OLD BRIDGE – Old Bridge officials reported five new positive COVID-19 cases, which bring the total number of cases to 1,036, according to Old Bridge Mayor Owen Henry in his daily report on June 2.
The township has lost 61 residents to COVID-19, according to Middlesex County.
Officials have provided updated charts of the cases, including cases in long-term care facilities and cases in each ward on the township’s website.
The mayor has joined with the township’s local business owners in their demand to reopen their business establishments.
“The township and the local business owners recognize that small businesses are not only the backbone of our community and drive the local economy, but they are equally important to the nation’s economy,” he said. “The local business community provides access to and delivers essential services to our residents.”
In an effort to support and assist local businesses, the township has established a Business Advisory Committee led by the township’s Office of Economic Development, which will work directly with the township’s business community.
The township is now accepting temporary permit applications for outdoor dining, which Gov. Phil Murphy announced will reopen June 15.
Township officials and the Township Council discussed the creation of a temporary permit process for outdoor seating through Labor Day to help speed up the process at a meeting on May 4. The council approved the creation of the temporary permit process and waived the $95 permit fee.
Veena Sawant, township planner, said in 2018, the council adopted an ordinance for outdoor dining, which capped the number of outdoor seating at eight. If a restaurant wanted to have more than eight outdoor dining seats, it would prompt a planning and zoning review.
Sawant said with a temporary permit process each application will be evaluated thoroughly to ensure the health and safety of the residents and to ensure it does not hinder overall circulation of the location.
The township has canceled all 2020 summer camp programs with the health and well-being of campers in mind.
The township had opened Old Bridge’s largest parks, Veterans, Geick and Mannino, for a trial run on May 2 following Gov. Phil Murphy’s announcement to reopen parks across the state on April 29.
The parks and Lombardi Field Track are open daily for passive recreation from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.
The township has also reopened four tennis courts at the Municipal Complex. The courts are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily and players are asked to limit their court time to no more than one hour.
Three of the courts will be dedicated for tennis and the fourth will be for pickleball only. Signs will be posted on the fence indicating which courts are open and for which activity.
Two tennis courts at Carl Sandburg Middle School are also open.
The Bark dog park at Mannino Park has reopened. There will be a five dog limit in each area.
In addition to the state’s official website, covid19.nj.gov, residents can text NJCOVID to 898-211 to receive text messages and stay informed. To receive live text assistance, residents can text their zip code to 898-211.
To help sort out the rumors around the virus, in a joint effort by the New Jersey Regional Operations and Intelligence Center, division of the New Jersey State Police, New Jersey Office of Emergency Management, and New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, a website has been established to combat rumors and disinformation regarding the virus. The COVID-19 Rumor Control and Disinformation website is njhomelandsecurity.gov/covid19.
The Old Bridge Township Office of Emergency Management is still looking for supplies to support township police, fire and first aid including N95 masks, surgical masks, Tyvek suits, hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes. Anyone able to donate supplies can call OEM Deputy Coordinator Mike Petschauer at 848-565-1324 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Old Bridge Food Bank is seeking donations. Two bins are set up outside at 1 Old Bridge Plaza for non-perishable food donations for collections on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Monetary donations in the form of checks can be mailed to Old Bridge Food Bank, 1 Old Bridge Food Bank.
For more information about COVID-19 related matters in Old Bridge, visit oldbridge.com/COVID and its social media pages.
For Middlesex County information on COVID-19 information visit discovermiddlesex.com/covid19/ or www.middlesexcountynj.gov/covid19.