COVID-19 surges in NJ as Newark enforces curfew

Coronavirus
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NEWARK — Today, New Jersey reported more than 3,517 new cases of COVID-19, pushing the case load over 10,000 total since Monday of this week.

The governor signed an executive order giving municipalities the power to impose curfews and shut-down non-essential businesses after 8 p.m., something the city of Newark is already doing.

The north ward and east ward of Newark are experiencing a surge that outpaces the rest of the city, prompting Mayor Ras Baraka to order residents in these highly infected neighborhoods to stay inside after 9 p.m. on weekdays and 10 p.m. on weekends. Police will enforce the curfew first with warnings, then with tickets.

“If things continue this way we should probably do more,” said Mayor Baraka.

Baraka has also ordered all restaurants to close at 8 p.m. for indoor dining. Statewide a 10 p.m. moratorium on indoor dining takes effect tonight.

Both Mayor Baraka and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy are facing pushback from residents, businesses and politicians on the new restrictions.

“You know what’s really uncomfortable and annoying? When you die. That’s my answer,” said Governor Murphy today in response to a reporter’s question on residents being annoyed with wearing masks.

Residents of the Ironbound section of Newark disagree on the new curfews ordering them to stay home.

“I strongly disagree with that I feel like this is free country,” said Damaris Coronado. “You can get it but you can also survive it.”

But Newark Mayor Baraka has said if things get worse he won’t hesitate to clamp down with even more restrictions.

“Some people are upset about it, but they should look at it this way: your life is more important,” said Florence Belfiore, another resident of the Ironbound.

Despite the focus on bars and restaurants, state investigators traced 1 in 3 outbreaks in October back to indoor youth hockey teams.

Today, Gov. Murphy banded together with governors from multiple northeastern states to stop traveling leagues from playing across state lines.

The department of health is urging people to cooperate with contact tracers.

“This is a wake up call. We need your help,” said Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli.

Today, the State of New Jersey was also named 1 of only 5 states in the country that will receive a new rapid test with a 99% accuracy rate manufactured by a company called CUE. Results will take 20 minutes to come back. The state said the new, faster testing will be key to stop this second surge of COVID-19.

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