NEWARK, NJ — Mayor Ras Baraka followed the actions of Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday after a day of increasingly urgent measures to quell the spread of the novel coronavirus, which will see the deployment of the National Guard and FEMA to help establish and staff testing sites across the state.
With 178 cases New Jersey was designated a “priority state” by FEMA, which will have testing sites available this week. Essex County has the second-highest total confirmed positives in the state at 20, almost double what it was on Sunday.
Baraka announced only essential staff will be permitted at city hall and services will be offered there to residents by appointment only. Police, fire, sanitation, health care, WIC, homeless services, water and lead service line replacement services will continue to operate as per usual.
“While these regulations are necessarily stringent, we want to urge residents to stay informed and for everyone to do their part to help us contain this Coronavirus. We all have a deep responsibility to help mitigate the spread,” Mayor Baraka said in a statement. “Newark is strong – we will get through this – but we must work together.”
The mayor also said all private and parochial schools will join the public schools in indefinite closure, but it was not clear if the move would happen prior to Murphy’s Wednesday statewide deadline. Events of more than 50 people are effectively banned.
Director of Health and Community Wellness Mark Wade and Baraka will hold a remote town hall with city residents tomorrow at 7 p.m. on Tuesday to discuss the health impact of the coronavirus on Newark. The event will be livestream on the city’s Facebook page as well as NewarkTV 78 on Altice and channel 28 on FIOS.
Continue to check here for a full list of closures and restrictions due to the coronavirus.