The city of Newark is imposing new restrictions on businesses as COVID 19 cases continue to rise.
The positivity rate in the city’s east ward has now surpassed 25 percent with the city surging above 11 percent, prompting Mayor Ras Baraka to take action. Baraka says beginning Tuesday all non-essential businesses must close at 8 p.m. except grocery stores, pharmacies and gas stations.
“Part of it is precautionary for other parts of the city and the other part of t is a direct intervention in stuff that we know is happening, and it gives us the opportunity to see if we can drive the cases down in the East, but also to see what happens in the other wards around the city based on this as well.”
The city will re-assess the situation after two weeks of monitoring, contact tracing, and increased testing particularly inside the city’s hot spot locations. The last time Newark’s numbers were this high was on May 23.
Other restrictions include the closing of Recreational centers except for school-related programs. Youth sports games will be canceled in the East Ward. All barber shops and salons may remain open by appointment only and city hall will also remain open by appointment only. Large holiday gatherings and trick or treating are also being strongly discouraged. The number of positive COVID-19 cases in Newark as of Friday, October 23, was 10,041, with 673 deaths