Newark officials take action to combat coronavirus spread

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Newark City Hall (City of Newark photo)
Urban News Staff Reports

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to impact the nation, Newark city officials are taking measures to prevent the virus from spreading.

Mayor Ras J. Baraka announced Friday that the city will have a modified closing on Monday, March 16, where City Hall, the Department of Finance, the Department of Health and Human Services, and Municipal Court will be closed for a deep cleaning to reduce the risk and potential exposure to  Essential personnel as designated by department directors will activate according to department procedures. Police, fire, and uniformed agencies will be fully manned.

“The situation is evolving daily and we want to reassure you that our priority is the health and safety of our employees and citizens. The City will continue providing updates, information and advisories as they become available,” Baraka said.

The City will postpone Board and Commission meetings until the following week. The Municipal Council will meet at its regular meeting.

Public Safety, Public Works, Engineering, and Water/Sewer Utilities will continue to operate via their standard procedures for continuity of operations.

Director of Health and Community Wellness Dr. Mark Wade, M.D., will hold a Virtual Town Hall with city residents on Tuesday, March 17, at 7 p.m. The Virtual Town Hall will discuss the potential health impact of Novel Coronavirus on Newark, steps the city is taking to address it, and measures residents can take to protect themselves.

Residents can call in to the Town Hall at (855)-756-7520 Ext.56949# to ask questions. Additionally, the event will be broadcast live on the City’s Facebook page and on NewarkTV 78 on Altice and channel 28 on FIOS.

City officials are advising that all non-essential public gatherings be cancelled for the next 30 days. Additionally, his Sixth Annual State of the City Address, set for Monday, March 16, at New Jersey Performing Arts Center, has been postponed for at least 30 days.

A "non-essential group event" is defined as a gathering of 250 people or more for social, cultural, or entertainment events where people are not separated by physical space of at least four feet. 

For general questions about COVID-19, the city has set up a hotline at 1-800-222-1222.

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