Most of new COVID-19 cases in Metuchen are college-age students, New Street has become one-way to vehicular traffic in support of restaurants, retail

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METUCHEN – Most of the new COVID-19 cases in the borough are college-age students, according to Mayor Jonathan Busch.

“[The] borough has picked up 17 new COVID cases since August 31,” he said in a social media post on Sept. 29. “While that may seem significant, we are looking closely at the data and it does not necessarily reflect what one may think.”

Eleven of the 17 new cases involve young people between the ages of 18 and 22, most of whom appear to be testing positive at or near their college campuses, Busch said.

“Also, as the state continues to sort out its statistics, six of the 17 cases are old ones that were recently attributed to us with testing dates that go as far back as May,” he said. “In sum, we need to keep vigilant as state and county trends are somewhat concerning, but there does not appear to be a particular spike at the present time in the borough.”

The total number of COVID-19 cases has reached 170 as of Sept. 30. The borough has lost three residents to the virus, according to Middlesex County, according to information provided by Middlesex County.

Outdoor dining, retail applications for expanded use of public sidewalks, public parking, public streets and private spaces are available on the borough’s website. Gov. Phil Murphy announced outdoor dining will resume on June 15. Indoor dining reopened on Sept. 4 at 25% capacity.

The borough in conjunction with the Metuchen Downtown Alliance and the Metuchen Area Chamber of Commerce has accommodated New Street to one-way vehicular traffic, which began on Sept. 25. The plan calls for the south side of New Street to be closed seven days a week so restaurants can set-up well-ventilated heated structures and some retail and service businesses can make use of the pedestrian-friendly space.

The Metuchen Public Library reopened to the public on Sept. 16 at limited capacity for “browse and go” service from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4-6:45 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday and from 11 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. on Friday. From 11 a.m. to noon is reserved for people over 60-years-old and people who are immunocompromised. Curbside pickup remains available for residents. For more information visit metuchenlibrary.org or call 732-632-8526.

Bulk and metal pickup resumed on June 1. To accommodate as many residents as possible, the township’s Department of Public Works will limit pickups to no more than three items per home. To schedule a pickup call 732-632-8519.

For more information visit metuchennj.org.

For more information regarding COVID-19, call the state’s hotline at 1-800-222-1222.

For Middlesex County information visit discovermiddlesex.com/covid19/ or www.middlesexcountynj.gov/covid19.