Newark mayor wants city to follow 10-day curfew starting Wednesday
NEWARK — Mayor Ras Baraka said the state's largest city will be locked down for 10 days starting Wednesday to slow the spread of coronavirus but it's not clear if it will be allowed to proceed under the governor's executive orders.
"From the Wednesday before Thanksgiving to December the fourth we are going to lock the city down. We want people to shelter in place for 10 days. That's the period the CDC gives up for people to quarantine themselves, to isolate themselves. We want to be able to do that for 10 days and want folks to only come out for essential purposes," Baraka said on WBGO radio.
The mayor had already ordered non-essential businesses and restaurants to close at 8 p.m., which Murphy later allowed in an executive order that lets municipalities impose curfews earlier than 10 p.m. Restaurants in Newark may offer takeout, delivery and outdoor dining until 11 p.m.
"Do not go outside if you do not have to. Do not mingle with other people if you don't have to. Stay to your family in your immediate household. As a matter of fact, this thing has been hitting families so a lot of these families should be quarantined and isolating themselves with their family anyway," Baraka said.
The mayor said the people of the city are "conscientious" and he is confident they will abide by the mandate.
"Most people in this town are going to do what we ask them to do," Baraka said, adding that he does not have time to engage with people who do not believe the virus is spreading or who oppose the order.
People who are opposed to the order or think he is lying about the spread of coronavirus "live on another world," according to the mayor.
Newark has recorded at least 694 COVID-19 deaths as of Friday. Since the start, 14,390 residents have had confirmed coronavirus infections.
Essex County had the most new cases of coronavirus during the latest surge. Baraka had a meeting with the mayors of the neighboring municipalities of East Orange, Irvington, Livingston and Orange earlier in the week but New Jersey 101.5 did not know Friday if they are also ordering their own curfews.
Irvington Mayor Tony Vauss told CBS New York he was considering a week-long shutdown and stay-at-home order starting on Thanksgiving.
A spokesman for Murphy said Friday that Newark's order was consistent with state rules.
"Mayor Baraka is asking all Newark residents to stay at home and limit travel to essential activities. 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 said in an email. "As Governor Murphy has repeatedly noted, any legal orders or enforceable restrictions issued by municipalities or counties must be consistent with New Jersey’s statewide framework."
Murphy's executive order gives municipalities the ability to impose their own restrictions as long as they don't go against his orders.
"They're up against it and I don't blame them for trying to turn over every stone," Murphy said on Wednesday, reiterating that the state's rules take precedence.