NEWARK, New Jersey (WABC) -- The 10-day lockdown in Newark, New Jersey was effective at combatting COVID, Mayor Ras Baraka said on Friday.
Baraka said the lockdown was effective in keeping people inside and away from large gatherings, helping to curb the spread of any new cases. It also dramatically lowered the positivity rate - in the Ironbound District it had soared as high as 50 percent.
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Along Broad Street in Downtown Newark on Friday on the final day of the lockdown, it was hard to tell what was open and what was not.
"People aren't sure - they don't even know that we're open. And just the regular foot traffic passing by is almost nonexistent," said store manager Saadiq Sly.
The hope is that on Saturday with the lockdown liftenm things will turn around.
Baraka said the lockdown served an important purpose in reminding people the virus was 'very active and very dangerous.'
"We also doubled our testing efforts during the period and are encouraged by the numbers of people who got tested, which is evidence that Newark residents are heeding our words to continue to take this disease very, very seriously," said Baraka, "Despite some outlier businesses cited for violations, the entire City appreciates the sacrifices made by the residents and businesses who continue to fulfill their civic duty to help keep everyone safe."
53 businesses were shut down during the 10-day period for violating the Governor's Executive Order.
Baraka announced specific guidelines for holiday gatherings and winter months.
Indoor or outdoor gatherings are limited to no more than ten people. In addition, any tree lightings or menorah lightings should be held outside.
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The Mayor urges traveling outside of your home should be limited, and that any non-essential travel be limited.
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