Newark drops public mask and vaccination mandates

You will no longer need to wear a mask indoors in public places or show proof of vaccination in Newark, Mayor Ras Baraka announced on Wednesday. 

However, wearing a mask is still required in common areas of all government buildings. And businesses have the discretion to require patrons and employees to wear face masks.

"Because of the cooperation of our community in our efforts to continue our fight against COVID-19, we are seeing a downward trend in cases. That has in turn enabled us to remove vaccination and mask restrictions," Baraka said in a statement. "However, we still need to remain vigilant. Continue to wear your masks when appropriate and get vaccinated, to protect yourselves and your loved ones."

The mayor's office is also recommending that buildings housing senior citizens and the disabled require mask-wearing in public and common areas, such as elevators, hallways, and stairwells.  

Newark's COVID-19 positivity rate has been trending down for weeks. It was 1.57% between Feb. 21 and Feb. 27, according to health officials. 

With a population of 311,000 people, Newark is New Jersey's largest city.

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