NEWARK, N.J.— The New Jersey city of Newark has imposed a curfew on non-essential businesses as COVID-19 cases in the state continue to increase.
The COVID-19 positivity rate in the Ironbound section of Newark has now surpassed 25%, with the city surging above 11%, prompting Mayor Ras Baraka to order a city curfew. All non-essential businesses must close at 8 p.m. except grocery stores, pharmacies and gas stations.
The following restrictions go into effect beginning Tuesday night:
- Restaurants may continue serving food outdoors until 11 p.m. and takeout will be allowed after 8 p.m., but no patrons will be allowed inside.
- All barber shops and salons may remain open by appointment only, and no one allowed to wait inside.
- Gyms must also sanitize every hour and take temperatures at the door.During that time, people can stay inside or return after the cleaning. Everyone must wear masks.
- All indoor establishments must have sanitizers available.
- City Hall will be open by appointment only.
- Recreational centers will be closed except for school-related programs. Youth sports games will be canceled in the East Ward.
The number of positive COVID-19 cases in Newark as of Friday, October 23, was 10,041, with 673 deaths.
“The state is rising,” said Mayor Baraka, “but we are rising faster than them.”
The last time Newark’s numbers were this high was on May 23.
Newark will also get assistance from the state with more contact tracing and rapid tests to try and combat the spike, Baraka said.
The city will re-assess the situation after Nov. 10 to determine the next steps in reopening regulations, according to Mayor Ras Baraka.
“This is not the first time COVID-19 has threatened our city and its residents at this magnitude and once again, we will meet this challenge with determination and guided by data,” Mayor Baraka said.
“We are Newark strong and can get through this together. We did it once before and we can do it again.”
The mayor is also strongly discouraging Halloween celebrations and trick-or-treating in the city as cases spike.