12-23: New COVID Cases at 20; Vaccine Outlook in Montgomery; Student Holiday Concerts; Holiday Decoration Winners; African American Museum in News; Santa Visits Monty; Detailed COVID Case Report

TODAY’S COVID-19 CASE SUMMARY

There have been twenty (20) new cases in Montgomery and Rocky Hill since our last report on Monday, 12-21-20. The rate of new, local cases has flattened at a high level, making it important for residents to avoid holiday gatherings with people outside their household.


VACCINES OFFER HOPE,
BUT “NORMAL” IS MONTHS AWAY

A Newark ER nurse was the first person to be vaccinated in New Jersey.

 

By Stephanie D. Carey
Montgomery Township Health Officer

The announcement of the first shipments of vaccine to New Jersey is creating justifiable excitement about the pandemic’s end.

But this week is just the first step.  It will take weeks and months of concerted effort to get those vaccines into the arms of enough Americans to halt this pandemic freight train.

We face a difficult January, as hospitalizations and deaths from those already infected come to pass. Those attending Christmas gatherings this weekend represent a huge additional risk. Here in Montgomery, we need continued vigilance, with universal masking and continued social distancing, until we reach herd immunity, sometime in July or August 2021.

To paraphrase Winston Churchill, this is not the beginning of the end, but the end of the beginning.  As vaccination and other interventions take hold, we should see a gradual decline in new cases over the next several months.

Many Montgomery residents are asking when they will get the vaccine. The answer depends on who you are and the roll out will go in this order:

  1. Hospitals are starting to vaccinate workers now.
  2. Nursing home residents and staff, and medical first responders (EMS) will be vaccinated early in January.
  3. Next, New Jersey will use 6 “Mega-Sites” to vaccinate community-based health workers such as home health aides, primary care, and dental care.
  4. As more vaccine becomes available in February or so, the next phase will be front-line essential workers and persons aged 75+.
  5. The general population will likely to be able to start getting vaccinated in late spring.

Montgomery resident vaccinations will be managed by the Somerset County Health Department which will provide updates on its website.


 

MONTGOMERY SCHOOL VIRTUAL HOLIDAY CONCERTS

 

Holiday concerts for Montgomery High School and Upper Middle School were performed virtually this year, and the community is welcomed to watch!

Don’t miss the single-song performances of the high school Chamber Choir and Chorale, and the middle school choirs.  You can also watch an hour-long series of solo performances and duets as part of the Winter Coffee House.


 

WINNERS OF HOLIDAY DECORATION CONTEST ANNOUNCED!

The Montgomery Recreation Department has announced the winners of a township-wide holiday lights contest.

The winners are 4 Maple Street (shown above) for “Best Theme,” 208 Berkeley Ave. for “Most Classic,” and 315 Spring Hill Rd. for “Most Original.” In addition, 140 people voted online for the “Fan Favorite” which was 909 Route 601.

If you would like to tour all of the participating homes, you can find the addresses on a Googlemap on Recreation Department’s website. Drive by during the evening to see the holiday lights at their best!


 

MAYOR AND NEW YORK TIMES PUT SPOTLIGHT ON AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSEUM IN SKILLMAN

The One Montgomery Committee recently hosted a virtual event featuring Elaine Buck and Beverly Mills, founders of the Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum in Skillman. The 90-minute presentation and conversation can be watched on the township YouTube Channel.

Just this week, the museum was featured in the New York Times, and next week

Montgomery Mayor Sadaf Jaffer is hosting a fundraiser December 29th for the museum via Zoom.  Additional information and tickets for next week’s event are available on Eventbrite.


 

SANTA GETS AN ASSIST FROM MONTY FIRE DEPARTMENT

 

Montgomery Twp. Volunteer Fire Company No. 2 helped Santa make socially distanced tours of our neighborhoods on three nights last week.  If you missed the excitement, you can enjoy his arrival in this siren-filled video by Richard Hopkins. Photo above by Tamara Gillon.


 

TODAY’S COVID-19 FULL CASE REPORT

There have been twenty (20) new COVID-19 cases in Montgomery and Rocky Hill since our last report, Monday, 12-21-20.

As of 9AM today, December 23

Montgomery cases: 553

Montgomery deaths: 8

Rocky Hill cases:  18

Rocky Hill deaths: 0

 

Age Ranges of Cases in Montgomery & Rocky Hill:

124      <20

85      20-29

53      30-39

88      40-49

90      50-59

62      60-69

18      70-79

51      80+

 

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

–  508 presumed recovered a

–  55 currently ill

– 8 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/