Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

This page was last updated May 17, 2021.

La Casa’s Programs & Services Updates


Some La Casa de Don Pedro centers are now open with limited capacity, social distancing, and health & safety measures in place. Other programs continue to be offered remotely.

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

Now enrolling for all Early Childhood Education programs: preschool, Head Start, Early Head Start, and Prenatal Support. Programs are all virtual with very limited in-person classrooms. Call Wendy Garcia at 973-370-4467 or email earlychildhoodeducation@lacasanwk.org to enroll.

Family and domestic violence counseling services, emergency assistance services, community health, and HIV/AIDS services continue virtually and through Facebook Live: (Facebook.com/LaCasaFamilySuccessCenters). Call us at 973-483-2703 or 973-624-4222, email Health services: health@lacasanwk.org.

Rental assistance for families who are facing eviction due to back-rent owed because of the impact of COVID-19 is available for qualified households! In order to qualify you must be able to continue to make rental payments once financial assistance is provide. Attending a financial education workshop is a requirement. Contact us at youth@families@lacasanwk.org or 973-483-2703.

Youth, Family, and Health Community Center at 23 Broadway offers in-person child care for school age children to complete their virtual schooling, family counseling by appointment only, and housing assistance for households who can demonstrate income loss due to Covid-19 and can now show housing sustainability moving forward. Contact us to make an appointment or to register for our programs at 973-483-2703, 973-624-4222 or youth&families@lacasanwk.org.

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance season is up and running! Submit LIHEAP and USF applications, as well as emergency requests and all supporting documents in person at 317 Roseville Ave, Newark, NJ during the following hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday from 9AM-4PM, Wednesday from 9AM-6PM, or the second Saturday of every month from 9AM-1PM. Applications and documents can also be submitted electronically to energyasst@lacasanwk.org, mailed to PO Box 7118, Newark, NJ  07107, or faxed to 973-485-9984.  Additionally, program inquiries and questions can also be sent directly to energyasst@lacasanwk.org .

All adult education, LEAD Charter School, citizenship and English as a Second Language classes continue to be offered online only. Immigration legal services are provided in person by appointment only. Contact us at 973-481-4568, careerservices@lacasanwk.org or immigration@lacasanwk.org to learn more or to make an appointment.

Housing counseling (foreclosure prevention and first time homebuyer counseling) is available by telephone and email. Email Dante Lara (dlara@lacasanwk.org) or Dorothy Rivers (drivers@lacasanwk.org). HUD-Certified First Time Homebuyer Education workshops are available online at www.ehomeamerica.org/lacasa. Rental Housing Assistance: housingassistance@lacasanwk.org.

All Weatherization and Lead Abatement clients can submit program applications, supporting documents and questions to: wxleadasst@lacasanwk.org.

Please visit this this webpage for regular updates and follow us on 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.

COVID-19 Vaccination Information

Doctor behind Covid-19 vaccine development explains how shot was years in the making:

As of May 13th, 2021, ALL individuals aged 12 and older who live, work, or study in New Jersey are eligible for COVID-19 vaccines. Find locations with availability on NJ Vaccine Appointment Finder. Visit covid19.nj.gov/finder


To get your vaccine, register online on your portal of choice here:

See updated guidance and please be patient!  If essexcovid.org is full, please wait for follow up from them (if you are already registered) or please consult this link to see ALL available vaccination sites in New Jersey organized by County: https://covid19.nj.gov/pages/covid-19-vaccine-locations-for-eligible-recipients.

What do I do if I’m eligible but in need of transportation to a vaccination site?

There are 2 fully accessible transportation options – Essex County Special Transportation Services (the blue bus) and Access link for residents age 60+ or with disabilities. YOU MUST BE REGISTERED IN ADVANCE TO USE EITHER SERVICE. Once registered, you can make reservations:

·       Essex County Special Transportation Services: For residents 60+, Essex County provides free, handicap accessible transportation to all towns within the county.  Call (973) 618-1280 to register and set up an appointment.  Once you are in the system, you can begin scheduling rides.

·       Access link: Access Link is for people with disabilities. Service shadows local fixed route buses and light rails, with pick-up and drop-off points within 3/4 mile of an eligible bus route or light rail station.

For current Access link riders, call 800-955-ADA1 (2321) and selecting option #2 or go to https://accesslink.njtransit.com to make a reservation.

To find out if you are eligible for Access link or to register and be certified for the service, call 800-955-ADA1 (2321) and select option #1 for information on the Certification Group.

Also, for any NEWARK resident who needs a ride to:

  • Any Newark Vaccine location
  • Medical Appointment
  • Job Interview

Please call 2-1-1 to schedule a FREE ride with Lyft.

To volunteer at any of the Essex County vaccination sites tap on these links: For medical professionals. For non medical professionals

County of Essex Vaccination Sites

The County of Essex has established four vaccination sites for Essex County residents. Residents of each municipality are assigned to specific sites, except Newark, whose residents can go to any site. Vaccinations will be by appointment only. See flyers below for more info, visit www.essexcovid.org or call 973-877-8456 for questions.

City of Newark Vaccination Sites

The City of Newark has launched several Newark Department of Health & Wellness vaccination sites. There will be new rotating vaccination locations throughout the city.

Private Business Vaccination Sites

Other vaccination sites are ongoing, such as recent news of Shoprite’s pharmacy as a new location, including Shoprite of Newark. Read this NJ.com article listing current COVID vaccination sites in NJ as of 1/6/21.

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.

All undocumented Newark residents can apply and receive a Newark Municipal ID when they to take their COVID-19 test at Ann Street School. To get the ID bring documents such as Passport, proof of residency, current bill, notarized letter for residency, picture ID, etc. There is a points system. Contact the Mayor’s Aide at (973) 733-6400 for specific information.

Testing at all of the sites listed below is reserved for NEWARK RESIDENTS only and residents do not have to have symptoms. Testing is free at all sites and residents with insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid, should bring their insurance cards with them.


City of Newark & State of NJ Updates & News Headlines

As of May 17th, the State of New Jersey has lifted its travel advisory.

➡️Travelers to New Jersey are no longer required to quarantine

➡️Continue to follow local health and safety protocols when traveling

➡️Adhere to international travel guidance from the U.S. Department of State and the CDC



As of May 17th, the State of New Jersey has lifted its mandatory mask order for OUTDOOR and public spaces. However, the mask mandate remains in place for INDOOR spaces and events.


Watch Mayor Ras Baraka’s Daily 5pm Facebook Live Video Streaming Here.

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


Click Here for current information about indoor and outdoor gathering limits.

View the current travel advisory news and learn more here.


New Jersey is currently in Phase 2 of Governor Murphy’s Restart and Recovery Plan.

Click here to view Governor Murphy’s full details of Stage 2 Restart and Recovery plan.


Housing Assistance

La Casa de Don Pedro offers a COVID-19 Rental Relief program for households who owe back rent due to job loss or other challenges caused by the pandemic. Renters who can demonstrate that they can afford their rent once their arrears are paid may qualify. Contact us at 973-483-2703 for more information.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) are working together to help homeowners and renters during the coronavirus pandemic. If you or anyone you know is concerned about how to pay your mortgage or rent because of the coronavirus emergency, here is information on what to do now, and options for mortgage and rent payment relief.

Learn about:

·         Mortgage relief options

·         Protection for renters

·         Watch out for scams and bad actors

·         Mortgage basics

Visit the new Mortgage and Housing Assistance site for the latest information on how to get help with housing.


Rental Assistance

As of May 13th, Essex County will begin accepting applications for its 2021 Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP).

According to county officials, there will be $15.4 million available. Renters or landlords who have been negatively impacted during the coronavirus pandemic and need help to pay rent or utility bills can apply for funds.

Online applications are available here.

Applications will be available beginning on Thursday, May 13. Awards will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis, officials said.


Starting March 22, 2021, the COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program Phase II (CVERAP Phase II) will provide rental arrears and temporary rental assistance to low- and moderate-income households that have had a substantial reduction in income, have qualified for unemployment benefits, incurred significant costs, or experienced a financial hardship due, directly, or indirectly, to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nan McKay & Associates has been authorized by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs to assist in the administration of CVERAP Phase II and to communicate with applicants and landlords.

Click on the link below to apply:
https://njdca.onlinepha.com/


Eviction Protection and Assistance

On March 29, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) extended its eviction moratorium, further preventing the eviction of tenants who are unable to make rental payments. The moratorium that was scheduled to expire on March 31, 2021 is now extended through June 30, 2021. Read the CDC announcement.

Your landlord cannot remove you from your home during this emergency. This moratorium on evictions will remain in place for up to two months after the end of this emergency.

On March 19, 2020, Governor Murphy issued Executive Order No. 106, which states that any lessee, tenant, homeowner or any other person shall not be removed from a residential property as the result of an eviction or foreclosure proceeding.

If you are at risk of eviction or are concerned about paying rent, use this online eviction moratorium information and question tool to see your rights and what assistance programs are available.

If you are facing eviction or foreclosure, contact a housing counselor immediately through this online directory or by calling 1-800-NJ-HOUSE.

Counseling is free, available now, and can be provided remotely to help homeowners avoid potential foreclosure. At the same time, the counseling made available to renters will guide them on how to approach discussions with their landlords on dealing with their rent situation.

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.

Unemployment Resources

Have you found yourself unemployed due to the coronavirus pandemic? Visit
https://www.myunemployment.nj.gov 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-2021 and ending mm-dd-2021?
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-2021 and mm-dd-2021?

Community Resources

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.


Newark 40 Acres and a Mule Fund 
The New Jersey Forty Acres and a Mule Fund (NJ FAM Fund) is a first of its kind private investment vehicle focused on making equity and debt investments in Black and Latinx businesses located or doing business within the State of New Jersey and also transforming real estate projects within New Jersey’s Black and Latinx communities. Visit NJFAMFund.org to learn more, sign up for updates and preview the applications.


Reliable News Outlets

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.

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:

Local News:

City of Newark Coronavirus Press Releases: https://www.newarknj.gov/news
https://www.tapinto.net/towns/newark/ (Newark)
https://www.tapinto.net/towns/east-orange/ (East Orange)

State News:

https://covid19.nj.gov/

Live Updates from NJTV:
https://www.njtvonline.org/news/uncategorized/tracking-the-coronavirus-in-new-jersey/
https://www.nj.com/
https://nj.gov/

National/International News:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus
https://www.npr.org/
https://apnews.com/
https://abcnews.go.com/
https://www.cbsnews.com/
https://www.nbcnews.com/

Food Assistance

IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW IS IN NEED OF FOOD IN THE CITY OF NEWARK, send a message to NewarkPeoplesAssembly@ci.newark.nj.us. The family’s name, address, phone number AND ward in which they live is needed each week by Sunday at 8pm. Meals will be delivered on Wednesdays (typically between 10am – 3pm). On this day, you may get called from an unknown number. Please answer the phone, it may be your delivery.



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.


Schools in New Jersey will continue giving out free meals to children, regardless of their family’s income, through the end of the summer (Sept.30).

In New Jersey, schools and non-profit organizations that participate in the programs can be found here, along with the locations, dates and times meals are provided.


Breakfast and Lunch is available for all Newark Public School students at designated schools on Mondays and Thursdays between the hours of 7:30am-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

Social Security Services

The Social Security Administration has created a new website, Information for People Helping Others, which provides helpful resources in one place for anyone in a position to help another person access their programs and services. 

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.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

USCIS field offices and asylum offices have resumed non-emergency face-to-face services to the public. We have enacted precautions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in our facilities.

  • You may not enter a USCIS facility if you:
    • Have any symptoms of COVID-19, including recently developed cough, fever, difficulty breathing, changes in smell or taste or fatigue (list is not all-inclusive);
    • Have been in close contact with anyone known or suspected to have COVID-19 in the last 14 days;
    • Have been instructed to self-quarantine or self-isolate by a health care provider, public health authority or government agency within the last 14 days; or
    • Are awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test.
  • You may not enter the facility more than 15 minutes before your appointment (30 minutes for naturalization ceremonies).
  • We will provide hand sanitizer at entry points. 
  • You must wear face coverings that cover both the mouth and nose inside USCIS facilities. We do not allow masks with exhaust valves, neck gaiters or bandanas. If you do not have an acceptable face covering, we may provide one or ask you to reschedule your appointment. 
  • There will be markings and physical barriers in the facility; you should pay close attention to these signs to ensure you follow social distancing guidelines.
  • You may also have to answer health screening questions before entering a facility. 
  • We encourage you to bring your own black or blue ink pens.

Appointment notices will include more instructions for visiting USCIS facilities. For more information, see our USCIS Visitor Policy page and the web alert.

Visit USCIS Office Closings page for the latest information on office closures.

To find your local USCIS office, please visit the following links:

  • Field Offices (within the United States) handle scheduled interviews on non-asylum related applications. They also provide limited information and applicant services that supplement those we provide through our website and by phone.
  • Asylum Offices handle scheduled interviews for asylum-related issues only
  • International Offices provide services to U.S. Citizens, permanent residents of the U.S. and certain other persons who are visiting or residing outside the United States who need assistance in immigration matters.

Additional State of NJ Resources & Information

In anticipation of the COVID-19 vaccine, the New Jersey Department of Health has launched the COVID-19 vaccination website at https://www.state.nj.us/health/cd/topics/covid2019_vaccination.shtml. Visit the site often for updates as information becomes available. This site will contain information regarding the state COVID-19 vaccination plan, frequently asked questions, resources ,as well as other information for both public and health care providers.  Please distribute to your staff and fellow stakeholders and consumers the attached Vaccine FAQs. 


  • COVID19 Info Hub: https://covid19.nj.gov/
  • Email questions to ncov@doh.nj.gov
  • 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

Funeral Assistance

Under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, FEMA will provide financial assistance for COVID-19-related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020.

Additional guidance is being finalized and will be released to potential applicants and community partners as soon as possible. In the meantime, people who have COVID-19 funeral expenses are encouraged to keep and gather documentation.

Who is eligible?

To be eligible for funeral assistance, you must meet these conditions:

  • The death must have occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia.
  • The death certificate must indicate the death was attributed to COVID-19.
  • The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses after January 20, 2020.
  • There is no requirement for the deceased person to have been a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien.

How to apply?

In April, FEMA will begin accepting applications. If you had COVID-19 funeral expenses, we encourage you to keep and gather documentation. Types of information should include:

  • An official death certificate that attributes the death directly or indirectly to COVID-19 and shows that the death occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia.
  • Funeral expenses documents (receipts, funeral home contract, etc.) that includes the applicant’s name, the deceased person’s name, the amount of funeral expenses, and the dates the funeral expenses happened.
  • Proof of funds received from other sources specifically for use toward funeral costs. We are not able to duplicate benefits received from burial or funeral insurance, financial assistance received from voluntary agencies, government agencies, or other sources.

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 reference@npl.org or calling 973-733-7779.

Please visit their website at www.npl.org, check them out on Facebook at www.facebook.com/newarkpubliclibrary, 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.


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.