Mayors of New Jersey's 2 biggest cities test positive for COVID

Coronavirus Update for New Jersey
NEW JERSEY (WABC) -- As COVID cases soar across New Jersey, the mayors of the state's two biggest cities say they have tested positive for the virus.

Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop announced his test result Thursday morning on Twitter.

"Yesterday, I tested positive for COVID + started isolation for 10 days per CDC," he wrote. "I have no symptoms but getting tested was important before seeing family for holidays. I'm thankful for the protection from the vaccine/booster as it would be a different situation without them. Please continue to be mindful of safety precautions + urge your loved ones to get vaccinated + booster shots."

The announcement came one day after Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said he tested positive after a family member contracted the virus.

"I came back positive, but I have absolutely no symptoms at all," Baraka said, adding that after a female family member tested positive, everyone in the household got tested.

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"My wife and my son came back negative, I came back positive," he said. "By the grace of God, I have absolutely no symptoms whatsoever. But one of my family members does have symptoms because she only took one shot."

Baraka was joined on his Facebook live stream by Dr. Mark Wade, who told the mayor his experience demonstrates how the vaccine and booster shots prevent serious illness.

Baraka announced that he will sign an Executive Order on Monday, December 27, requiring proof of vaccination against COVID-19 for customers 5 years of age and older to enter certain establishments and facilities.

The order will start by requiring anyone attending public New Year's Eve events and parties to show proof of vaccination. By January 10, persons entering a facility or business must show proof of at least one COVID-19 vaccination dose; and be fully vaccinated three weeks later.

New Jersey reported 15,482 new cases on Thursday, though hospitalizations -- while the highest since April -- remain low compared to this time last year.

Meanwhile, school closure announcements continue in the Garden State.

Hackensack Public Schools announced late Wednesday that due to rising COVID cases, the city's schools will shift to remote learning Thursday.

The district plans to return to in-person learning after the Christmas break.

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The Paterson public school district will go remote after the holiday break through January 18.

That move came after two large high schools in the district, Eastside and John F. Kennedy, switched to remote learning this week.

Despite a 97% vaccination rate, the mayor of Paterson announced the city will amplify its vaccination operation.

Its mobile unit will also work during city holidays and evenings, the mayor said.

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Naveen Dhaliwal has more as COVID cases continue to spike in New Jersey.

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