Newark scales back on reopening as coronavirus cases rise

Newark, New Jersey, is reversing course on reopening as coronavirus cases rise across the city. Many of the new rules, which go into effect Tuesday, surround the city’s non-essential businesses. 

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All non-essential stores, except for supermarkets, pharmacies and gas stations, must close by 8 p.m. Restaurants and bars will close indoor service by 8 p.m and outdoor service by 11 p.m. All recreation centers, “except for school-related programs for essential employees” will close.

The city has had more positive cases of COVID-19 than every other city in Essex County, according to city officials. As of Friday, Newark had 10,041 positive COVID-19 cases and 673 reported deaths. As of October 18, Newark’s current test rate is around 11%, while the state’s overall test rate is 5%.

Mayor Ras Baraka emphasized the new rules, which were also implemented earlier this year, would help curb the increasing cases. “This is not the first time COVID-19 has threatened our city and its residents at this magnitude and once again, we will meet this challenge with determination and guided by data,” Baraka said in a news release. “We are Newark strong and can get through this together. We did it once before and we can do it again.”

Record high COVID cases in U.S. 09:58

Governor Phil Murphy on Friday extended the state’s public health emergency, which was first declared on March 9. “Today’s new COVID-19 case count marks our highest daily figure since May,” Murphy said. “As we face a steep increase in cases, it could not be more important to ensure we have access to all available resources. Keeping New Jerseyans safe is our highest priority, today and every day. We are again extending the Public Health Emergency in order to do exactly that.”

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According to Johns Hopkins University, New Jersey is one of the many states seeing a resurgence in cases as stores and non-essential businesses continue to re-open and go back to normal operating procedures. According to Johns Hopkins, the U.S. still leads the world as the country with the most cases, reporting more than 8.6 million. 

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