Rich Uniacke

The non-profit organization Bridges was founded in 1988 with its mission to end homelessness through volunteer-driven outreach and individual case management focusing on health, housing and independence.

Bridges Executive Director Rich Uniacke spoke with WBGO News Director Doug Doyle about how the organization is handling the coronavirus pandemic and the need for donations.

Ask Governor Murphy

The March (24) edition of Ask Governor Murphy on WBGO was an opportunity for concerned residents to reach out to Governor Phil Murphy and hear how the state is dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

The Governor took calls and social media questions from all over state.  Governor Murphy joined the show from his home and announced the death toll in New Jersey is up to 44 with more than 36-hundred coronavirus cases in the state.

City of Newark NJ

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka is urging residents to remain at home as the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise. Among them some of the city’s first responders. 

In addition to the city’s nearly eighty cases so far three police officers and six firefighters have tested positive for COVID-19. Baraka says those who continue to disregard the city’s mandated 8pm curfew, as well as social distancing practices, are putting others at risk, particularly first responders.

The 846 new COVID-19 cases reported Tuesday in New Jersey bring the state total to 3,675, higher than any other state in the country except New York.

Gov. Phil Murphy also announced 17 more deaths from the virus. The state death toll is now 44.

“We join their families in mourning these extraordinary lives,” Murphy said Tuesday. “And if anyone is looking to me for a reason to justify the steps that I and we have ordered, I can now give you 44 of those reasons.”

Governor Cuomo
New York Governor's Office

There are more than 25-thousand known coronavirus cases in New York State and more than two-hundred related deaths as of Tuesday. New York City has the bulk of the cases with nearly 15-thousand.

Despite all the closures and restrictions, Governor Cuomo says the number of coronavirus cases is doubling every three days.

“One of the forecasters said to me we were looking at a freight train coming across the country. We are now looking at bullet train because the numbers are going up that quickly.”

Margie Warrell
Margie Warrell

Best-selling author Margie Warrell, an international expert on brave leadership and founder of Global Courage has been dealing with two extremely stressful situations lately.  She had to help rescue her parents from the bush fires in her native Australia and recently found out that her husband has been diagnosed with COVID-19.  Her husband Andrew has been isolated in an Australian hospital.

Warrell is releasing her new book at the end of the month, You've Got This: The Life Changing Power of Trusting Yourself.

Ken Weiss

Mike Longo, who led a distinguished jazz career as a pianist, composer and educator, notably as longtime musical director for Dizzy Gillespie, died on Sunday at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. He was 83 and lived in New York.

The cause was COVID-19, confirmed Dorothy Longo, his wife of 32 years.

Dr. David Alland
Rutgers New Jersey Medical School Public Health Research Institute

Dr. David Alland, Director of the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School Public Health Research Institute, which is within the Rutgers Biomedical Health Sciences Institute for Infectious and Inflammatory Diseases, along with his colleagues Drs. Padmapriya Banada and Sukalyani Banik, have conducted the first evaluation of an innovative point-of-care test to detect COVID-19.

Coronavirus Update: N.J. "Stay-at-Home" Order Now In Effect

Mar 23, 2020

“The time for warnings is over”: AG promises social distancing crackdown

Attorney General Gurbir Grewal promised stiff penalties — from citations to second-degree charges — for any business or individual who violates New Jersey’s retail restrictions or stay-at-home order (more information on those rules below).

“If you’re a retail store or an entertainment center and you stay open, or if you’re a bar and you keep serving patrons in your establishment, consider this as your final warning,” Grewal said.

Governor Cuomo
Bennett Raglin Getty Images

There are nearly 21-thousand confirmed coronavirus cases in New York State.  More than 12-thousand are in New York City as of Monday afternoon.  The state has ramped up testing even more with roughly 16 thousand people getting checked for COVID 19 every day.

Governor Cuomo is ordering hospitals to increase their capacity by at least 50 percent to make room for coronavirus patients.

“Mandatory directive from the state. Find more beds. Use more rooms.”

Ask Governor Murphy

The next edition of Ask Governor Murphy is Tuesday, March 24 at 7 p.m. on WBGO and here at

Join host Nancy Solomon of WNYC and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy as they talk about New Jersey's response to the coronavirus outbreak and it's impact on education, personal income and safety, state government and healthcare. 

The number to call is 844-677-9283, or on social media with #askgovmurphy. Submit your questions in advance at

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy's Office

The number of coronavirus cases in the area continues to go up. There are more than 15-thousand in New York State as of Sunday afternoon. More than half of those are in New York City.

In New Jersey, there are nearly two thousand cases and the virus is now in all 21 counties. After New York ordered all workers at non essential businesses to stay out of the office or job site Friday, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy followed through with the same order over the weekend for his state, an extreme measure to try and contain the spread of coronavirus.

Haunted by Italy Scenario, N.J. Rushes to Add Hospital Beds

Mar 20, 2020

The experience of northern Italy hangs over New Jersey’s health care workers like a specter. If they can’t create the bed space now to handle an inevitable surge in coronavirus patients, they’ll face the same agonizing decisions as their counterparts in Italy: whom to help and whom to turn away.

But as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Garden State soars above 800 and the death toll ticks up, its leaders are meeting the challenge with the urgency — and creativity — of war.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said Friday he will issue orders to shut down all non-essential businesses in the state and limit gatherings to 10 or fewer people. It’s not clear yet when these rules will start being enforced.

Murphy said details of the plan are still being finalized and would be released within the next 24 hours.

But it’s clear the new rules would be even stricter than the state’s current ban on gatherings over 50 people, sweeping restrictions on business operations, and plea to avoid personal travel after 8 p.m.


Throughout the nation local and state governments are working around the clock to come up with ways to continue delivering vital services while they slow the advance of the coronavirus and tend to the rapidly growing cases of the virus. Currently our region is the leading national hotspot for this unprecedented outbreak.

Governor Cuomo Orders 100% of Non-Essential Workers Home

Mar 20, 2020
Governor Cuomo

There are more than seven thousand coronavirus cases in New York State as of Friday. More than half of them are in New York City.

With the numbers increasing, Governor Cuomo is ordering all employees to work from home. The governor says only essential businesses will be able to have workers in the office or on the job site.

“There will be a civil fine and mandatory closure for any business not in compliance."

Mykola Velychko / iStockPhoto

Just last week, guitarist Pat Metheny finished the Australia and New Zealand leg of an international concert tour, in support of his new album. Then his band flew on to South America and learned that a remaining slew of dates — in Brazil and Chile, and all over Europe — had been canceled due to the coronavirus.

On this edition of Newark Today Host Michael Hill is joined by Mayor Ras J. Baraka and Director of Health and Community Wellness Dr. Mark Wade, M.D.,  discuss the potential health impact of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) on Newark, steps the city is taking to address it, and measures residents can take to protect themselves.  

The number of known coronavirus cases in New Jersey now total 742, including nine deaths.

Gov. Phil Murphy said in his daily briefing Thursday that there are 318 new cases and four additional deaths. COVID-19 patients’ ages range between 3 and 95 years old.

“The numbers are going up, and they’re going up meaningfully,” said Murphy, who attributed the rise to partial community spread and increased testing capacity.


The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in New York State has spiked to more than 4,000.

Governor Andrew Cuomo is putting more restrictions on businesses to help slow down the spread. He says that based on the science and data, more density reduction is needed.

“Voluntarily, I am asking all businesses to have people work from home. As a mandate, 75 percent of your employee base must work from home.”

"It definitely feels deeply odd to be thinking about an album rollout at this time," reflects pianist Aaron Parks. "But on the other hand, as a listener and as somebody who's affected by this as well, I know how much I'm needing to get my mind off of this."

FB Live

During Newark Mayor Ras Baraka's Facebook Live update on Wednesday, he gave the sobering news that the city has experienced its first coronavirus related death.

The Mayor says the man was in his early 40's and had underlying health problems.

Mayor Baraka and Dr. Wade will be the guests on Thursday's Newark Today show at 8pm on WBGO, hosted by Michael Hill.

Mayor Ras J. Baraka announced a further series of sweeping measures to address the threat of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the City of Newark, which include a mandatory 8 p.m. curfew, the closing of non-essential businesses by 8 p.m. tonight until further notice, and City Hall services offered to residents there by appointment only. A list of the new measures follows, in which compliance will be enforced.


The number of coronavirus cases in New Jersey jumped to 427 on Wednesday, including five deaths, Gov. Phil Murphy said.

State officials said the increase was not a surprise, given that coronavirus is now spreading in the community and health workers are increasing the number of tests for patients with symptoms of the illness.

“It is a beast,” Murphy said, “no matter how you slice it.”

Rayon Richards

What do you do if you’re a jazz musician with a lot of time on your hands?

As New York City and other places enact restrictions to slow the spread of coronavirus, we’re sure to see myriad responses to that question. If you happen to be Benny Benack III, the trumpeter and singer probably best known as a front man for Postmodern Jukebox, the answer might involve putting a novel spin on a songbook standard.

So many New Jersey residents tried to apply for unemployment insurance on Monday — about 15,000 — that the state website crashed, said Gov. Phil Murphy on Tuesday, the first full day that severe new restrictions on business operations were in place.

It was a strong indicator of the financial stress Americans are feeling as states across the nation restrict individual movement and limit economic activity to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Mayor Ras J. Baraka and Director of Health and Community Wellness Dr. Mark Wade, M.D., will hold a Virtual Town Hall with city residents on Tuesday, March 17, at 7 p.m. The Virtual Town Hall will discuss the potential health impact of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) on Newark, steps the city is taking to address it, and measures residents can take to protect themselves.

Residents can call in to the Town Hall at (855)-756-7520 Ext.56949# to ask questions. We will be streaming the event live at WBGO.ORG and on the Newark Today facebook page. 



New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy says the state is struggling to get enough medical supplies and personal protective equipment to deal with the coronavirus.

The Democrat told N-B-C’s Today Show this morning that the Trump administration told governors that PART of that burden lies with individual states.

Governor Cuomo
NY Governor's Office

There are 1,374 confirmed coronavirus cases in New York State as of Tuesday. Roughly half are in New York City. The hospitalization rate is about 19 percent in the state.

Governor Cuomo thinks the virus could peak around 45 days but warns the hospital system is in danger of being overwhelmed with patients.

“We’re examining the entire hospital system. What is the maximum capacity per hospital. If Department of Health waives their space rules.”

Trevor Smith / Jazz Night in America

Musicians mobilizing from their living rooms. Clubs broadcasting to a virtual audience. What began as a stopgap measure may be our new normal, at least for a while. Consult our guide.