March 26, 2020 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Daily Update Key Points
• Today’s topics: confirmed cases we have to date; reminder about our curfew and social distancing; Essex County testing site; more information for small businesses; food giveaway; and a reminder about Census 2020.
• As of today, we have 155 confirmed cases in Newark (up from 123 yesterday – with no additional deaths); 608 in Essex County (up from 381 yesterday); 6876 in New Jersey (up from 4402 yesterday); and a total of 81 deaths in the State.
• Curfew and social distancing:
o The number of cases are growing, people are still getting sick, and although some people are recovering there are others who are fighting for their lives. So we must adhere to this shelter-in-place order. STAY HOME. It’s for the good of everyone individually and collectively.
o As mentioned yesterday, there are exceptions for when you can leave home: to get food, to see a doctor, to pick up prescriptions, to walk your dog, to get fresh air on your property, or if you are an essential employee. This is for our own good and we all have to do our part I cannot stress this enough.
o Practice social distancing when you do need to go out for the exceptions – and all of the measures to keep you and your family safe.
o Mayor Baraka applauds the community for everyone standing in the gap and making sure that people are listening to the curfew – and thanks to everyone for making sure the city moves on through this pandemic.
o We have to stay in the house and flatten the curve.
• County testing site:
o Essex County has a testing site in Weequahic Park here in Newark. Please note that no one can just drive up without an appointment. The website to make an appointment is www.essexcovid.org and you have to answer a few questions before getting an appointment.
o Same goes for Mary Eliza Mahoney Health Center (FQHC), you have to call first. There are not unlimited tests so if you feel sick call your healthcare provider first before seeking to get tested.
• Small business fund:
o With $2 million earmarked for this small business grant program, the City will offer about 200 business grants up to $10,000 to provide working capital for operating costs, payroll, accounts payable, inventory, equipment, rent, taxes, licensing or other business-related expenses.
o The qualification criteria for grants are as follows:
Business must have a physical establishment located in Newark;
Business must have 10 employees or less;
Business must show loss of income directly tied to the coronavirus crisis;
Businesses that owe any money to the City will have their applications placed at bottom of list.
o Applications for the fund will open on Monday, March 30, through a link on the United Way of Essex County website that will go live Monday. The link is https://uwnewark.org/
o An informational webinar on the program will be held tomorrow at 1 p.m. You can find the flyer on our website and on social media to get registered.
o We are asking corporations to donate to the fund so we can support more businesses.
o Stay tuned to hear the details about the other initiatives. We will make sure that you have the information that you need in order to make yourself whole during this difficult time.
• Newark Public Schools still has breakfast and lunch at different sites in every ward. The sites are on their website and in our notes from yesterday’s update.
• Thanks to National Action Network, Newark Housing Authority, City of Newark employees and volunteers that helped deliver 180 gift cards ($100 each) and delivered over 500 food parcels. The number to call is 973-733-5728. If you’re not able to get through, please keep trying. We were able to service 680 families today. If you want to support or help, let us know.
• Thanks to all of the volunteers who did outreach for our homeless population. We’ve secured additional locations to help get them inside. The City is actually working to build our own homeless shelter (was going to talk about it at State of the City).
• Just as State of the City will happen later, we will have many other events once we get through this. Birthday celebrations, graduations, and proms. In the meantime, we may need to have virtual celebrations or wait until this passes but we will get through.
• Census 2020:
o While many of us have downtime at home, don’t forget to fill out your Census form. You can go online at www.2020census.gov or do it over the phone.
o Being counted allows us to get federal dollars into our community to help fund things like schools, roads, health clinics, SNAP benefits, etc. Newark Counts but it takes each household to make sure that stands true.
o The number to call for English is 844-330-2020.
Haitian Creole: 844-477-2020
And an entire list of toll-free numbers can be found on our website at newarknj.gov
• Mayor Baraka is counting on us in all ways. If we work together, we’ll be alright. Thank you for checking in for updates. God bless you.