“It was a smart move to act early — absolutely,” Dr. Elnahal said. “You have Halloween and you have Thanksgiving a short time after that. We really have to get ahead of making sure people know that they shouldn’t gather indoors.”
With 20 patients hospitalized with Covid-19, University Hospital has activated its surge plans, drawing on lessons learned in the spring when it was treating 300 patients sick from the virus at a time.
“The advantage we have now, that we didn’t have in the spring, is experience,” Dr. Elnahal said.
In the Ironbound on Monday, city officials went door to door to restaurants, hardware stores and barbershops, handing out pamphlets detailing Mr. Baraka’s executive order and the extra safety protocols that are now required.
The sidewalks at dinner time were filled mainly with residents returning from jobs at construction sites and other essential businesses. Most wore masks, and signage about social distancing was omnipresent, filling the windows of storefronts and fences along Ferry Street, the main business corridor.
“At what point do small businesses have a leg to stand on to survive?” said Joe Downar Jr., a son of the owners of the The Deep Inn, a bar that had already shut down its pool tables, dart boards and jukebox.
Newark has 15 testing sites, including one in the Ann Street School parking lot in the Ironbound neighborhood. Like all public schools in Newark, the building is closed to students, who are taking all classes online because of the pandemic. Orange cones and yellow caution tape now line the lot to guide residents arriving on foot as they wait in line for a virus test.
From Friday to Sunday, of the 284 people tested within the 07105 ZIP code, 84 were positive for the virus, city officials said. And across the city, those getting sick are more likely to be Latino — a change from the first wave of the virus when Black residents of Newark were more likely to be diagnosed with Covid-19, according to the city’s health director, Dr. Mark Wade.