• Hello, this is Mayor Baraka. Welcome to our Coronavirus (COVID-19) Daily Update. These updates are on Monday to Friday at 5 p.m. unless we have a special message to share on Saturdays or Sundays.
• Text COVID to 511511 (repeat), to receive updates directly to your cell phone.
• Also, a reminder to please complete your Census form online at www.2020census.gov or by phone. The phone numbers are posted on our website and here on Facebook.
• Today, we are kicking off two social media challenges where we can come together (while at home). Use hashtags: #NewarkStrong #StayHome #StopSpread #SaveLives. Be sure to tag @rasjbaraka and @cityofnewarknj on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook
o Upload a #NewarkStrong picture or video practicing social distancing and/or things families are doing at home collectively while quarantining. Everyone can participate and be a part of the challenge. Tag @rasjbaraka @cityofnewarknj.
o Students 18 and under, post a video dropping 16 bars of poetry or rap talking about why it’s important to stay home/practice social distancing and there will be a $500 prize. Tag @rasjbaraka @cityofnewarknj @newarkpublicschools.
• Now, to the information that we rather not hear but need to.
o United States: # 158,571 cases and # 2,938 died
o New Jersey: # 16,636 cases and # 198 died
o Essex County: # 1,564 cases and # 33 died
o Newark: # 489 cases and # 10 died
o Newark/East Orange/Irvington/Orange combined has 789 cases and 13 deaths
• Mayor Baraka’s hope is that this information gives a sobering wake up call of why we did what we did today and will do what we will going forward
• Today, we gave over 100 blue tickets/summonses to individuals still hanging out, in parks, playgrounds, and standing on corners that range from $30 to $200 per ticket fine. If you get a second ticket, you will get referred to the prosecutor’s office and will be charged with Obstruction of Law.
• Stores should only allow 10 people in at a time and be concerned about the customers and workers. Businesses not complying with social distancing and regulations will be given summonses.
• STAY HOME out of harm’s way. The only way we have a chance at stopping the spread is to limit our chances of coming into contact with people who may unknowingly or knowingly have it. This is not a joke.
• Again thank you for those who are adhering to the shelter-in-place but for those who are not we have to do more to protect our city and the people in it.
• Tomorrow, there will be joint border police at borders of Irvington, East Orange, and Newark to monitor and limit the passageway of people moving back and forth who are not moving for emergency purposes only. We’re also going to reach out to the Belleville Mayor. Why – because people are dying and we are concerned about the lives of the people in our city.
• Newark will continue lockdown until Friday and then we will reassess it.
• Shout out to everyone throughout our city who are on the front line and behind the scenes doing noble work and being of service during this time.
• In our food relief program, Newark Public Schools has given out 53,000 meals to date. City of Newark has given 1531 meals and gift cards in three days. Distribution is ongoing and you can call 973-733-5728 between 7AM and 3PM. We are trying to feed as many people as we can.
• We are now accepting applications for the small business grants. Applications for the fund opened today, through a link on the United Way of Essex County website. The link is https://uwnewark.org. The deadline to apply is April 30, 2020.
• Governor has put a moratorium on foreclosures, mortgage, and the moratorium is supposed to be passed down to renters. Be sure to communicate with landlord for renter moratorium.
• We are working hard to ensure that everyone in this city is taken care of in the way we need them to be taken care of.
• The lockdown for all of the cities, all of the Mayors will put out a collective post around 2PM (including safetly requirements for businesses).
• This is a different time for our families and the city. Time for us to be creative. Our mind is powerful – we can do these things. Let’s keep our spirits up, care about other people not just ourselves, let’s talk about bringing hope-positivity-encouragement. Newark Strong means we are taking care of our families and neighbors. That we do EVERYTHING to stay alive and well. We want to make it through.
• Tomorrow, March 31 we are having a city-wide fasting and prayer, because we need all the help that we can get. Not eating from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and praying.
• Share the information. Let people know what the City is doing and what we’re going to make happen. Let them know that there’s a lockdown. Newark, East Orange, Irvington and Orange – we’re locking it down. We don’t have any choice. Why? Because we love you. It’s important for us to get together and make these things happen. God speed and God bless you. We are going to make it through. Stay safe, stay home, stop the spread and save a few lives.