Newark Extends Vaccination Requirement, Mask Mandate

The executive order requires persons 5 years of age and older entering certain facilities or businesses in the city to show proof of at least one COVID-19 vaccination dose, and be fully vaccinated three weeks later.

The executive order applies to most local businesses and facilities, including restaurants, bars, nightclubs, gyms and fitness centers, arts and entertainment venues, and shared workspaces.

Some establishments, including election polling places, houses of worship, grocery stores, pharmacies, medical offices, and retail establishments where people tend to be in motion and not standing or seated in proximity to others for long periods of time are exempt from the executive order. 

This is the second executive order Baraka recently signed off on in an effort to combat the spread of the virus in the city. In December 2021, the mayor implemented a mandate requiring everyone visiting city public facilities to wear a face mask at all times while indoors.

Face masks are still required at all times for all residents and visitors over the age of two-years-old while indoors at any public facility in the city. Additionally, all patrons must be seated at a bar and wear masks unless they are actually eating or drinking.

The city's most recent three-day test positivity rate shows a rolling average of 5.73%. The latest figure represented a steep decline when city officials reported a three-day test positivity rate above 36% earlier this month.

City officials will continue to monitor the impact the change in the positivity rate is having on residents, according to Baraka. He said the city will also consider the impact and effectiveness of the vaccination requirement after Feb. 16, and the indoor mask mandate after March 4.

Establishments affected by this executive order must prominently post signage at their entrances notifying the public of the vaccination entry requirement.  

The executive order applies as follows: 

  • Restaurants, bars, and nightclubs, including taverns, coffee shops and fast-food establishments that have seating  
  • Breweries, wineries, and distillery tasting rooms  
  • Mixed-use facilities  
  • Food courts  
  • Indoor entertainment establishments, including nightclubs, hookah bars, pool and billiard halls, and cigar bars
  • Concert, and sporting venues  
  • Movie theatres  
  • Bowling alleys
  • Indoor exercise and recreational establishments, including exercise facilities, dance, yoga, and Pilates studios
  • Any facilities used for group fitness classes
  • Indoor event and meeting establishments, including hotel common rooms, banquet halls, conference centers meeting facilities, convention centers, auditoriums
  • Shared work facilities  

The following establishments do not have to require proof of vaccination of its patrons:

  • Houses of worship
  • Grocery stores, farmer’s markets, and food service establishments providing charitable food services  
  • Pharmacies, medical offices, urgent care centers, or hospitals  
  • Hardware stores, and retail establishments where people tend to be in motion and not standing or seated in close proximity to others for long periods of time  
  • Private meeting spaces in residences or office buildings  
  • Governmental facilities; warming and cooling centers, day service facilities for homeless persons, shelters serving homeless persons or victims of domestic violence  
  • Election polling places  
  • Other facilities as exempted by the Department of Health

The proof of vaccination requirement of this order does not apply to the following individuals: 

  • Individuals entering a covered establishment for a quick and limited purpose (for example, placing an order for takeout, picking up an order, or making a delivery)  
  • A person entitled by law to a reasonable accommodation due to a medical condition or a sincerely held religious belief.
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published this page in News and Politics 2022-02-02 02:48:25 -0800