NJ Advance Media’s Payton Guion reports

Outside his home in the Weequahic neighborhood of Newark, Ryan Haygood watched for two weeks as his city struggled to come to terms with the significance of the coronavirus outbreak.

Even though Newark Mayor Ras Baraka was ahead of most other cities in New Jersey in his response — he first began holding daily briefings on March 16 — city officials were still having difficulties keeping people at home and non-essential businesses closed.

“A couple of weeks ago it was clear there were people in the city who were taking it very seriously and others who were not,” said Haygood, president and CEO on the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice. “You could drive down the street and see” a lot of people out.