10-28: Montgomery Seeing Resurgence in Cases, Election Day FAQs, Two Voices Webinar Nov. 10, Full Case Report

 

TODAY’S COVID-19 CASE SUMMARY

There have been twenty-two (22) new cases in Montgomery/Rocky Hill since our last report Friday, 10-23-20.  Full report at the end of this e-bulletin.


 

Montgomery Seeing COVID-19 Resurgence

By Stephanie D. Carey, Montgomery Health Officer

Montgomery is on pace to hit a new record in weekly COVID-19 cases this week.  Since our last report on Friday, we have 22 new cases. Not since April have we recorded 20 cases in a week.

Unfortunately, the trend is consistent with what we are seeing statewide and nationwide, and a real cause for concern, particularly with the Halloween holiday coming on Saturday. My department strongly urges all Montgomery residents to continue to wear masks and avoid indoor social gatherings.

Because indoor parties are the riskiest choice, we recommend finding ways to celebrate the holiday as a family within your household. If you do go trick-or-treating, you should wear masks and only visit households that have made treats available at the end of a lawn or driveway. Wave and say hello to friends and neighbors but avoid getting closer than six feet.

 

The new resurgence in COVID cases are being traced not only to private parties, but also to reopened businesses and schools. My department is working diligently to investigate and take action on these cases to protect public health without ordering large lockdowns. Public cooperation with our investigations plays an important role in allowing us to keep schools and businesses open.

When we learn of a case in a school or workplace, our usual strategy is to ask the facility to “pause” operations.  In a school, that means we ask an entire class, or an affected person’s entire day’s classes, to stay home for one day while we investigate.  Similarly, with workplaces, we ask the business or office to shut down for one day.

During the pause, our contact tracers spring into action and look at the lists of individuals to determine who are truly close contacts rather than more distant ones.  Usually, only a handful of people will be asked to quarantine for two weeks, based on contact with a person who tested positive. Then everyone else can return to school or work.

Not only does a pause allow us to do our contact tracing while limiting further spread, but the pause also gives schools and workplaces a chance to disinfect the physical spaces where contacts have occurred.

This is a strategy we can implement while we are in the “yellow zone” in terms of the prevalence of COVID in our community.  If the situation gets much worse, tougher lockdowns may become necessary.

We are aware that many members of our community are experiencing “COVID fatigue” just as cooler weather makes outdoor events less enjoyable.  This health crisis is a marathon, so we have to set our expectations accordingly.

Montgomery continues to have a very good track record with cases relative to population, and cooperation with contact tracing has been outstanding.  Let’s remain vigilant so we can avoid a widespread outbreak as November and December holidays approach.


Answers to Your Election Day Voting Questions

By Donna Kukla, Montgomery Township Clerk

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, New Jersey has made changes to voting procedures for the 2020 General Election.

Every registered voter in New Jersey was provided a vote by mail ballot. Voting in person will be conducted via paper provisional ballot, and there will be no voting on a machine except for voters in need of assistance due to a disability.

The primary way to vote is to submit a vote by mail ballot either by U.S. mail or at one of 13 red, white, and blue ballot drop boxes in Somerset County. There is a ballot box located at top of the front steps of the Montgomery Township Municipal Building at 2261 US-206 in Belle Mead.  This box will be available to receive ballots from any voter in Somerset County until 8pm on Election Day, November 3rd.

Vote by mail ballots that are sent through the mail must be postmarked by Election Day, November 3rd and received by the county Board of Elections on or before November 10th. You may also hand deliver your mail ballot to the county Board of Elections or to your designated polling place until 8pm on Election Day November 3rd.

Track Your Submitted Ballot

All registered voters should have received a vote by mail ballot. If your ballot is lost or damaged, you can request a replacement ballot in person (online requests closed 10-24-20) in the atrium of the Somerset County Administration Building at 20 Grove Street in Somerville from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays, Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon, and on election day from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Masks and social distancing required.  This is also a ballot drop box location.  More at Somerset County Clerk Request Duplicate Ballot.

On Election Day, November 3rd, voters can bring their vote by mail ballot to their designated polling place from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. to hand to a poll worker, or they can cast a provisional paper ballot. There will be four polling locations open in Montgomery. It may not be your traditional voting location.

  • Central Jersey Masonic Center, 345 Kingston-River Road, Princeton (Dist. 1, 13, 18)
  • Otto Kaufman Community Center, 356 Skillman Road, Skillman (Dist. 2-4, 16, 19)
  • Montgomery Evangelical Free Church, 246 Griggstown Road, Belle Mead (Dist. 5, 6, 10-12, 17)
  • Montgomery Township Municipal Building, 2261 Route 206, Belle Mead (Dist. 7- 9, 14, 15)

You can look up your District Number and Polling Location at:  https://voter.svrs.nj.gov/polling-place-search

Large white and red postcards listing the recipient’s 2020 Election polling location, as well as ballot drop-box locations in the county, were mailed out last week to all registered voters by the Somerset County Clerks Office.

The county clerk has issued answers to a list of Frequently Asked Questions. Get answers by clicking on the questions below.

When is the 2020 General Election?
How do I request a replacement Ballot?
Can I get in-person help with voting?
How do I track my ballot to be sure it is received?
Where are the drop boxes?
Can I vote in person?
Do I need to put a stamp on my ballot?
What if someone is no longer at my address?
Who will count my ballot?
Why does my signature matter?
How can I submit my Vote by Mail Ballot?
Who is eligible to cast a ballot?
What are the key dates for the 2020 Election?
How long will it take to get final Election Results?
Will a preliminary vote count be available?

We also hear questions about the process for counting mail-in and provisional ballots.  As always, the Somerset County Board of Elections is responsible for counting all vote by mail and provisional ballots, regardless of how these ballots are submitted. The Board of Elections is made up of four members, two Republicans and two Democrats, who work together to ensure the vote count is accurate, transparent, and fair. Once they have counted the paper ballots, they submit the results to the County Clerk who adds in the machine vote from voters in need of assistance due to a disability, and then certifies the election.

If you still have election questions after reading the FAQs, the fastest way to get answers is to use the County’s SUBMIT YOUR QUESTIONS online form.  The County Clerk’s Office will answer within one business day.

(Above FAQs are posted on the Montgomery Twp. website for your convenience, sourced from “The Somerset County 2020 General Elections Guide.”)


 

Two Voices: Healing our Shared History, Nov. 10th

Do we know the full history of our Montgomery Township?

An Online Discussion with Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Leader, Dr. John Norwood and Indigenous Rights Activist, Arla Patch

November 10, 2020, 7 – 8pm

Register in Advance to get Zoom Webinar Invite at:

bit.ly/TwoVoices



TODAY’S COVID-19 FULL CASE REPORT

There have been twenty-two (22) new cases in Montgomery/Rocky Hill since our last report, Friday, 10-23-20.

As of 9 are today, 10-28

Montgomery cases:  219
Montgomery deaths: 7
Rocky Hill cases: 6
Rocky Hill deaths: 0

Age Ranges of Cases in Montgomery & Rocky Hill:

41       <20
31       20-29
20       30-39
32       40-49
47       50-59
27       60-69
6        70-79
21       80+

225 confirmed and probable cases for Montgomery and Rocky Hill in total, of which:

– 187 presumed recovered

–   31 currently ill

–     7 fatalities

a “Presumed recovered” means 30 days have elapsed since individual’s diagnosis and the person is not hospitalized.

For further statistics, go to the Health Dept.’s COVID-19 portal: https://health.montgomery.nj.us/covid19/,  State of NJ DOH’s COVID-19 Case Chart , and https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

Testing Site info found at: https://health.montgomery.nj.us/covid-testing/