NEWARK – (Nov. 12, 2020) – As the City faces a spike in COVID-19 cases, much like most of the nation, Mayor Ras J. Baraka has enacted some of the same restrictions that were so successful in curbing the spread last spring.
“We are showing numbers that are reminiscent of last April and May,” the Mayor said today during a press at the City’s emergency management headquarters. “We don’t want to go back there.”
Mayor Baraka said new cases in the city recently hit 220 per day and while the death rate is much lower than during the initial outbreak in the spring, it was time again for “stricter measures.”
The new orders are not as “Draconian” as last spring the Mayor said but added he had no qualms about making the rules more strident if the COVID-19 spread is not abated.
“We know that more works. We know for a fact what works is to shut everything down,” he said, referring to last spring’s shutdown that nearly brought the spread to a standstill. Through the summer Newark’s positivity rate fell as low as 3 percent, with several days of no reported cases and no deaths.
Newark’s rate is now 19 percent, while the state level is 7.74 percent.
“Newark’s prescription is not the state’s prescription,” said Mayor Baraka. “Newark’s test positivity rate is at 19%, while New Jersey’s is at 7.74% -more than double. Stricter measures are required in the city’s hotspots in order to contain the virus and limit the spread. I know we are all tired, but the virus is not, therefore we must remain vigilant and do what is necessary to get this under control and save lives.”
The Mayor called the new rules “more measured” because of the decline in deaths but warned the disease remains just as lethal and Newark residents must protect themselves through wearing masks, social distancing, frequent hand washing and sanitization of surfaces.
The new measures include:
The following will be strictly enforced without exception:
· Per the Mayor’s previous executive order, all non-essential businesses must close at 8 p.m. every day. All restaurants, bars, etc. must close their indoor service at 8 p.m. and deliveries, pick-ups, and outdoor service at 11 p.m. Due to the significant rise in COVID-19 positive cases, there is a 9 p.m. curfew in specific zip codes.
· For zip codes 07104, 07105, and 07107, a mandatory curfew is imposed. All activities must close at 8 p.m., due to a 9 p.m. curfew on weekdays, and a 10 p.m. curfew on weekends, unless traveling to or from work or if there is an emergency.
· In 07104, the boundaries are 7thAvenue to 2ndAvenue and from Broadway to Clifton Avenue.
· In 07105, this is the entire area, not including the airport or the highways.
· In 07107, the boundaries are 3rdAvenue North to Berkeley Avenue, and from North 3rdStreet to 11thStreet.
· All sports of any kind being played in the City shall cease immediately for a two-week period. During this time, all players, coaches, trainers, etc., must be tested for the COVID-19 virus and have to test negative to resume play.
· The City Administrators will work in conjunction with the Newark Public School Districts to ensure that all student-athletes get tested during the above-mentioned time period.
· When sports resume after this two-week period, all players, coaches, trainers, and staff must be tested for the COVID-19 virus every week.
· Those individuals not actively playing in the game must wear a face mask and practice social distancing (including coaches, players on the bench, referees, parents, staff, and spectators).
· The City will consider canceling, rescheduling games, and/or practices or any other activity for two weeks if two or more players/employees/staff, etc. on the team test positive for the virus.
· Any team or team member that doesn’t follow the face mask protocol may be subject to having their remaining games canceled, removed from the team, or terminated.
· Gatherings and/or events are limited to no more than 10 people. This shall not include any gatherings that include First Amendment rights (e.g. political and religious gatherings).
· The City will conduct inspections of all long-term health care facilities. The City reserves the right to cease, limit or prohibit any visitation in the facility if there is an increase of COVID-19 positive cases, or a failure to follow COVID-19 protocols.
· No visitation is allowed at long-term health care facilities for the next two weeks.
· Senior housing buildings residents are allowed one non-essential visitor per unit per day.
· All building managers/security must perform temperature checks of all individuals prior to entering the building. No one with a temperature higher than 100.4 degrees will be allowed inside.
· Attendance is restricted to 25 percent capacity.
· Anyone speaking or singing during religious services must wear a mask (including pastors while preaching).
· No one with a temperature higher than 100.4 degrees will be allowed inside.
· Restaurants, businesses, and offices must follow facemask protocols.
· All businesses must perform temperature checks of anyone entering the building and no one with a temperature higher than 100.4 degrees will be allowed inside.
· No holiday (e.g. Thanksgiving) gatherings or events of 10 people or more at restaurants.
· Reservations for more than 10 people are not allowed.
The orders are effectively immediately, the Mayor said, and will be enforced as vigilantly as before.
-- Newark News