Metuchen officials monitoring new COVID-19 cases closely, bulk pick-up scheduling moves online

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METUCHEN – Mayor Jonathan Busch said the borough is not immune to the spikes of coronavirus happening across the state.

“We’re noticing it in a way,” he said during his comments at a Borough Council meeting on Oct. 19. “Since October we have seen 13 reported cases in the borough, seven of those cases came [on Oct. 18]. Among [the new cases], four came from one household.”

The total number of COVID-19 cases is 187 as of Oct. 20. The borough has lost three residents to the virus, according to Middlesex County, according to information provided by Middlesex County.

Busch said the borough is monitoring the new COVID-19 cases closely and as the Metuchen School District begins its hybrid in-person model, he is in contact with Schools Superintendent Vincent Caputo as he and his administration work hard to follow state, county and Centers for Disease Control procedures and guidelines.

The mayor noted he spoke to Caputo five times on Oct. 20 as it relates to the coronavirus. He said everyone can continue to do their part in social distancing and wearing masks.

“We are at one of the most critical points that we’ve had since this whole thing started,” Busch said noting the so called third wave of COVID-19 can hit their town the way it has hit other places in the Northeast. “We have to be alert, vigilant and be careful.”

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. Since then, the borough’s Department of Public Works has been overwhelmed in accommodating requests.

Beginning now, residents can schedule from Nov. 1 on bulk pick-up by going online at http://www.metuchennj.org/metnj/col2/Trash%20%26%20Recycling/Bulk%20Pickup%20Schedule/

Those who are unable to book online may continue to call the borough as of Nov. 1. Busch said thanks to the efforts of Councilman Jason Delia for automating the process to make things easier for everyone.

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.