NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Residents in New Jersey’s largest city are being asked to spend Thanksgiving at home.
Newark‘s mayor is pushing a shutdown in the city, beginning Wednesday.
As CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis reported, on the first day of the 10-day shutdown, people were out and about, including Suzy Morais, who was grabbing essentials.
“I’m getting all my grocery done, my pharmacy, so then I can kind of stay home,” she said.
Morais said she plans to follow the city’s stay-at-home advisory in an effort to bring the COVID positivity rate down from 21%.
It’s double that in the Ironbound section, where DeAngelis met a man who said “I would be staying at home” if he wasn’t working.
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While on Ferry Street, the man noticed some stores closed. Others, like a clothing store, were open and taking customer temperatures.
“Obviously, everybody’s thinking it’s just a recommendation,” he said.
The owner of Pita Square downtown was among those looking for clarity, but is choosing to stay open.
“People are confused. They don’t know who should be open, who should be closed. So I don’t think it’s gonna help anything, to be honest,” said Medhat Eldeeb.
“We have milk, we have eggs, we have bread. That’s basically why we decided to open,” said Raul Grados, manager of Delicias Bakery.
In a Facebook briefing Monday, Mayor Ras Baraka called for nonessential businesses to close with the exception of supermarkets, pharmacies, gas stations and laundromats.
“All restaurants can do takeout until 8 p.m., but we expect everybody to be closed,” Baraka said. “We expect people to shelter in place, to stay in place for 10 days. Our folks will be out on the streets to ensure that this is happening.”
“There’s a 9 p.m. weekday curfew in effect,” was the message from one police cruiser.
DeAngelis noticed officers riding around, reminding of curfews, but plenty of people were not taking the message to stay at home.
CBS2 reached out to the mayor’s office about whether or not it will be enforced, but did not get a clear answer.
In his latest online video, the mayor said he believes most residents will “do the right thing.”
The stay at home advisory is in place until Dec. 4.
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