TODAY’S COVID-19 CASE SUMMARY
Our community has one (1) more COVID-19 death and twelve (12) new cases since Monday, bringing the grand total to 1,000 cases in Montgomery and Rocky Hill. A detailed case report follows at the end of this ebulletin.
“UK VARIANT” HAS REACHED MONTGOMERY
By Stephanie D. Carey
Montgomery Township Health Officer
The highly transmissible “UK variant” of COVID-19 has been identified among the new cases recently reported here in Montgomery Township. This may explain why we are not seeing a steep, post-holiday decline in cases as we had anticipated. As we approach the first anniversary of pandemic-related lockdowns, Montgomery and Rocky Hill have had 1,000 total cases.
While the UK variant is not associated with higher rates of hospitalization or death, it does spread up to 70% more easily from person to person, according to published research. For this reason, I urge residents to continue to be vigilant about following safety protocols such as wearing masks, social distancing, and washing hands. Indoor gatherings and carpooling with others are especially risky activities.
Fortunately, the pace of vaccination is accelerating, especially with a newly approved single-dose vaccine from Johnson & Johnson. All of the vaccines have been shown to be effective against the UK variant. Public health officials, including my staff, are working very hard to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible. Let’s do everything we can to win this race between infection and vaccination.
VACCINE PRODUCTION ACCELERATES AS NJ EXPANDS VACCINE ELIGIBILITY FOR TEACHERS, OTHERS
The Biden Administration yesterday announced an accelerated vaccine program that would produce enough doses for every adult American by the end of May. On Monday, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced expanded eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccines beyond those 65 and older or with underlying health conditions.
Beginning Monday, March 15, the following categories will be eligible for vaccination:
- Educators, including support staff, in pre-K through 12th grade settings
- Childcare workers in licensed and registered settings
- Public and local transportation workers
- Public safety workers
- Migrant farm workers
- Members of tribal communities
- Individuals experiencing homelessness and those living in shelters
And beginning Monday, March 29, a variety of frontline essential workers will become eligible for vaccination, including those in food production, agriculture, and distribution; social services, clergy, and more.
To get vaccinated, all residents must sign up on the state website, covidvaccine.nj.gov, so you can be notified when you become eligible. You can also call the New Jersey Call Center Vaccination Support Number between 8 AM and 8 PM: 855-568-0545.
Those who are eligible may also sign up for hospital-based, public, and private sites offering vaccination, such as CVS, and the several New Jersey “Mega Sites.” There is a new Vaccine Finder website that may be useful, particularly for local pharmacies: https://vaccinefinder.org/search/.
You can also use social media to help get an appointment. Join the New Jersey Covid Vaccine Info Facebook group. The 61,000-member group gives New Jerseyans the opportunity to share up-to-date information on vaccine availability.
Follow VaxxUpdates on Twitter. The page helps Garden State residents secure vaccine appointments with instant updates on availability.
STATE PARKS AND FORESTS OFFER SUMMER JOBS
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection is accepting applications for hundreds of jobs throughout state parks, forests and natural and historic sites, Acting Commissioner Shawn LaTourette announced today.
Beyond providing a fun and engaging summer work experience in New Jersey’s parks, these seasonal jobs can introduce New Jerseyans from all backgrounds to long-term career paths in environmental protection. Available positions include naturalists, history educators, visitor service assistants, trail stewards, office assistants, lifeguards, and maintenance personnel.
The State Park Service takes COVID-19 precautions especially seriously. Protocols are followed and all employees are provided with the essential personal protective equipment needed while at work. To learn more about which locations are accepting applications or to apply for a specific position, visit www.nj.gov/dep/workinparks.
Applicants for all positions are encouraged to check with the park office of their choice by Friday, March 12 about specific positions, scheduling and other job-related inquiries. Applications should be submitted as soon as possible.
APPLY NOW FOR LOCAL RENT RELIEF
In response to the financial hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic, Somerset County has established a rent relief program using Federal grant monies. About $400,000 in rent relief is still available to county residents, including in Montgomery, who have suffered COVID-related income loss, subject to income limitations.
Additional information, and an easy-to-use online application are available here. Paper application forms are available by calling 908-541-5756.
TODAY’S COVID-19 FULL CASE REPORT
There have been one (1) new death and twelve (12) new cases in Montgomery and Rocky Hill since our last report on Monday, 3-1-21.
As of 9AM today, March 3
Montgomery cases: 977
Montgomery deaths: 21
Rocky Hill cases: 23
Rocky Hill deaths: 1
Age Ranges of Cases in Montgomery & Rocky Hill:
1,000 confirmed and probable cases for Montgomery and Rocky Hill in total, of which:
– 924 presumed recovered
– 54 currently ill
– 22 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.
Testing Site info found at: https://health.montgomery.nj.us/covid-testing/