Officials in Newark are taking strong measures to address the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic after reporting this week that the City had more cases than all other municipalities in Essex County combined.

Mayor Ras Baraka said Newark will gain help from the state with access to rapid testing and more contact tracers, as well as a space for people to safely quarantine.

“This is not the first time COVID-19 has threatened our city and its residents at this magnitude and once again, we will meet this challenge with determination and guided by data,” Baraka said. “We are Newark strong and can get through this together. We did it once before and we can do it again.”

Non-essential businesses will be required to close nightly at 8 p.m., restaurants and eateries will end dining-in at the same time, beauty salons, nail salons, and barbershops will be open by appointment only, and gyms and health clubs will close for a half-hour each hour for sanitizing.

The measures began Tuesday, Oct. 27 and the city will re-assess the situation after Tuesday, Nov. 10, to determine the next steps.

“Until, and even after, a vaccine is made available to every Newarker, the most potent immunization we will have available is a decision to take personal responsibility to obey and model the recommendations that keep us all safe,” said Dr. Mark Wade, director of Health and Community Wellness for the City of Newark. “All of us will need each other to get us through as individuals, neighborhoods, communities and a city, and to save the lives of those we love the most, each other.”

The number of positive COVID-19 cases in Newark as of Friday, Oct. 23 was 10,041, with 673 deaths.

‍On Sunday, Oct. 18, Newark reported a test positivity rate of 11.2%, using a three-day rolling average, in comparison to New Jersey’s test positivity rate of 5.28%.

‍Based on testing information for Newark from Oct. 11 to Oct. 17, which counts each test, the city’s positivity rate is 11.8% and the highest rate has been determined to be in the East Ward (25.3% in zip code 07105). The city’s positivity rate has not been this high since the week ending May 23.