For the first time since the summer, Newark’s COVID-19 positivity rate is lower than the state’s. It’s down to 9.95% based on a three-day rolling average that ended on Feb. 15. Meanwhile, the statewide average is 10.8%.
Newark Mayor Ras Baraka put in place curfews for city residents and harsher restrictions on businesses than the rest of the state following a 21% positivity rate in November, which at the time was nearly twice the state’s rate. The positivity rate in Newark’s East Ward was even higher, at 41%. Baraka says the restrictions worked, businesses have been able to increase indoor capacity and there’s been a big push to roll out vaccines to the community.