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July 13, 2020

City of Newark to Enforce Governor Murphy's Executive Order
Requiring Wearing Masks at Outdoor Public Spaces

Newark Police to issue warnings effective July 14th

Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka and Public Safety Director Anthony F. Ambrose announce that Police will enforce New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s Executive Order, signed July 8, 2020, requiring individuals to wear masks or face coverings in outdoor public spaces effective tomorrow, July 14.

“While the risk of COVID-19 transmission is reduced in outdoor spaces more than indoors, people gathered outside in groups who aren’t practicing social distance still create a danger of spreading this virus from person-to-person. That’s why wearing masks outdoors has become mandatory,” Mayor Baraka explained. “Protecting the people of the City of Newark against the spread of COVID-19 is our primary goal. We have to continue to work hard to save our community.”

Planned enforcement of wearing masks in outdoor public spaces is in line with the City of Newark’s #MaskUpNewark campaign, asking everyone to step up and wear a mask at all times in public and to tell those they know to do the same. The empowering #MaskUpNewark promotion encourages each person to do their part in curtailing the spread of this virus.

Director Ambrose says police will begin enforcement by first warning individuals observed not wearing masks at outdoor public spaces when social distancing—by maintaining at least six-feet distance between individuals—is not being practiced or isn’t feasible. Police will begin issuing summonses beginning Thursday, July 17th.

“COVID-19 poses a credible threat to the safety of our residents,” Director Ambrose said. “While it’s natural for people to spend time congregating at outdoor public spaces during the summer months, we must make every effort to limit exposure to this deadly virus,” he added. “Police will remind people of the dangers of not wearing masks when they are observed outdoors, in public spaces and not practicing social distancing before enforcing the order with citations.”

Outdoor areas defined by the order include food or beverage establishments offering in-person services, outdoor bars, beaches, boardwalks, and recreational and entertainment businesses that open their outdoor areas to the public. These areas do not include childcare centers and facilities and youth summer camps.

The order excludes children under 2-years old, people eating or drinking at outdoor dining areas, and cases when wearing a mask would inhibit an individual’s health. Further, certain practices and competitions for sports defined as “low risk” in the New Jersey State Department of Health’s “Guidance for Sports Activities” are permitted in outdoor and indoor settings.

For a copy of Governor Murphy’s Executive Order, please click here.

March 31, 2020


Essential businesses that are open must be cleaned and practice social distancing; Police will enforce checkpoints to prevent non-essential travel 

On March 31, 2020, the mayors of three neighboring communities, East Orange, Orange, and Irvington joined forces with Mayor Ras J. Baraka to announce a series of new measures to combat the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. The mayors pushed out the message in a video released on the City of Newark social media platforms:

Mayor Baraka and his three colleagues, Tony Vauss of Irvington, Dwayne D. Warren of Orange, and Ted Green of East Orange divided up the plan into four “Operations” to organize their approach and enhance the seriousness of it. They are listed as follows:

Operation Lockdown:

  • Starting today, the four municipalities will jointly enforce complete lockdowns on their communities for seven days. 
  • On April 7, the cities will re-evaluate the situation. 
  • Until then, non-essential and non-emergency travel is barred on the streets of these communities. 
  • Joint police units will patrol borders and other points. 
  • Violators will face summonses and other legal action. 

Operation Clean Business: 

  • Essential businesses that are allowed to remain open must clean their premises.
  • To do so, they must frequently wipe down high touch points including doors and counters. 
  • Employees and customers must practice social distancing.
  • At the close of the business day, owners are encouraged to sanitize their businesses.
  • Health inspectors will see that this is carried out.

Operation Wipedown: 

  • Owners of senior citizen centers and complexes must sanitize public areas, including high touch points such as: mailboxes, elevators, doorknobs, and countertops three times a day with disinfectant. 
  • Owners must sign compliance statements, saying that they have adhered to the order. 
  • Inspectors will ensure that owners adhere to these policies, collecting compliance statements. 
  • If inspectors find the owners have not taken required sanitization measures, the inspectors will cite the owners for appropriate legal action. 

Operation Mobile Wellness Checks: 

  • Police departments will conduct mobile patrols, making sure that people are practicing social distancing and enforcing Governor Murphy’s Executive Order.
  • Violators will be ticketed and face legal action. 

“We’ve come together today because COVID-19 is continuing to devastate our communities collectively,” Mayor Baraka said. “We can only beat this if we do it as a collective. God speed! Stay safe! Stay well!”  

March 25, 2020


On March 25, 2020, in a sweeping effort to bolster Newark’s defense against the spread of COVID-19, Mayor Ras J. Baraka has announced a strict City-wide “shelter-in-place” mandate that will be enforced in a more muscular way. By this date, Newark had 123 confirmed cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and a total of two deaths.

The mayor is strongly advising that people stay home and not come out unless it’s an emergency. Exceptions: to go to the supermarket, local store for essentials, pharmacy, doctor, walk dogs, step out and get fresh air in front or back of home/doorstep/porch/terrace, or if an essential employee. Also, children need to be accompanied by an adult and people should only leave their homes in pairs. In instances where that is not possible such as single parent/grandparent households, then the most should be a family of no more than five at a time. While out, they need to maintain the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) recommendation of keeping six feet apart. Yesterday, the Mayor sent a letter out to all open businesses demanding they enforce social distancing in their stores.

“We have to take this situation very, very seriously,” the Mayor said. “The majority of our residents understand this and are following the rules. But some are not and continue to congregate on the streets and not maintain proper social distance. Those people are putting their own health at risk, as well everyone they come into contact with. It’s dangerous and it has to stop.”

Public Safety Director Anthony F. Ambrose said police will be aggressively enforcing the rules.

“We will continue to be out with loudspeakers moving people off the corners and streets,” Ambrose said. “We will begin with verbal warnings. We want to save lives, not make arrests.

“But this is a matter of public safety, and the community has an equal responsibility to make sure we all stay healthy and safe,” Director Ambrose said. “I urge our residents to call police if they see groups of people hanging out and violating this mandate.”

Previously, the COVID-19 areas of concern were mapped by the City’s Health and Community Wellness Department, the Department of Public Safety, and the Office of Emergency Management, and the Mayor ordered strict shelter-in-place for three separate areas of the City.

March 16, 2020

On March 16, 2020, Mayor Ras J. Baraka announced the following measures to address the threat of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the City of Newark:

  • Police, fire, sanitation, healthcare, WIC, homeless services, water, and lead service line replacement services will continue to function normally.
  • City Hall will be staffed at minimal levels and open to residents by appointment only for an indefinite period. To make an appointment, please call the usual numbers of the departments whose services are being sought or the Non-Emergency Call Center at (973) 733-4311.
  • All public, private, and parochial schools are closed indefinitely.
  • Non-essential businesses must close by 8 p.m.daily, effective today. This does not apply to medical facilities, drug stores, gas stations, or grocery stores.
  • Restaurants can only be open for take-out and delivery services. No dining in at all and they must close by 8 p.m.
  • All City senior and recreation centers will be closed.
  • All gyms, movie houses, bars, and theaters will be closed per Governor Murphy’s Executive Order.
  • Senior residential buildings will not accept visitors.
  • No one should be on the road or outside beyond 8 p.m. unless it’s an emergency; only essential or emergency travel.
  • Crowds of more than 50 people are banned.

It is also important for everyone to know the signs and practice prevention tips as those provided by the NJDOH.

For more information on updates and travel, please visit:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

New Jersey Department of Health:

City of Newark:

New Jersey Poison Information and Education System (NJPIES) 24/7 Hotline


With regard to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), Newark residents may fill out their Census 2020 forms on-line at: They can respond easily, whether online, over the phone or by U.S. mail—all without having to meet a census taker.

The United States Constitution mandates that the exact population of the nation be counted every 10 years for apportioning Congressional districts and other purposes, including allocation of federal aid based on population. The Department of Commerce is tasked with this endeavor.

Print guides for the Census are available in 59 languages at: