22 more but that will be up to us and the residents of this town to do what’s being asked for everyone to do.
• For our food relief program, we have served 2,288 families with cards and food. We need more resources so are asking businesses to send resources to the United Way of Essex County (the Newark Food Program). Our fire department is serving 50 meals a day to seniors and families that need it.
• Some folks are calling 911 for non-emergencies. If feeling sick, call healthcare provider, or the Eliza Mahoney Health Center, or 973-733-6000. If it’s an emergency needing an ambulance to go to the hospital then call 911. Emergency responders are being overwhelmed by calls from residents who are not facing life threatening issues.
• A couple of reminders –
o Bulk and yard waste collection is cancelled in the entire city until further notice, since it’s a non-essential service. Regular household waste and recyclables collection will continue. If you have any questions, please call 973-733-3411.
o Today is Census Day! Please fill out your Census form online www.2020census.gov or by phone
• Our order is to not go outside unless it’s an emergency. Joint police units will patrol borders and other points. You can get a ticket if stopped. You are allowed to go out to supermarket, pharmacy, doctor, to walk dog, if come out must come out in twos and practice social distancing. ¾ of United States have a shelter in place order.
• We have to take precautions – wipe down everything that you can to protect self and family at home.
• We’re working to keep our cities functioning and alive. Kind conversation, the way we interact with people, and visiting family won’t be taken for granted after this. The things that we’ve put in place are things that we can hopefully keep alive and going afterwards – including homeless shelter, opportunity to work from home if sick, emergency funding, access to healthcare, all kids should have computers and access to technology, food programs.
• The Mayor acknowledged students who tagged him on their raps and people who have engaged him to ask him questions. He prays that we destroy this virus before June so that the students can celebrate their proms and graduations. We need the youth to join the rest of us, lead their peers, help us secure our families and neighborhoods, help us survive this thing.
• Let’s be able to say that the virus didn’t hit us with 1000s and that it missed us here in Newark like that because we did our lockdown – we listened to the Mayor, health officials, the Governor – so our death toll doesn’t climb. We need to curb this now. If 12 people died in any night in anything, people would be alarmed by it. You should be alarmed that 12 people died yesterday and now we’re up to 22. Hopefully, it will get everyone to change behavior out here.
• Anyone who is sick, keep fighting, keep praying, recover. This whole city is with you and praying for you. Our interfaith community spent 12 hours praying yesterday – praying for divine intervention.
• There’s a scripture that says those who save their life lose it, those who lose their life for His sake save it. The noble work saves your life. We thank those who are continuing to do the work that you’re doing.
• On social media… #NewarkStrong. While social distancing, use hashtag and tag @rasjbaraka. Do something with your family. Do something on your porch, backyard, or in livingroom. Let’s provide inspiration and hope to one another. Let’s show people we can stay home.
• We are going to be stronger and better. We are going to beat Coronavirus. We ourselves collectively and cooperatively are stronger than the Coronavirus. Our unity is more powerful than the atomic bomb. Thank God for another day. Each day we breathe is another day that Coronavirus loses.