NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - The city's director of the office of emergency management announced that 63 New Brunswick residents have tested positive for coronavirus COVID-19.

Robert Rawls said at Wednesday's City Council meeting that the city is updated by county officials on the number of positive cases each day.

This was the second consecutive meeting in which Rawls gave an update on the city's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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He said the office of emergency management has worked closely with state, county and city officials to adapt to the changing emergency and restrictions.

Rawls said the police department has modified its reporting procedures to ensure the safety of the public and the officers during the health crisis.

"Our fire department has been working with Robert Wood Johnson EMS to make sure all ambulance calls are handled swiftly," Rawls said.

He thanked the "vast majority" of residents who are adhering to Gov. Phil Murphy's restrictions on social distancing and limitations on travel.

Rawls said his office will continue to work diligently to communicate with residents.

"If the information is emergent in nature, we will also send out information via Nixle," he said. "The best thing anyone can do to help flatten the curve by social distancing, washing your hands and staying at home."

When a resident asked if police were using person protection equipment - especially masks - information officer Capt. J.T. Miller said they were trying to stretch their stockpile.

"Every police officer is equipped with a mask," he said. "We do have a limited supply, so the officers are using their discretion when they respond to different calls. If they feel they need them, they are putting them on. But, they’re practicing social distancing with all their calls. We have a limited supply, so they don’t just want to use it 24/7 because each mask has a limited shelf life."

Council President John Anderson said residents could get information regarding such issues as tenants and landlords, mortgages, business closings, employment options, unemployment benefits, social distancing requirements and other topics by going to the city's website and

Wednesday night's meeting was held using telecommunications technology. Four council members and a few other key personnel were in Council Chambers inside City Hall. Other officials, plus members of the public, took part remotely via telephones.