TODAY’S COVID-19 CASE SUMMARY
There have been ten (10) new cases of COVID-19 in Montgomery and Rocky Hill since our last report on Tuesday, 7-27-21 and twenty (20) for the week ending today. For further statistics, go to the Health Department’s COVID-19 portal.
HEALTH OFFICER ADVISES MASKING AS CASES RISE SHARPLY
Weekly COVID-19 cases for Montgomery and Rocky Hill reached their highest level in 12 weeks, with 20 cases since last Friday. The sharp rise coincides with the dominance of the highly transmissible Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus, and about half of the cases have been among unvaccinated children.
“Even though we have been very effective at vaccinating adults in Montgomery, we have many young people who aren’t vaccinated, either because they aren’t eligible or haven’t gotten around to it yet,” said Montgomery Township Health Officer Stephanie D. Carey. “This Delta variant needs to be taken very seriously, and we need to get every eligible person vaccinated as soon as possible.”
To get vaccinated, visit the Montgomery Township Health Department vaccination page or the New Jersey vaccine finder page. Montgomery will be offering the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine next week on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday evenings at the Municipal Building.
In light of the rising prevalence of cases, the Montgomery Health Department endorses the new advice from the CDC and the State of New Jersey urging residents to return to mask-wearing when in indoors where there is increased risk. Examples of such situations include:
- Crowded indoor settings
- Indoor settings involving activities with close contact with others who may not be fully vaccinated
- Indoor settings where the vaccine status of other individuals is unknown
- Where an individual is immunocompromised or at increased risk for severe disease
BACK TO SCHOOL KICK-OFF VAX CLINIC AUG. 5
To help the community prepare for school reopening on September 9, the Montgomery Township Health and Recreation departments have announced a “Back to School Kick-Off” vaccine clinic on August 5 that will feature free ice cream for anyone receiving their first dose.
In addition, the first 20 teens to get vaccinated with receive donated gift certificates to local restaurants and shops—including New World Pizza, Robinson’s Chocolates, and Thomas Sweet’s. The Rotary Club of Montgomery/Rocky Hill is donating Apple AirPods for a drawing among newly vaccinated youth.
The clinic will use the Pfizer vaccine approved for ages 12 and older and will be held from 4 to 7pm at the Recreation Department’s Otto Kaufman Community Center at 356 Skillman Road. We recommend you pre-register on the health department website, but walk-ins are also accepted.
The August 5 date was chosen because it is the last day to start the vaccination process and be fully vaccinated for the first day of school. The Pfizer vaccine requires 5 weeks from the first dose to full immunity, including 21 days between shots plus 14 days following the second dose. With school opening September 9 in Montgomery, that means the deadline for a first dose is August 5 for children to be fully protected in time for school.
Another good opportunity for vaccinating a child is the CVS at 2311 Route 206 in Belle Mead. They offer the Pfizer vaccine daily, with appointments required. You can make your appointment online now.
Parents with questions about the vaccine should talk to their child’s healthcare provider or to call the Montgomery Health Department at (908) 533-9331.
FREE MEALS FOR ALL MONTGOMERY STUDENTS
Free breakfasts and lunches are available for all Montgomery Township School District students for the summer. Seven days’ worth of meals are available to pick up on at two nearby South Brunswick schools every Tuesday through August 31:
· Between 10:30 AM and noon at Greenbrook Elementary School, 23 Roberts St., Kendall Park.
· Between noon and 1:30 PM at South Brunswick High School, 750 Ridge Road, Monmouth Junction.
Parents and guardians do not need to bring identification to pick up meals; just indicate how many K-12 children you have in the Montgomery School District. Bring a mask to wear while entering the school and follow food pick-up signs.
The program is provided under a contract between the Montgomery BOE and the Chartwell’s food service company. If you have questions, call the Montgomery Board of Education Business Administrator’s office at (609) 466-7601.
MOODY’S UPGRADES MONTGOMERY CREDIT RATING TO AAA
Reflecting increased confidence in the township’s financial strength, Moody’s Investor Service has upgraded Montgomery Township’s credit rating to the maximum of Aaa from Aa1.
In a statement issued this week, Moody’s provided the following rationale for the triple-A rating: “The upgrade to Aaa reflects the township’s large tax base with above-average resident income and wealth, consistent operating surpluses, and a strong financial position. The rating also incorporates the township’s modest debt burden which will remain stable since Montgomery has only limited capital needs.”
With the triple-A rating, Montgomery Township becomes one of just 20 municipalities in New Jersey with the highest possible credit rating from Moody’s.
“I am extremely proud of this major achievement,” said Montgomery Township Mayor Devra Keenan. “It’s a tribute to the hard work of elected leaders and our professional staff over the last few years, and a vote of confidence in how we have proceeded with the new municipal center.”
Montgomery Township Administrator Donato Nieman sent an email Thursday to all municipal department heads to announce the news and praise the work of the finance department, under the leadership of CFO Michael Pitts, and “the department heads who consistently carefully structured their budgets, applied for and received numerous grants to offset expenditures, and created new streams of revenue through shared services.”
Mr. Nieman’s memo also pointed out that the ratings upgrade “has the potential to save the Township hundreds of thousands of dollars on debt interest costs.”