Newark Mayor Ras Baraka announced new curfews, gathering limits and symptom-tracking protocols for businesses on Nov. 9 as cases continue to spike in the city.
The new procedures have been in effect since Tuesday. Baraka made the announcement in a video posted to Facebook and addressed why the procedures in Newark are stricter than the restrictions announced by New Jersey Gov. Murphy.
“We have the support of our governor to push these [new restrictions],” Baraka said. “We are going to push them. Why? Because we need another remedy. We need another prescription.”
Baraka said the city, where more than 22% of COVID-19 tests came back positive on Monday, needed heavier restrictions than those put in place by the state.
“Newark's prescription is not the state’s prescription,” he said.
Non-essential business will continue to close at 8 p.m. Baraka said this rule will stay in place until further notice. There will also be a mandatory 9 p.m. curfew on weekdays and 10 p.m. curfew on weekends for the zip codes 07104, 07105 and 07107, an area covering the neighborhoods of Roseville, Forest Hills and the East Ward.
Baraka also announced that all sports teams in Newark must stop playing for two weeks. During this time all players and coaches must get tested for COVID-19, and the tests must be negative for them to return. Once the teams start playing again, they must continue to be tested every week.
All gatherings—both indoor and outdoor—are limited to no more than 10 people. Baraka also explained what this means for Thanksgiving and family gatherings.
“We want you to have Thanksgiving, we want you to be around your family, we want you to support your family,” Baraka said. “But we want you to invite your immediate family only, you can not have all these people in your house. Particularly since one of the reasons our positivity rate is increasing is because of large gatherings in people’s households.”
For religious gatherings, masks will be required at all times and must run at 25% capacity.
He also described some of the new restrictions and protocols for businesses. All businesses must perform temperature checks for anyone going into the building, and masks must be worn at all times.
Baraka said if two or more patrons, visitors or any other person entering a workplace test positive for COVID-19, then the business must shut down for 48 hours for cleaning. However, if two or more employees test positive at a work site the business must close for two weeks.
Classes at the Seton Hall Law campus in Newark have been fully remote since Nov 12. The Law School pivoted to fully remote learning at the same time the South Orange and Interprofessional Health Sciences campuses did.
Kathleen Boozang, dean of Seton Hall Law School, addressed the increase in COVID-19 cases on Oct. 27.
“As we approach the final weeks of the semester, we implore you to stay vigilant and careful,” Boozang said. “It is because of all your hard work and sacrifice that we have come this far. Thank you for your dedication to our community.”
Eve Krupcheck can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org