NEW JERSEY - The City of Newark has reinstated a curfew for non-essential businesses in an effort to prevent further spread of a second wave of the coronavirus.
Beginning Oct. 27, all stores except supermarkets, pharmacies, and gas stations must close at 8 p.m., announced Mayor Ras Baraka Monday. A day earlier, the largest city in the state had recorded 101 new cases bringing the total to 10,087, more than any other municipality in Essex County combined.
Under the new COVID restrictions, beauty salons, nail salons, and barbershops can only accept customers by appointment. Gyms and health clubs must close for half an hour each hour for sanitizing.
Restaurants must end indoor dining by 8 p.m. and outdoor dining by 11 p.m. They will be allowed to deliver and take out with no indoor ordering or lines. Restaurants must also take the temperature of all patrons coming inside and ask them if they have been in touch with anyone with COVID-19.
The city will reasses the curfew and decide by Nov. 10 whether to ease restrictions.
"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,” said Baraka. “We are Newark strong and can get through this together. We did it once before and we can do it again.”
City Hall will be open by appointment only. All recreation centers will close except for school-related programs for essential employees.
NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - JANUARY 7: An Amtrak passenger train travels across the Passaic River January 7, 2015 while approaching the downtown terminal in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images)
All sports activities and open park practices and games in the East Ward are canceled.
All city employees are encouraged to be tested.
Newark is discouraging all parties, indoor and outdoor festivals, and large family gatherings until further notice.
“Until, and even after, a vaccine is made available to every Newarker, the most potent immunization we will have available is a decision to take personal responsibility to obey and model the recommendations that keep us all safe,” said Dr. Mark Wade, Director of Health and Community Wellness for the City of Newark. “All of us will need each other to get us through as individuals, neighborhoods, communities and a city, and to save the lives of those we love the most, each other!”
As of Oct. 23, there were 10,041 COVID-19 cases and 673 deaths. On Oct.18, Newark reported a test positivity rate of 11.2 %, using a three-day rolling average, in comparison to New Jersey’s test positivity rate of 5.28%.
The city’s positivity rate has not been this high since the week ending May 23.
In March, Newark instated a mandatory 8 p.m. curfew for all residents except in an emergency or commuting to and from work.
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