COVID-19 CASE SUMMARY
There have been twelve (12) new cases of COVID-19 in Montgomery and Rocky Hill since our last report on Tuesday, 10-12-21, and eighteen (18) over the last week. More than half of the local cases being monitored are under age 20.
WHY WE STILL QUARANTINE
By Devangi Patel
Montgomery Township Acting Health Officer
Despite a 95% adult vaccination rate, about 5,000 Montgomery residents remain unvaccinated, in most cases because they are children under 12 who are not yet eligible.
That’s why many of our new COVID-19 cases are connected to Montgomery Township schools and youth athletic programs. In some cases, an entire youth sports team needs to be quarantined at home for a week or more, until we can determine through testing that each teammate has not been infected.
We know this is frustrating for our families, but we want to assure you that the protocols we have in place are working. Our goal is to help stop any isolated cases from turning into outbreaks. This is how we keep schools open. By avoiding wider outbreaks of COVID-19 we can keep our schools fully open for in-person instruction.
This week, the White House told governors to start preparing their states for the expected approval of the Pfizer vaccine for children aged 5 to 11 in a matter of weeks. My department is working closely with Montgomery Township Schools to develop an efficient process for making the vaccine available to all our students as soon as possible following FDA approval.
Until we can vaccinate our children—both over and under age 12—contact tracing and quarantines will remain vital tools for keeping our community safe and our schools fully open.
PIKE RUN HOSTS COMBINED COVID AND FLU SHOT CLINIC
The Montgomery Township Health Department is offering both the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine and annual flu shots at a combined clinic at the Pike Run Clubhouse today, Friday, from 5 to 7 pm. The clinic at 40 Pike Run Road is open to everyone, regardless of whether they reside in the Pike Run development.
Appointments are recommended but not required. The Township website provides additional information and registration for the COVID-19 vaccines and the annual flu shots, or you can make an appointment by calling (609) 874-8007.
Flu shots are free for Seniors with Medicare, for first responders, and for residents who lost their job or insurance due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For all others, the cost is $25 and can be paid via credit card or check.
Additional COVID-19 vaccination opportunities, including at local pharmacies, can be found at the NJ vaccine finder website.
HAZARDOUS WASTE DROP-OFF TOMORROW IN HILLSBOROUGH
Somerset County is holding a free Household Hazardous Waste Drop-off event, the last one in 2021. Residents can safely dispose of their harmful household items on Saturday, Oct. 16, from 9 am to 2 pm, at the South County Public Works Garage, located at 410 Roycefield Road, Hillsborough, NJ 08844.
Residents must stay in their vehicles and wear masks. Materials should be stored in residents’ trunks, cargo areas, or truck beds and items must be accessible to the staff, so they can easily remove items from vehicles.
Residents must be prepared to show a current driver’s license, valid lease, tax bill or any other bill with a Somerset County address. Pre-registration is not required. Businesses or commercial vehicles are NOT allowed.
Household Hazardous Waste Items that Will Be Accepted
You may bring: banned or outdated pesticides, antifreeze, transmission fluid, brake fluid, wet-cell car batteries, motor oil (five-gallon maximum), fluorescent tubes and compact fluorescent light bulbs, ammonia-based cleaners, gasoline, kerosene, mercury switches, oil-based paints, pool chemicals, propane tanks and rechargeable and button-cell batteries.
Items Not Accepted
DO NOT drop off: tires, or electronics (computers and televisions), infectious waste, gas cylinders, smoke detectors, air conditioners, dehumidifiers, or latex-based paint.
For more information about the types and quantities of materials that will be accepted at the event, contact the Somerset County Division of Solid Waste Management at 908-231-7109, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.co.somerset.nj.us/HHW.
VISIT FARMERS MARKET TOMORROW FOR REUSABLE BAGS
The Montgomery Township Environmental Commission (EC) will be offering reusable bags at a table at tomorrow’s Montgomery Farmers’ Market 9 am to noon at the Village Shoppes in Skillman.
The EC would like to help everyone get in the habit now of carrying reusable bags which will become required statewide on May 4, 2022. From that time forward, stores will be prohibited from providing single-use plastic bags, as well as food containers and cups made of polystyrene foam. In addition, larger grocery stores will also no longer be providing paper bags.
Clean Ocean Action reports that more than 80% of litter picked up by volunteers at annual beach cleanups from Cape May to Sandy Hook have been plastic in recent years.
The Montgomery Farmers Market is held every Saturday at Village Shoppes, 1378 Route 206, Skillman (near Mooyah).
FIRE PREVENTION OPEN HOUSE TOMORROW
Montgomery Township’s Annual Fire Prevention Open House will be held this year at Station 46 in Blawenburg on tomorrow, October 16 from 10 AM to 2 PM.
Come learn about fire safety, meet the volunteer responders, and see the apparatus that make up Montgomery emergency services. Ring the bell on an antique fire truck! Applications for new members will also be available. Participating first responder groups include Station 45 (Belle Mead), Station 46 (Blawenburg), Montgomery Emergency Medical Services (MEMS) 47, Station 53 (Rocky Hill), and the Montgomery Township Police Department.
Family Friendly event! Activities include a car extrication demonstration, tours of a New Jersey Forest Fire Service brush truck and fire trucks, and sprinkler system demonstrations.
The event will be held at the Montgomery Volunteer Fire Co. 2, 529 Rt. 518, Skillman, NJ.
BUY TICKETS TO MONTGOMERY “RETURN TO ART” EVENT
Montgomery Township’s new Arts Council is hosting A Return to Art, a 3-day visual arts exhibition and sale, Oct. 22-24, featuring local and regional New Jersey artists. The Arts Council was formed this year by Montgomery Township’s volunteer-driven Economic Development Commission to showcase local and regional artists while providing the community with in-person access to artists who might be their neighbors.
“This event is meant to be a celebration. Artists and their communities are craving meaningful connection after spending over 16 months in lockdown.” says Karen Tuveson, Chair of Montgomery’s Arts Council. “Slowly opportunities are returning, but there still aren’t enough venues for artists to exhibit, meet the public, and cultivate collectors. Art is something best experienced in person.”
Deputy Mayor Marvin Schuldiner, liaison to the Montgomery Economic Development Commission, pointed out that artists who create physical products are small business owners. “Making art is a business. We all want to support our small local businesses. Artists are struggling just as much as shop owners in brick-and-mortar buildings.”
To learn more and buy tickets, visit the Montgomery Arts Council website.
VOLUNTEER TREE PLANTING THIS MONTH AND NEXT
Volunteers this week planted hundreds of trees at Rock Mill Preserve in Skillman as part of a larger reforestation effort by the Sourland Conservancy with help from Montgomery Friends of Open Space and the Township. The effort is needed because we are losing one-fifth of the Sourlands forest due to an invasive insect that kills ash trees.
Another volunteer planting effort is scheduled for the Folusiak property November 11th to 13th. If you’d like to help, you can sign up online here. Wear sturdy shoes and long pants, bring work/garden gloves and water. We will provide the tools, plants, and how-to instruction.
The Folusiak property located at 150 Hollow Road (entrance just north of the railroad tracks) where volunteers will plant 1,000 shrubs and trees. A multitude of bird species are utilizing this unique wet meadow habitat, so we are adding understory plants along a tributary stream to provide a habitat corridor for the birds, and other wildlife. The Washington Crossing Audubon is assisting by providing a bird inventory before and after our planting.