Amid ongoing complaints from drivers about scheduling an appointment at Motor Vehicle Commission offices in New Jersey, a state Senator says it's time to stop closing agencies for "deep cleaning."

Sen. Declan O'Scanlon notes most private business stopped closing for deep cleaning months ago, and it no longer makes sense for the MVC to shut down every time an employee tests positive for COVID.

The MVC has struggled to react to the pandemic. All in-person agencies were closed at the start of the public health crisis. They reopened in July of 2020.

A massive backlog of cases triggered long lines and people sleeping in MVC parking lots to try and get inside to process transactions.

MVC officials started moving the majority of routine transactions on-line and began making appointments for business that could not be conducted remotely.

That, however, also triggered problems when multiple agencies were often closed down for two weeks, with little or no notice, after an employee tested positive for COVID. All agency employees were told to quarantine. That left motorists with canceled appointments scrambling to make another.

With vaccination rates high among MVC workers, offices stopped closing for two weeks, but still closes agencies for a "deep cleaning" when any worker tests positive for the virus.

O'scanlon says that is ridiculous, and on twitter hammered what he called the "Murphy administrations pathetically outdated understanding of risk and science." he claimed it amounted to nothing more than a waste of money and time.

Motor Vehicle's officials claimed during the summer that had caught up on the backlog of cases, and processes more than 200,000 transactions per week, most by appointment.

In response to ongoing complaints about the ability to schedule an appointment, the MVC announced changes to when and how those appointments are scheduled. A spokesman claimed there were plenty of available appointments.

Despite being one of the busiest motor vehicle agencies in the nation, the MVC has done better than most other states, some of which are still dealing with backlog issues. According to MVC data, they serve 6.49 million licensed drivers and 7.68 million registered vehicles.

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