Newark mayor announces citywide indoor mask mandate to include police officers, firefighters

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Mayor Ras J. Baraka and Public Safety Director Brian A. O’Hara have re-instated the mask mandate for all members of the Department of Public Safety, including Newark Police, Firefighters and Office of Emergency Management personnel, effective immediately.

“The Executive Order I signed yesterday encompasses our first responders, who are required to wear masks in all city buildings, in public areas and in private areas occupied by two or more people until further notice,” Mayor Baraka said. “Our goal is to keep our residents and city employees safe in light of this recent spike in new COVID-19 cases and the emergency of the Omicron variant.”

“In concert with Mayor Baraka’s Order, all Newark Police and Firefighters will also wear masks—regardless of their vaccination status—during the performance of their duties in serving the public, and while indoors or inside department vehicles that are occupied by at least one other person,” Director O’Hara said. “As police and firefighters typically face the public most often, it is critical that they take every precaution to safeguard Newark residents and one another.”

In recent weeks, Newark has seen an increase in COVID-19 cases, with 47,272 positive cases as of yesterday. The City is advising all employees to be regularly tested, and that students and school staff also be tested upon returning to work after the winter break.

“Despite having a stable number of cases over the last quarter, the number of positive cases for public safety personnel has been doubling every day since Thursday of last week,” Director O’Hara added. “All Public Safety personnel who are unvaccinated must continue to get tested weekly.”

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