11-18: 22 New Cases Suggest Community Spread, Leading to Virtual Schooling and Thanksgiving Warnings; Kidsgiving Charity Event; Detailed COVID Report

TODAY’S COVID-19 CASE SUMMARY

There have been twenty-two (22) new cases in Montgomery/Rocky Hill since our last report on Monday, 11-16-20.  Full report at the end of this e-bulletin.


 

22 NEW CASES SUGGEST COMMUNITY SPREAD, LEADING TO VIRTUAL SCHOOLING AND THANKSGIVING WARNINGS

By Stephanie D. Carey, Montgomery Health Officer

We’ve had 22 cases just since Monday and 33 since Friday, indicating exponential growth and community spread here in Montgomery Township. These trends have contributed to the decision by Montgomery Township Schools to return to full virtual education starting Monday, November 23. A return to a hybrid, virtual-in person model is expected to resume January 19, 2021. Full details behind the school decision are available here.

Thanksgiving next week represents a serious risk for further community spread. Everyone should “think small” for holiday celebrations, ideally with just the members of your household physically present. By order of Governor Murphy, there is a firm limit of 10 people for indoor gatherings such as Thanksgiving. Consider including extended family in holiday video conference calls. The CDC offers detailed advice for holidays here.

Many colleges and universities are wisely allowing college students to stay on campus for “Friendsgiving” events to avoid bringing the virus home.  If you will be hosting a returning college student for the Thanksgiving, the Montgomery Health department suggests the following for returning students:

  1. Before leaving, students already should be avoiding social activities at school except with roommates or housemates;
  2. Before leaving and upon arrival, students should be very careful about hand hygiene and consistently wearing masks.
  3. If possible, students should get a COVID test in time to receive the results before leaving for home.
  4. Students should travel home very carefully, wearing a mask near other people and minimizing contact with others.
  5. Upon arrival at home, students should wear masks, use a separate bathroom if possible, and keep their distance from other family members for at least several days.
  6. If you have a recently returned college student, don’t invite family members whose age or health status puts them at greater risk to COVID-19.

It is my department’s hope that the public will take the limit of 10 people per gathering seriously. Dr. Anthony Fauci said it best, recently: “You get one person who’s asymptomatic and infected, and then all of a sudden, four or five people in that gathering are infected. To me, that’s the exact scenario that you’re going to see on Thanksgiving.”

The good news is we may have a vaccine for COVID-19 available relatively soon. So, let’s stay safe during the 2020 holidays so we can hopefully all join together in 2021.


KIDSGIVING: LOCAL DRIVE-THROUGH CHARITY EVENT       

FOR KIDS TO HELP KIDS

In previous years, KidsGiving has been a free Montgomery and Hillsborough event where kids bring unwrapped gifts to wrap and place under the holiday tree for local kids in need. This year, because of COVID, KidsGiving has been redesigned as a drive-by event on December 6th to support our local charities and still make this a fun event for our younger generation.  The drive-through will occur in front of Code Ninja in Hillsborough.  Additionally, there will be a virtual event for sign-up which will include holiday cooking, games, and much more.

Organizers will be accepting gift cards, physical gifts from the wishlist, and cash donations. All net proceeds from the event will support Steps-Together, a local nonprofit that benefits Somerset County families facing medical crises, like childhood cancer. All food items will be donated to the Montgomery and Hillsborough food pantries. More info can be found at bit.ly/donate4kids20.



TODAY’S COVID-19 FULL CASE REPORT

There have been twenty-two (22) new cases in Montgomery/Rocky Hill since our last report, Monday, 11-16-20.     

As of 9AM today, November 18

Montgomery cases: 290

Montgomery deaths: 7

Rocky Hill cases: 9

Rocky Hill deaths: 0

Age Ranges of Cases in Montgomery & Rocky Hill:

61      <20
45      20-29
32      30-39
40      40-49
57      50-59
33      60-69
7       70-79
24      80+

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

– 259 presumed recovered

– 33 currently ill

– 7 fatalities

a “Presumed recovered” means cases that have met the criteria for discontinuation of isolation. A minimum of 10 days from diagnosis, or three days after symptoms resolve, whichever is longer. This definition represents a change from earlier in the pandemic before the CDC provided a definition.

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/