‘Be Still Mondays’: Newark officials urge citywide shut down on Mondays to combat coronavirus

Officials in Newark sent out letters to all businesses urging a citywide shutdown once a week to combat COVID-19.

News 12 Staff

Apr 11, 2020, 1:20 PM

Updated 1,471 days ago

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Officials in Newark sent out letters to all businesses urging a citywide shutdown once a week to combat COVID-19.
Newark Mayor Ras Baraka has proposed Be Still Mondays, where all businesses will be asked to shut down every Monday starting April 13.
"Just be still in our home and our house for one day,” says Mayor Baraka. “I don't think that's too much to ask for people to do and it's important for us to flatten this curve. "
The request includes essential businesses, such as food markets and pharmacies, as well as downtown corporations and manufacturing companies. Herminio Lopes, owner of Lopes Meat Store and Sausage Company, says he will abide by the mayor's request.

"Until this gets a little bit better, I think yes, it is a positive thing to do considering Monday is traditionally the slowest day of the week and I cut down the percentage of people coming in contact with each other,” says Lopes. “I'm all for it."

Some business owners say by reducing the shopping week from seven to six days may only increase demand, and cause lines to get even longer.

"I'm already closing on Sunday,” says Americo Seabra., co-owner of Seabra's Market.  “I can't close Sunday and Monday."

Seabra and his family own nearly 10 Seabra Markets in Newark and throughout the state. He says they normally have to throw away three to 5% of their perishable items. If they close on both Sunday and Monday it will skyrocket to between 50-60%. 
Photos: The Heroes of the Coronavirus Pandemic
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"It's just too fast too quick,” says Seabra. “We need at least 10 days, seven days, six days, to turn this around,”

Seabra says he will abide by the mayor's decision in the future asking for more time to plan, hoping for more collaboration with the city in the future. 

"Be Still Mondays" is in effect through May 11, and is a request, not an executive order or law.


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