NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Newark is in the middle of its 10-day stay-at-home advisory. So is it helping lower COVID positive numbers?

As CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported, since last Wednesday, residents have been urged to stay home.

“I feel like there are less people out,” one person said.

MORE: COVID In New Jersey: Newark Under 10-Day Stay-At-Home Advisory

Newark’s Mayor Ras Baraka says there’s a slow decline in COVID-19 cases.

“It’s still dangerously too high, but it’s lower than where we were. Obviously, we were at 21% We’re at 16.53%, which is good. That means we’re going in the right direction,” Baraka said.

City Hall and other public buildings except essential services remain closed.

All non-essential businesses like salons, gyms and stores were asked to shut down during this time period. Some did, but some remain open.


“It’s not mandatory,” said the owner of Halsey Vintage, adding when asked why he stayed open, “Because we have such a huge space here, and because we’re in the middle of COVID, it seems like there’s really not much traffic.”

Newark’s public safety director said summonses were issued to 25 businesses, mainly fast food and takeout places, for not wearing PPE. Fines ranged from $50-$250.

Indoor dining closes at 8 p.m., with deliveries and pickups allowed until 11 p.m.

MORE: Newark Facing New Restrictions, Partial Curfew In Bid To Slow COVID Spread

“Sometimes they do come in to check if we are closed at the right time,” said Rodolpho Sakihama, owner of Picnic Portuguese BBQ & Grill.

There’s also still a curfew in several Newark zip codes.

“If you look at everything, this is the hotspot for a reason,” said Francisco Lops, who has lived in Newark for nearly 20 years.

Lops was outside in the Ironbound section headed to get groceries and told Gainer residents could be doing a better job of staying inside.

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“Some people are just out and about, doing the regular stuff they always do and they’re not really taking the precautions and guidelines,” Lops said. “I’m hoping people get a little more responsible than what I’ve seen around here.”

The 10-day stay-at-home advisory goes through Friday.

For those businesses struggling, the city has announced additional funding for small businesses and renters. Applications will be available in two weeks.