Newark orders martial law as coronavirus cases increase

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National Guards called into Newark, New Jersey to contain high-infectious areas.

In what is called “an aggressive move to slow down the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19),” Newark’s mayor, Ras Baraka implemented a citywide shelter-in-place. The orders include a curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. and asks for residents to only travel or open businesses relating to essential reasons.

“I do not make these decisions lightly. Our top priority is the health and safety of the residents of Newark and although these measures may seem aggressive, they are in fact necessary, as we deal with an unprecedented public health crisis,” said Mayor Baraka on a Facebook live press conference.

| Read: Washington, New York declared under quarantine |

For neighborhoods where there are confirmed covid-19 cases, Baraka has issued a quarantine. Through a mapping collaborative between the City’s Health and Community Wellness Department, the Department of Public Safety, and the Office of Emergency Management, the agencies identified three high-infectious areas.

National Guards in South Ward by one of the areas in quarantine. Photo by Tony Vaughn.

“We are adhering to Governor Murphy’s directives throughout the City of Newark, but in the specific areas we need to go further. These new restrictions will save lives. Now, more than ever, we as a community, must work together to protect each other, because our individual actions will have a direct impact on one another,” explained Baraka in his recent press conference.

The stricter shelter-in-place for those quarantined means residents must stay indoors; unless they need to go out to get food; for medical reasons; to pick up prescriptions; or if they are an essential employee. 

| Watch: La Zona Rossa Diaries: Stocking the shelves |

Logistically, Newark plays a critical role in the country’s efforts to stop the pandemic in the US. It’s airports receive most medical supplies. With New York City just 20 minutes from Newark, the city will funnel military, medics and equipment into the epicenter of the pandemic.

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