N.J.’s largest city begins 10-day ‘shelter in place’ request as coronavirus cases surge

Newark residents were asked to stay home for 10 days citywide, beginning the day before Thanksgiving, in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus in New Jersey’s largest city.

Though not enforced or mandated by executive order, Mayor Ras Baraka strongly encouraged the move due to skyrocketing cases of the virus in Newark.

“We are, from Wednesday before Thanksgiving to Dec. 4, going to lock the city down,” Baraka previously said in a radio appearance on WBGO 88.3FM. “We want people to shelter in place. We only want folks to come out for essential purposes. Do not go outside if you don’t have to. Don’t mingle with other people if you don’t have to. Stay (with) your family in your immediate household.”

The mayor said he wanted to avoid going back to April and May’s figures, when new daily cases in the city climbed by hundreds.

The advisory from Baraka would not conflict with Gov. Phil Murphy’s statewide mandates since it is not a local executive order. TAPinto Newark first reported the lack of an executive order.

“This advisory is entirely consistent with the Administration’s position that New Jersey residents should be particularly vigilant as COVID-19 continues to spread,” Jerrel Harvey, a spokesperson for Murphy, said in a statement to The Associated Press on Friday.

Municipalities across the state are allowed to close non-essential businesses at 8 p.m. Newark began said non-essential business in the city must do so weeks before Murphy signed the order that allowed for that decision.

Still, Murphy has pushed back on individual municipalities issuing harsher restrictions than the statewide ones.

“They’re up against it and I don’t blame them for trying to turn over every stone,” Murphy said during a press briefing Wednesday when asked about additional restrictions proposed in Newark and Irvington. “We can’t have a patchwork. We continue to work with them.”

The 10-day coronavirus lockdown that Baraka said would be put in place for Thanksgiving is actually an ask — a serious, and urgent one — rather than an order, a city spokeswoman clarified on Saturday.

No executive order was signed by Baraka to mandate compliance and there will be no additional enforcement for the advisory, spokeswoman Sondra Roberts said.

But as cases skyrocket, it’s an ask that the city is hoping residents and business owners take seriously.

Newark has implemented restrictions for certain city blocks ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Newark police closed streets leading into the East Ward, where cases are surging, for three days this week to control the spread of the virus. Residents in zip code 07105 were allowed to travel for essential needs only and proof of address was required.

Both Newark police and clergy members helped enforce the closures.

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published this page in News and Politics 2020-11-27 02:49:54 -0800