March 25, 2020


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• Today’s update includes how many confirmed cases we have to date; initiatives in place to help our residents and small businesses get through this; locations where grab and go breakfast and lunch are still available for children; and what our city now has to do TOGETHER to stop the spread of Coronavirus.

• As of today, we have 123 confirmed cases in Newark (no additional deaths so we are still at 2); 381 in Essex County; and 4402 in New Jersey.

• In a press release this afternoon, Mayor Baraka announced that he will invest up to $6 million in six initiatives to keep Newark’s most impacted residents safe, healthy, and financially secure. The six programs will be introduced almost daily through April 3rd, starting today, and include an emergency grant fund for small businesses, short term housing for the City’s most needy, homeowner and worker assistance, and emergency funding for arts and cultural organizations.

• Details of the six programs will be announced in the coming days and include:

1.  Up to $2 million investment in a small business and non-profit emergency fund with grants up to $10,000 for 200 qualified businesses.

2. Approximately $1 million investment in rapid, short-term rental housing for 300 of the most vulnerable Newark residents, including those without permanent addresses.

3. Up to $1 million investment in community-based non-profits that serve Newark residents.

4.  A $1 million investment in the “Live Newark” program to provide down payment and rehabilitation funds for up to 100 Newark homeowners.

5.  Up to $750,000 arts initiative investment that will assist up to 30 arts and cultural organizations with operating funds and capital funds.

6. Mayor Baraka has also directed the tax assessor to accept applications from building owners with business tenants who have been negatively affected by COVID-19. The buildings will be reassessed to reduce the taxes owed by the building and the tax savings will be passed along to the small business tenants in form of a rent reduction.

• For more information on the six interventions, please email The complete press release along with other key information and updates can be found on our website at

• Next, the Breakfast and Lunch Program is still available for all students at designated schools from Monday to Friday between the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. for grab-and-go meals.

    o Students can pick up food at any Newark Public School site nearest to their home (you don’t have to pick up from the school your children attend).

     o All locations are as follows (and they are also listed on the Newark Public Schools website):

             Central Ward Locations

                Central High School

                Dr. E. Alma Flagg

                Quitman Street School

             East Ward Locations

                East Side High School

                Hawkins Street School

                South Street School

             North Ward Locations

                First Avenue School

                McKinley Elementary School

                Park Elementary School

                Rafael Hernandez Elementary School

             South Ward Locations

                Belmont Runyon School

                George Washington Carver School

                Weequahic High School

             West Ward Locations

                Mount Vernon School

                Speedway Academies

                Thirteenth Avenue School

• Lastly and very important. As of tonight at 8 p.m., we will all shelter-in-place in Newark. Unfortunately, it has come to this but based on the mapping of our confirmed cases and of those who have been tested and are now awaiting results, we are in dire need to STAY HOME- STOP THE SPREAD- AND SAVE LIVES. The mayor is calling for an all-city quarantine advising that people stay home and not come out unless it’s an emergency. Exceptions: to go to the supermarket, local store for essentials, pharmacy, doctor, walk dogs, step out and get fresh air in front or back of home/doorstep/porch/terrace, or if an essential employee. Also, children need to be accompanied by an adult and people should only leave their homes in pairs. In instances where that is not possible such as single parent/grandparent households, then the most should be a family of no more than five at a time. The need is for us to all stay in.

• The Mayor knows that this is not easy. No one wants to be inside. Everyone’s mental health is important and he understands that. What’s critically important is that we save lives... not just our own but each other’s.

• Let’s get through this Newark strong as ever – and you know the only way to do that is as a community. Together we can. God bless you.