Newark issues shelter-in-place order; will use $6M to help residents, businesses stay afloat

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Newark Mayor Ras Baraka announced that he is planning to use $6 million to help city residents and businesses stay financially afloat during the coronavirus pandemic.

The mayor also issued a shelter-in-place for the city, in an effort to help stem the spread of the virus. He says that people should not be leaving their homes unless there is an emergency or they need to buy essentials like groceries or medicine.

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Newark police officers were out on the usually busy Ferry Street on Thursday morning, telling people who were congregating to move along. They were also out on Broad and Market streets. Many people who were out were seen wearing masks.

Newark resident Vivian says that she has to be out, as she is a home health care worker.

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“I’d rather be home, but if I have to go to work to make a living, then that’s what I have to do,” she says.

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Kalli Mihalatos runs a food cart on Broad Street. She says that Thursday was her first day back to work since last week.

“Listen, I’m close to the people, but I do take precautions. I’m not in their face. I don’t touch them, I keep my gloves on,” she says.

She says that if the city tells her to shut down for safety, she will.

“I back whatever this city asks us to do. The mayor is an amazing mayor,” she says

Newark officials say that this is about saving lives. Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose says that five city police offices and six firefighters have contracted the virus. Ambrose says that police are prepared to issue summonses to people who violate the shelter-in-place order.

“At bus stops try to stay your distance. Don’t be milling around. It’s tough because it’s an urban environment,” Ambrose says.

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