Covid-19 is on the rise throughout New Jersey, with 12 percent of tests now coming back positive. Newark is even worse at 19 percent, and Mayor Ras Baraka has seen enough.
“Everybody is going to have to sacrifice,” Baraka said Thursday, as reported by the Wall Street Journal.
The mayor imposed restrictions that go beyond those announced by Gov. Phil Murphy. They include no school sports, large private gatherings or nights out on the town. Baraka declared a 9 p.m. weekday and 10 p.m. weekend curfew on ZIP codes 07104, 07105 and 07107.
Early closing times had been established last month for restaurants and other nonessential businesses: 8 p.m. for indoor dining and 11 p.m. for outdoor dining.
For New Jerseyans, it is no mystery why the coronavirus is spreading.
“Nobody wants to follow the rules,” construction company supervisor Juan Ortega told the Journal. “Everybody wants to hang out at restaurants.”
The mayor also stated that ideally, Newark would shut down completely, but he did not want to step on the governor’s toes. The governor is aiming to eliminate high-risk activities while letting safer ones continue.
Newark’s director of health and community wellness, Dr. Mark Wade, cited the danger of people being infected but not showing symptoms. He said the large, multigenerational households that make up many of its neighborhoods are particularly prone to spreading the virus because they are grouped indoors for extended periods.
[WSJ] — Raji Pandya