|Mayor Ras Baraka (City of Newark Press Office)|
Urban News Staff Reports
Mayor Ras J. Baraka is asking Newarkers to stay home for a nearly complete shut-down of the city on Mondays to bring attention to the severity of the COVID-19 spread in the community and help slow the spread.
Beginning Monday, April 13, “Be Still Mondays” will happen each week for the next month.
“We want to shut down the whole City,” araka said during his Thursday night Facebook Live briefing. “We’re sending out letters to all businesses asking them to close. We are saying if you’re not a cop or a fireman or a nurse, (or other frontline medical workers) stay home.”
Newark’s “Be Still Mondays” is not an executive order, but a request that discourages all businesses except for health, safety, and welfare emergency services to close. For instance, businesses that provide food and shelter for the homeless population may operate but the City is asking soup kitchens to limit their operations from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The city would like businesses deemed “essential” by prior executive orders, such as food stores and pharmacies, to also close, as well as downtown corporations and manufacturing companies.
The idea is to show community-wide solidarity in the face of the aggressive COVID-19 virus that is especially ravaging Black and brown communities nationwide. There are 2,341 cases of the virus in Newark as of Friday, April 11 and 106 deaths.
“If we continue business as usual those numbers will continue to grow,” Mayor Baraka said. “So, we are asking everybody, stay home, stay inside, stay alive,” he said. “Be still.”
As of now, the Mayor said “Be Still Mondays” will go through May 11.