Baraka announces he has tested positive for COVID-19

Newark mayor, in Wednesday night tweet, says he is not experiencing any symptoms

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka tweeted Wednesday night that he has tested positive for COVID-19.

Baraka, who is fully vaccinated, said he tested positive Tuesday but has yet to show any symptoms. He said his wife and son had tested negative.

Just before 7 p.m. Wednesday night, Baraka tweeted: “I tested positive for COVID (Tuesday) and, thankfully, my wife and son tested negative. By the grace of God, I’m okay and have no symptoms at all. I’m going to retest on Friday and Monday as well, and I thank everyone for your well wishes. Please wear your masks and get vaccinated!”

Baraka has been a leader in the effort to fight the pandemic, instituting restrictions and mandates sooner than almost any mayor in the state.

On Monday, as cases caused by the Omicron variant began to rise, Baraka reinstituted an indoor mask mandate for the city.

“We are still in the midst of a pandemic and need to take whatever steps are necessary to safeguard and best ensure the health, safety and welfare of our residents,” he said then. “I urge residents to take precautions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Get vaccinated and tested, especially during this holiday season, as we gather and spend more time with family and friends.”

While acknowledging people of color have a right and a reason to be skeptical of the vaccine from the outset, Baraka has nonetheless encouraged all citizens to get the shot and the booster.

On Aug. 12, he signed an executive order that said city employees faced termination if they did not get vaccinated.

Baraka is the second major elected official in New Jersey to announce he had tested positive for COVID-19 this week. On Sunday night, U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) — who preceded Baraka as mayor of Newark — announced he had tested positive. Like Baraka, Booker said he had not experienced any symptoms.