Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update
This page was last updated May 20, 2020.
Mayor Baraka’s Be Still Mondays urges everyone who can, to stay home, help limit the spread of the virus.
The impact of the coronavirus across the globe, in the United States, in Essex County, and in our very own community is unprecedented and nothing anyone could have imagined. As time continues to pass, each of us now has a story – we may know someone who has passed, we may be dealing with the virus ourselves, we may have lost a job, are facing food insecurity, or balancing working from home with educating our children. With an unprecedented 128,000 cases and more than 7,900 fatalities in New Jersey as of May 4, we must all do our part to contain the spread. Newark alone has had over 3,000 cases and 175 deaths, leading Essex County, which faces more than 14,600 confirmed cases and 1,292 deaths. The only effective way to stay safe and keep others 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 reminded that….
ALL gatherings are canceled. ALL non-essential retail businesses are closed. Only critical businesses may remain open including supermarkets, food banks, pharmacies, medical supply stores, gas stations, banks, pet supply stores, and restaurants providing take-out and delivery.
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, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com.
- All in-person after school enrichment programs, family counseling services, emergency assistance services, community health, and HIV/AIDS related services are suspended. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org and we can help tutor your child. Youth & family support: email@example.com.Health services: firstname.lastname@example.org. Housing assistance: email@example.com. We can also answer your telephone calls at 973-483-2703 and 973-624-4222. Finally, follow our Family Success Centers on Facebook for daily streaming.
- Home Energy Assistance clients (LIHEAP and USF) can submit their program applications, as well as emergency requests and all supporting documents to: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Dorothy Rivers (email@example.com) 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org.)
- All Weatherization and Lead Remediation clients can submit their program applications, supporting documents and questions to: email@example.com. 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.
Economic Impact Payment (Coronavirus Stimulus Check)
The easiest and most accurate way to check the eligibility and status of your Economic Impact Payment is by visiting the link below:
City of Newark Updates
- The City of Newark is partnering with Partners in Health, Rutgers School of Public Health and local volunteers to trace the person to person spread of COVID-19. The goals are threefold: 1. o slow the spread of the virus. 2. to protect the most vulnerable populations, monitor populations difficult to track and clear frontline workers for continued work and 3. help the City of Newark develop strategies on how, when and where to reopen businesses and begin economic recovery.
- Newark has launched COVID-19 testing for Public Housing residents with seniors being tested first.
- Newark has launched city-wide COVID-19 testing for the city’s homeless population. Those who test positive will be quarantined.
- Mayor Baraka announced a collaboration of city leaders to develop the Newark Reopening and Recovery Strikeforce. Led by Chief of Staff Amiri Baraka and Newark Alliance CEO, Aisha Glover, committees will focus on on public health, economic recovery, data collection and analysis, education, arts, community outreach and engagement, and communications.
For a wealth of COVID-19 Information and Resources from the City of Newark click here:
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.
To help Newark residents and their families having difficulty paying rent as a result of COVID-19, the City of Newark will provide emergency grants to those who fall under 60 percent of area median income.
Visit https://newarkcovid19.com/programs/emergency-rent-grants to submit your application.
Hotels & Motels as Temporary Housing is Protected
On April 27th, Governor Murphy and Superintendent of the State Police Colonel Callahan announced an Administrative Order protecting access to hotels and motels for individuals without safe, permanent housing. Municipalities and counties may not impose restrictions in response to COVID-19 on the ability of hotels, motels, guest houses, or private residences to accept any individuals who have no permanent housing to which they may safely or lawfully return. Individuals protected under the order include, but are not limited to:
- Homeless individuals;
- Individuals affected by domestic violence; and
- Individuals in hotels or motels in compliance with a court order.
The order further clarifies that individuals who have no permanent housing to which they may safely or lawfully return and live at a hotel or motel on a continual basis are not considered “transient guests or seasonal tenants,” and thus are entitled to the protections against evictions included in Executive Order No. 106.
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 OTLS@ci.newark.nj.us. 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 https://www.newarknj.gov/departments/economichousing.
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.
Support for Renters
Governor Murphy signed an executive order on Friday, April 24th, allowing renters to use their security deposits to help pay their rents.
The state has also created an FAQ section and question portal for tenants and landlords about rights and responsibilities, which can be found at covid19.nj.gov/forms/renter.
Have you found yourself unemployed due to the coronavirus? Visit
https://www.nj.gov/labor/ 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?
Audible (stories.audible.com) 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:
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)
Visit the Small Business Association’s Coronavirus Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources page for more information on what funding options they have available.
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 EHD@ci.newark.nj.us 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.
Governor Murphy just announced that New Jersey’s July 7th primary will be a primarily vote-by-mail election.
ALL registered Democratic and Republican voters will receive a postage-paid vote-by-mail ballot.
ALL unaffiliated and inactive voters will receive a postage-paid vote-by-mail ballot application.
The state will ensure that a limited number of in-person polling places in each county will be open to ensure that everyone can exercise their right to vote.
The deadline by which votes must be received by a county Board of Elections to be counted as valid will be extended from 48 hours after polls close to SEVEN DAYS after polls close.
Reliable News Outlets
With lots of misinformation and plenty of fake news on the coronavirus, be sure toget your news from trusted news sources.
Here are some reliable news options:
Live Updates from NJTV:
All New Jersey schools are closed through the rest of the school year. Students are expected to engage in learning online at home. Please check the Newark Public Schools website for updates here: https://www.nps.k12.nj.us/.
NJTV has free online resources for children grades 3-6, daily from 9am-1pm. Click here to learn more.
The Community FoodBank of New Jersey has compiled a list of partner agencies throughout the state of New Jersey where families and individuals struggling with food insecurity can find assistance near them. Visit cfbnj.org/findfood for more information.
Breakfast and Lunch is available for all Newark Public School students at designated schools on Mondays and Thursdays between the hours of 9:30am-11:30am.
Learn more here to find the location nearest you: https://www.nps.k12.nj.us/covid-19-resources/breakfast-lunch-program-locations/
Newark Emergency Services for Families (NESF)
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.
SNAP and WIC Assistance is providing additional benefits to existing and new income eligible clients. Learn more here.
NJ SNAP recipients will be able to use their benefits card to order groceries from Amazon starting on May 27. Walmarts, ShopRites and The Fresh Grocers that provide online shopping will also accept online ordering with SNAP benefits starting on May 28.
To learn more, recipients can visit Amazon.com/SNAP to register their EBT card. Visit here to learn about Walmart’s SNAP online program. Any Walmart, ShopRite or The Fresh Grocer that currently provides online shopping will also accept online ordering with SNAP benefits.
Child Care for Essential Workers
Mental Health Support
If you are struggling coping with the COVID-19 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 federal income tax filing and payment due date automatically extended from April 15 to July 15, 2020. 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. For additional time to file beyond the July 15 deadline, file Extension Form 4868. Businesses who need additional time must file Form 7004. See more info here: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
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.
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
On April 29th, Governor Phil Murphy signed an executive order to reopen New Jersey’s state and county parks as well as golf courses. Visit https://nj.gov/infobank/eo/056murphy/approved/eo_archive.html to see the full Executive Order.
- COVID19 Info Hub: https://covid19.nj.gov/
- Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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
- Department of Education Updates: https://www.nj.gov/education/topics/index.shtml
- The Governor’s YouTube channel live streams the daily press conferences: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCH8YwF0eRl9E5lpGj8OaiLg
- Governor’s Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/NJGov/
- New Jersey’s Twitter https://twitter.com/NJGov
- MVC information is here: https://www.state.nj.us/mvc/
- Department of Labor updates: https://www.nj.gov/labor/
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.
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 https://npl.org/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 https://www.youtube.com/user/NewarkLibrary. 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 email@example.com or calling 973-733-7779.
Essex County Updates
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.