Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

This page was last updated April 2, 2020.

Newark, East Orange, Irvington, and Orange are announcing a one week lockdown to contain the spread. Arrests will be made if residents do not abide by this lockdown. Stay at home!

With an unprecedented 3,347 new confirmed cases as of March 30th, 16,636 COVID-19 cases total, a loss of another New Jersey 37 residents to bring the total to 198 fatalities in NJ, our region’s Mayors are coming together to contain the spread. A lockdown will be in order starting March 31st effective for one week. The only effective way to stay safe is to stay home and let our essential employees – including our health care professionals to do their job. Don’t be the next fatality.

Across all of New Jersey, be aware that….

  • ALL gatherings are canceled.
  • ALL non-essential retail businesses are closed.
  • Only critical businesses may remain open:
  • 🍞Grocery stores
  • 🍎Food banks
  • 💊Pharmacies
  • 🩹Medical supply stores
  • ⛽Gas stations
  • 🏦Banks
  • 🐶Pet supply stores
  • 🍽️Restaurants and bars providing take-out and delivery only

For further details read Governor Murphy’s executive order or, visit

Sign up for updates from the Governor by texting ‘NJ COVID’ to 898211 .

La Casa’s Programs & Services Updates

La Casa de Don Pedro centers are closed. Programs and services are being offered remotely on a case by case basis, while we work to ensure our staff and our program participants are safe and secure in their homes. Our staff are in regular communication with our families to check in on their needs.

If you need to reach a La Casa team member but do not have their email or phone number, please email us at Include the name of the person you wish to speak with, and we will do our best to connect you to that individual.

  • Families of our Early Childhood Education preschool, Head Start, and Early Head Start programs are being offered take home distance learning packets through Newark Public Schools and teachers are beginning online instruction through Zoom and other applications. Our teachers and family workers are communicating regularly families to do their best to address their needs. Questions? Contact us at
  • All in-person after school enrichment programs, family counseling services, emergency assistance services, community health, and HIV/AIDS related services are suspended until further notice. However our staff are communicating with our program participants daily via phone, email, and online applications. Families in our Meals on Wheels program are receiving daily meals delivered to their door. We can also respond to your email inquiries. If your child enrolled in our after school enrichment program needs help with his/her school packet, please email us at youth& and we can help tutor your child. Youth & family support: youth& services: Housing assistance: We can also answer your telephone calls at 973-483-2703 and 973-624-4222.
  • Home Energy Assistance clients (LIHEAP and USF) can submit their program applications, as well as emergency requests and all supporting documents to: La Casa’s home energy assistance center at 317 Roseville Avenue is closed, however, applications can still be accepted by mail. Please mail your application to La Casa de Don Pedro/LIHEAP, P.O. Box 7118, Newark, NJ 07107, or fax it to 973-485-9984. Applications are NOT being accepted via our dropbox. Program inquires and questions can also be sent directly to
  • All in-person adult education, LEAD Charter School, citizenship classes, English as a Second Language and immigration legal services closed until further notice.  Remote learning began March 23rd and will continue until further notice. Please contact us at or for questions and for further details.
  • Housing counseling (foreclosure prevention and first time homebuyer counseling) is available by telephone and email. Please email Dante Lara ( or Dorothy Rivers ( to schedule an appointment.
  • HUD Certified First Time Homebuyer Education workshops are available online only. Click HERE to register. If you are interested in participating in an online class please contact Dante Lara (
  • All Weatherization and Lead Remediation clients can submit their program applications, supporting documents and questions to: However, all weatherization and lead remediation field work is suspended until further notice.

Please stay tuned to this webpage, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for news & resources. We are committed to share important news and information to inform and engage our community as we work together to move forward.

City of Newark Press Releases

See Mayor Ras Baraka’s Daily Facebook Live Video Streaming Here.C


(Abbreviated Press Release) Newark, NJ–April 2, 2020—Mayor Ras J. Baraka today launched the Creative Catalyst Fund to provide artists and art groups with flexible grant support during the Coronavirus crisis and beyond. This program is the fourth of his six initiatives announced last week to help adversely affected Newark residents and small businesses.

In collaboration with Newark Arts, the Fund will support the local community of artists as well as small-to-midsize arts and cultural organizations, all of which provide social and economic value to the City of Newark by revitalizing neighborhoods, inspiring students, and generally improving the quality of life for city residents. The Fund will provide up to $1 million dollars annually for at least the next three years, beginning with $750,000 provided by the City to seed the initiative.

Contributions can be made through Newark Arts; email with Creative Catalyst Fund in the subject line. Applications for the grants are now available online at until Friday, May 1, 2020. A webinar describing the application process will be held Monday, April 6, at 2 p.m. Participants can register to attend the online information session at Eventbrite:

Prospective applicants can choose between two grant streams, based on eligibility:General operating support for which Newark-based non-profit arts and cultural organizations with annual operating budgets up to $2 million are eligible and with a grant range of$2,500 – $50,000.Grants over $5,000 must be matched by funds raised from other sources. Artist Fellowships for which Newark-based individual artists or unincorporated artist collectives working in any artistic discipline are eligible.  The grant range is $1,000 – $10,000. There is no matching requirement.

LOCAL MUNICIPALITIES JOIN MAYOR BARAKA TO ANNOUNCE  NEW MEASURES TO STOP SPREAD OF COVID-19: Essential businesses that are open must be cleaned and practice social distancing;  Police will enforce checkpoints to prevent non-essential travel  .

Newark, NJ-March 31, 2020 – The mayors of three neighboring communities, East Orange, Orange, and Irvington joined forces with Mayor Ras J. Baraka to announce a series of new measures to combat the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. The mayors pushed out the message in a video released on the City of Newark social media platforms:  

Mayor Baraka and his three colleagues, Tony Vauss of Irvington, Dwayne D. Warren of Orange, and Ted Green of East Orange divided up the plan into four “Operations” to organize their approach and enhance the seriousness of it. They are listed as follows:  

Operation Lockdown: 
• Starting March 31st, the four municipalities will jointly enforce complete lockdowns on their communities for seven days. 
• On April 7, the cities will re-evaluate the situation. 
• Until then, non-essential and non-emergency travel is barred on the streets of these communities. 
• Joint police units will patrol borders and other points. 
• Violators will face summonses and other legal action. 

Operation Clean Business: 
• Essential businesses that are allowed to remain open must clean their premises.
• To do so, they must frequently wipe down high touch points including doors and counters. 
• Employees and customers must practice social distancing. 
• At the close of the business day, owners are encouraged to sanitize their businesses. 
• Health inspectors will see that this is carried out.

Operation Wipedown: 
• Owners of senior citizen centers and complexes must sanitize public areas, including high touch points such as: mailboxes, elevators, doorknobs, and countertops three times a day with disinfectant. 
• Owners must sign compliance statements, saying that they have adhered to the order. 
• Inspectors will ensure that owners adhere to these policies, collecting compliance statements. 
• If inspectors find the owners have not taken required sanitization measures, the inspectors will cite the owners for appropriate legal action. 

Operation Mobile Wellness Checks: 
• Police departments will conduct mobile patrols, making sure that people are practicing social distancing and enforcing Governor Murphy’s Executive Order.
• Violators will be ticketed and face legal action. 

“We’ve come together today because COVID-19 is continuing to devastate our communities collectively,” Mayor Baraka said. “We can only beat this if we do it as a collective. God speed! Stay safe! Stay well!”   


Newark, NJ-March 25, 2020 – In a sweeping effort to bolster Newark’s defense against the spread of COVID-19, Mayor Ras J. Baraka has announced a strict City-wide “shelter-in-place” mandate that will be enforced in a more muscular way. To date, Newark has 123 confirmed cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and a total of two deaths.

The mayor is strongly advising that people stay home and not come out unless it’s an emergency. Exceptions: to go to the supermarket, local store for essentials, pharmacy, doctor, walk dogs, step out and get fresh air in front or back of home/doorstep/porch/terrace, or if an essential employee. Also, children need to be accompanied by an adult and people should only leave their homes in pairs. In instances where that is not possible such as single parent/grandparent households, then the most should be a family of no more than five at a time. While out, they need to maintain the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) recommendation of keeping six feet apart. Yesterday, the Mayor sent a letter out to all open businesses demanding they enforce social distancing in their stores. 

“We have to take this situation very, very seriously,” the Mayor said. “The majority of our residents understand this and are following the rules. But some are not and continue to congregate on the streets and not maintain proper social distance. Those people are putting their own health at risk, as well everyone they come into contact with. It’s dangerous and it has to stop.”

Public Safety Director Anthony F. Ambrose said police will be aggressively enforcing the rules.

“We will continue to be out with loudspeakers moving people off the corners and streets,” Ambrose said. “We will begin with verbal warnings. We want to save lives, not make arrests.

“But this is a matter of public safety, and the community has an equal responsibility to make sure we all stay healthy and safe,” Director Ambrose said. “I urge our residents to call police if they see groups of people hanging out and violating this mandate.”

Last week, the COVID-19 areas of concern were mapped by the City’s Health and Community Wellness Department, the Department of Public Safety, and the Office of Emergency Management, and the Mayor ordered strict shelter-in-place for three separate areas of the City. The all-city quarantine is effective as of March 25, 2020 at 8 p.m.


Newark, NJ—March 25, 2020—Mayor Ras J. Baraka today announced a dramatic series of financial interventions to help residents and small businesses in desperate need of help during the COVID-19 crisis.

The Mayor said he will invest up to $6 million in six initiatives to keep Newark’s most impacted residents safe, healthy, and financially secure. The six programs will be introduced almost daily through April 3rd, starting today, and include an emergency grant fund for small businesses, short term housing for the City’s most needy, homeowner and worker assistance, and emergency funding for arts and cultural organizations.

“COVID-19 has impacted our most vulnerable residents in Newark including our residents without addresses, our working poor and the small businesses,” Mayor Baraka said. “The federal bailout will help some, but we need more and we can do more to help our city thrive. We need to take action right now, today to help the residents and small businesses weather this health emergency and continue to thrive once we are on the other side of it.”

Mayor Baraka also called on the private and philanthropic community to invest in these programs and others, for the health and safety of Newark residents, and protect the City’s financial upward growth before the COVID-19 crisis.

“Newark is the economic engine and largest corporate employer for much of the state,” the Mayor said. “For those people who come into Newark to work every day, our economy and local businesses are essential to your experience here. We need your help.”

As an example, the Mayor said, “Prudential has been the City’s corporate partner for more than a century.  Newark is their home, and always has been. We rely and thrive on one another.”

“In this moment of growing need, Prudential is proud to step forward to support our neighbors and hometown,” said Shané Harris, Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility at Prudential Financial. “The City of Newark has always been there for Prudential and we are committed to Mayor Baraka’s top priorities to serve small businesses, families, the nonprofit sector, and the most vulnerable among us, who are so often hit the hardest in times of crisis.”

Mayor Baraka also said the United Way of Greater Newark has been “an unwavering partner to the City” during the COVID-19 health crisis. The United Way of Greater Newark has established the Community COVID-19 Fund and will also administer the new Small Business Emergency Grant Fund that is being announced later today during the Mayor’s daily Facebook Live update at 5 p.m.

“We are excited that United Way of Greater Newark is partnering with the city of Newark and Invest Newark to support small businesses during this public health and economic crisis. This support of funding and partnership with the City and Invest Newark will allow us to help subsidize the small business community, the backbone of what makes Newark a thriving city.” said Catherine P. Wilson, MSW, President and CEO, United Way of Greater Newark.

Details of the six programs will be announced in the coming days, beginning today.

They include:

1. Up to $2 million investment in a small business and non-profit emergency fund with grants up to $10,000 for 200 qualified businesses.

2. Approximately $1 million investment in rapid, short-term rental housing for 300 of the most vulnerable Newark residents, including those without permanent addresses.

3. Up to $1 million investment in community-based non-profits that serve Newark residents.

4. A $1 million investment in the “Live Newark” program to provide down payment and rehabilitation funds for up to 100 Newark homeowners.

5. Up to $750,000 arts initiative investment that will assist up to 30 arts and cultural organizations with operating funds and capital funds.

6. Mayor Baraka has directed the tax assessor to accept applications from building owners with business tenants who have been negatively affected by COVID-19. The buildings will be reassessed to reduce the taxes owed by the building and the tax savings will be passed along to the small business tenants in form of a rent reduction.

The announcement today supports the Mayor’s earlier moratoriums and tactics to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on the City of Newark. Earlier this month, Mayor Baraka placed a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures in Newark for 60 days and provided a 60-day grace period for payments to Newark utilities including water and sewer and taxes.  For more information on the six interventions, please email

Covid-19 Testing Centers

Click HERE for up to date information on where to get tested for Covid-19 in New Jersey. Everyone can get tested, even if you don’t have health insurance. You will not be denied. But if you do have health insurance bring your health insurance card.

Housing Information

Newark’s Eviction Moratorium

The temporary suspension of evictions does mean you don’t need to pay your rent. It only allows all tenants to remain in their homes during this crisis. Tenants are are still obligated to pay rent.

Mayor Baraka’s Executive Order MEO-20-0001 announced on March 16 states that the City of Newark is extending a 60 day grace period for the non-payment of water, sewer, solid waste collection and tax collection charges as well. A grace period does not necessarily mean that charges will be dismissed. It just means that deadlines are being extended for 60 days.

Tenants who have questions about any of the aforementioned may email the City of Newark’s Office of Tenant Legal Services at All other inquiries should be made to the City of Newark’s Law Department by calling 973-733-3880.

Statewide Eviction Moratorium

Pursuant to Governor Murphy’s March 19, 2020 Executive Order, removal of individuals from residential properties through the eviction or foreclosure processes are prohibited until the Governor declares that the public health crisis is officially over. 

In addition, the Essex County Sheriff’s office has confirmed that they will not be executing warrants of removal (“lockouts”) during the current public health emergency.

Emergency Tenant Court

The Superior Court in Essex has an emergency judge available to hear emergency applications from tenants. The tenant must go to Room 201 (Customer Service) at the Hall of Records to file the application before 4:30PM. After 4:30PM the tenant must go to the Sheriff’s Department, at Veterans Courthouse. 

City of Newark Down Payment Forgivable Loans to First-Time Homebuyers & Homeowners Making External Repairs

As part of the City of Newark’s Covid-19 Stimulus Package, first-time homebuyers may qualify for a $5,000 down payment forgivable loan. Forgivable loans up to $15,000 is also available for for homeowners undertaking external repairs ad City employees have access to a be $5,000 down payment forgivable loans. The forgivable loan terms all require the recipient to live in the house for at least five years. For information on how to apply visit

Support for Homeowners

Banks will give New Jersey homeowners struggling with financial problems caused by the coronavirus outbreak a 90-day grace period on mortgage payments to ease the burden, Gov. Phil Murphy said Saturday, March 28th. Murphy ordered evictions and foreclosures to stop in the state as the number people infected with COVID-19 continues to rise. Mortgage lenders have further pledged not to initiate any new foreclosures or evictions for at least 60 days. Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo, Bank of America and at least 40 other banks, credit unions, and servicers signed on to the agreement, but for the best information, contact your lender directly.

Unemployment Resources

Have you found yourself unemployed due to the coronavirus? Visit to learn about benefits and protections you may be eligible for.

In order to get your check processed, the unemployment office requires you answer these key questions. See more about certifying for your benefits each week.

Question 1 – Were you able and available for work?, Question 2 – Were you actively seeking work? Question 3 – Did you refuse any work? (if the reason to refuse a work offer is related to the pandemic answer NO.) Question 4 – Were you attending school or job training? Question 5 – Did you receive holiday or vacation pay for the week beginning mm-dd-2020 and ending mm-dd-2020? Question 6 – Are you receiving or have you applied for a pension or other retirement pay from any of the employers listed below? Question 7 – Did you work between mm-dd-2020 and mm-dd-2020?

Community Resources

Free Storybooks for Kids!

Audible ( has launched a free streaming offering that allows consumers to listen to hundreds of titles for as long as schools are closed. The title selections are available in six languages — English, Spanish, French, Italian, German and Japanese. Consumers are not required to create an account or log in and listening is unlimited.

PSE&G is temporarily suspending all shut-off notices until further notice. Keep informed about PSEG’s actions here:

Job Opportunities

Looking for work? Visit NJ Covid-19 Jobs portal here.

Resources for Small Business Owners

Small businesses are being hit especially hard with the crisis. Fortunately, there are a variety of supports that are being made available.

SBA (US Small Business Administration)

Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Loan Advance : Small business owners can to apply for loan and advance of up to $10.000. Funds will be made available within three days after a successful application is submitted and the loan advance will not have to be repaid. To apply for a COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan, click here.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program: Small business owners can apply for working capital loans of up to $2 million to help overcome temporary loss of revenue. To learn more about resources from SBA, click here.

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) A forgivable loan through the SBA to help keep staff on payroll. Learn more here.

City of Newark Resources

Small Business Grants: With $2 million earmarked for this small business grant program supported by a consortium of foundations and corpoations, small Newark business can apply for grants up to $10,000. Funding will provide working capital for operating costs, payroll, accounts payable, inventory, equipment, rent, taxes, licensing or other business-related expenses. Apply through United Way of Greater Newark. Click here to apply. For assistance for a business located in the City of Newark, please contact the Newark Economic & Housing Development Department at with ‘Small Business Impact Grant’ in the subject line.

CDFI Resources (Community Development Financial Institutions)

Garde State Relief Fund. New Jersey Community Capital has launched this fund for businesses and nonprofits with 3-50 employees. The loan provides working capital loans to small businesses and nonprofits in New Jersey at a 3% interest rate for up to 36 months, with no fees.

Upcoming Elections

Governor Phil Murphy issued an Executive Order to postpone March and April elections until May 12, 2020, which will be a vote-by-mail ballot only. All registered voters will be mailed a vote-by-mail ballot and there will be no in-person voting at polling places for these elections. These changes do not impact the June Primary Election. Click here for more details.

Newark School Board Elections

On Tuesday, May 12, candidates will vie for three open seats on the Newark Board of Education. During this occasion, residents have the opportunity to shape the future of public education for our children. Do your part. Stay informed and vote. Learn about the candidates here.

  • New Election Date – Tuesday, May 12, 2020
  • All voting to be conducted via mail (registered voters will automatically receive a mail-in ballot).
  • Candidates Forum will be recorded via Zoom Conference and posted online for broad viewership (posting date tba).

Are you registered to vote? Check your voter registration status by clicking here and download voter registration forms here. All voter registration forms must be post marked 21 days prior to the election.

Reliable News Outlets

With lots of misinformation and plenty of fake news on the coronavirus, be sure toget your news from trusted news sources.

The State of NJ Office of Homeland Security has a Covid-19 Rumor Control Page to help people distinguish between facts and false information. Click Here.

Here are some reliable news options:

Local News:

City of Newark Coronavirus Press Releases: (Newark) (East Orange)

State News:

Live Updates from NJTV:

National/International News:

School Resources

All New Jersey schools are suspended until further notice. Students are expected to engage in learning through “Learning at Home Plans.” Please check the Newark Public Schools website for updates here:

NJTV has free online resources for children grades 3-6, daily from 9am-1pm. Click here to learn more.

Newark Public Schools Learning at Home Plans

Food Assistance

Breakfast and Lunch is available for all Newark Public School students at designated schools from Monday to Friday between the hours of 9:30am-11:30am.

Learn more here to find the location nearest you:

Newark Emergency Services for Families (NESF)
Unless there is a mass shelter-in-place quarantine for Newark, NESF will ONLY OPEN on TUESDAYS and THURSDAYS 9am – 12pm for FOOD PACKAGE DISTRIBUTION ONLY. Location: 982 Broad Street, Newark. Call to confirm: (973) 639-2100

Newark Food Service Hotline: 973-733-5728. Call between 7am-3pm Newark seniors and families with financial need can call the city at the number below to put in a grocery shopping request. They will shop for you and deliver the groceries to your home. When you call, you will be asked questions to verify eligibility. Newark educators, please let your students & their families know.

Child Care for Essential Workers

Mental Health Support

If you are struggling coping with the COVID19 crisis, please call New Jersey Mental Health Cares, Mental Health Association in New Jersey, Inc. at (877) 294-HELP  (4357)  between the hours of 8AM to 8PM for emotional support, guidance and mental health referrals as needed.

Federal Income Taxes

The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service announced on March 21, 2020, that the federal income tax filing due date is automatically extended from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020.

Taxpayers can also defer federal income tax payments due on April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed. This deferment applies to all taxpayers, including individuals, trusts and estates, corporations and other non-corporate tax filers as well as those who pay self-employment tax.

Taxpayers do not need to file any additional forms or call the IRS to qualify for this automatic federal tax filing and payment relief.  Individual taxpayers who need additional time to file beyond the July 15 deadline, can request a filing extension by filing Form 4868 through their tax professional, tax software or using the Free File link on Businesses who need additional time must file Form 7004. See more info here:

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Effective March 18, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has suspended in-person services at its field offices, asylum offices and Application Support Centers (ASCs) In the meantime, USCIS will provide limited emergency services. Please call the Contact Center for assistance with emergency services.

All applicants and petitioners will be communicated by USCIS with cancellation notices and rescheduled interviews. Individuals who had InfoPass or other appointments must reschedule through the USCIS Contact Center once field offices are open to the public again. Please check to see if your field office has been reopened before reaching out to the USCIS Contact Center.   

Additional State of NJ Resources & Information

  • COVID19 Info Hub:
  • Email questions to
  • 24/7 Public Hotline (available in multiple languages) 1800 222-1222 or if calling from an out of state area code call 1800 962-1253

Effective at 8pm on Tuesday, April 7, 2020, all state parks and forests will be closed until further notice. This full closure includes all park lots, grounds, facilities, trails, playgrounds. New Jersey State Park Police will patrol park areas to ensure the public is following the Governor’s directives to stay home to help limit the spread of COVID-19.

Federal Student Aid Upates

If you’re having trouble making payments, contact your loan servicer as soon as possible. If you have a Federal Perkins Loan, contact your school. You can easily avoid the consequences of delinquency or default by staying in touch with your servicer or school.

Your servicer or school can provide information about deferment or forbearance options that allow you to temporarily stop making payments on your loans. You may also be able to change to a different repayment plan that would give you a lower monthly payment.

WIC Services

The Newark WIC Program is closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All WIC services are being provided by telephone and by mail. WIC vouchers have already been mailed out for the next three months. Call 973-733-7604 for more details.

City of Newark’s Immunization Services

Immunization services provided at the City of Newark’s Immunization Clinic at 110 William St. will now only be available on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday by appointment only. Call 973-733-7580 for more details.

Newark Public Library

The Newark Public Library is offering a robust selection of core and specialized services to patrons through their web, social media, and digital platforms, which are all available FREE with your NPL library card!

Students, parents, and teachers can take advantage of live online homework help and writing assistance offered by Brainfuse, which can be found by clicking on the link to Kids Place  Additional educational resources are available through Gale in Context, also found on Kids Place. Brainfuse also offers opportunities for teen and adult learners.

NPL is will be hosting online storytimes on their YouTube Channel Please tune in at 11:00 a.m & 2:00 p.m. Monday – Friday to participate!

Librarians love questions! Please don’t hesitate to ask any of yours by emailing or calling 973-733-7779.

Please visit their website at, check them out on Facebook at, and find out what’s happening on Twitter or Instagram at @NewarkLibrary.

Essex County Updates

Find news from the County of Essex’s, including closures and the measures they are taking here.


The Essex County Sheriff’s Office will be suspending all foreclosure sales and executions for evictions/ejectments until the public health emergency is over.

New Jersey Poison Information and Education System (NJPIES) 24/7 Hotline: 800 200-222-1222.

It is also important for everyone to know the signs and practice prevention tips as those provided by the NJ Department of Health.