Governor Murphy Says Newark To Use Lakewood Playbook In Fighting Covid-19

In an interview with WCBS 880, Governor Murphy said that a strategy similar to what was used in Lakewood in recent weeks will be employed in Newark, which is experiencing a significant spike in new coronavirus cases.

“We had a flare-up in Lakewood several weeks ago; we exercised a playbook there, more scalpel than sledgehammer and it appears to have worked,” Murphy told Paul Murnane of WCBS. “So that’s plussing-up testing, tracing, enforcement, working with the community. We’re largely using a similar playbook with Mayor [Ras] Baraka – who is outstanding – in Newark.”

In Lakewood, a massive, community-wide drive was begun to fight against a severe spike in new Covid cases, and residents were urged by community leaders and rabbinic authorities to get tested and quarantine as necessary to avoid a shutdown of schools and shuls, which would have been devastating to the community. The plan worked; the number of new cases in Lakewood dropped significantly, even hitting zero on one day, and the positivity rate in the town fell from nearly 30% to a percentage that similarly reflected the overall positivity rate in New Jersey.

Listen to the full interview here.

This content, and any other content on TLS, may not be republished or reproduced without prior permission from TLS. Copying or reproducing our content is both against the law and against Halacha. To inquire about using our content, including videos or photos, email us at [email protected].

Stay up to date with our news alerts by following us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

**Click here to join over 20,000 receiving our Whatsapp Status updates!**

**Click here to join the official TLS WhatsApp Community!**

Got a news tip? Email us at [email protected], Text 415-857-2667, or WhatsApp 609-661-8668.


  1. Is Lakewood’s drop a real thing? I don’t live in Lakewood–are they actually doing social distancing differently nowadays? I was worried that it’s just an artificial drop (i.e. people aren’t testing/aren’t testing if they think they may be sick because want to lower rates). Glad if that’s not the case!

    If anyone lives in Lakewood and can relay what’s happening on the ground, would appreciate!

    • The virus has a natural trajectory just like every other virus and nothing Cuomo or anyone has done has had any bearing. Basically 8 weeks from beginning to end with a 2 week peak. With each successive wave as more and more people have immunity, it will be a slower and flatter spread. With the way we see things going in frum neighborhoods right now this is no longer a theory but a fact.

  2. There are definitely very few cases now! Wether it’s due to social distancing or the natural course of the virus which spikes and then goes down.lakewood was heavily infected in March, the virus is simply running out of people to infect .

  3. Firstly Hashem is watching over Lakewood

    secondly, basically the plan was let everyone that can handle it get covid in one fell swoop, so everyone in Lakewood is immune bec we all had it already,

    then it won’t spread anymore, because it only spreads through people that didn’t have it

    its basically proven that the reinfection rate is somewhere between .001 and .003%

    • This comment is just so wrong, I don’t know where to begin:

      1) Was there in fact an official “plan” to let everyone who can handle it to get it? I never heard of such a plan. If it did exist, it is extremely reckless. No one ever knows if they can handle it. There have been plenty of otherwise healthy people who have died from the virus. More importantly, many of those who get the virus are suffering long term consequences. Yes, most young healthy people get over it quickly, but because that’s not always the case, you don’t go around telling people to deliberately get infected.

      2) As far as immunity is concerned, why don’t you check your facts. FACT: 20% of those infected do not develop antibodies. FACT: Immunity wears out over time. The reinfection rate you quote is meaningless because not enough time has passed. Some people’s immunity will last 3 month, some 6 months, some a year. But let enough time pass and you will have more and more people that have no immunity.

      3) You say that it only spreads through people that have never had it. This is false as well. A previously infected person’s immunity may have worn off. He will get it again and then pass it on. Let’s say you have a person who still has immunity but it may have fallen somewhat from the first time he had the virus. He may then pick up the virus a second time from another infected person. He himself might not experience symptoms this time because his residual immunity is able to fight it off somewhat, but the immunity may be weak enough so that he is still a carrier of the virus and can pass it on to another person.

      The bottom line is that the CDC says that there is still so much that they do not understand about COVID. It pays to be cautious.

      • 1. “most young people get over it quickly”??!! How about the overwhelming majority like 99.9%? Yes we don’t tell anyone to get deliberately infected but we do tell people to not live their lives in a media driven unrealistic fear.
        2. 20% of those infected don’t develop antibodies??! Can you quote your source? (if that is the case, you would have to assume over 80% of Lakewood had it already.
        3. Can you bring any sources that it “spreads through people that had it already”? (not single case like he guy in hong kong or the 89 year old dutch lady) I can tell you that in my development of 150 families in Lakewood, 7 families or partial families had covid between september and october. NONE of whom had it during the first wave. Including spouses or kids of those that had it the first time. That means I personally am aware of hundreds of people who had it during March and April, were exposed recently and did not get it again.
        So let’s stop feeding into the media driven fear cycle!!!

    • You are spreading dangerous and false information. The percentage of people in lakewood who test positive for antibodies is around 7-10%. In your “one fell swoop” system,. there would have been thousands of deaths

  4. Wow governor. Yes the Lakewood model is there is that masks social distancing prolong the virus, so don’t do any of that.
    I’m glad you’re finally seeing the light dear governor

  5. Okay so if the rate went down, why not STOP testing?? There are many false positives. Leave the rates low and just treat symptoms if you get sick

Comments are closed.