3-10: Fifteen New Cases; Thanks to COVID-19 Heroes; New CDC Guidance for Vaccinated People; Expanded Vaccination Eligibility; Free Mental Health Help; Beware of Phone Scams; Detailed COVID Case Report

TODAY’S COVID-19 CASE SUMMARY

There have been fifteen (15) new cases in Montgomery and Rocky Hill since our last report on Monday, 3-8-21. Detailed case data available at the end of this ebulletin.


THANKS TO COVID-19 HEROES

Montgomery Twp Public Health Shield

By Stephanie D. Carey
Montgomery Health Officer

Governor Murphy declared yesterday, March 9, as COVID-19 Heroes Day. I want to extend my deepest thanks to all my Public Health staff, who have been working tirelessly to bring this pandemic to an end.

Our hospital workers save the lives of the desperately ill, under tremendous strain. The job of public health workers is to keep those people from ever getting sick in the first place.  When we succeed, that, by its nature, makes us invisible, with “the silent victories of public health.”

I also want to thank our community for exceptionally high levels of cooperation with my team. When we contact your household, our goal is to help keep you and your neighbors safe and avoid hospitalizations.  Thanks to your cooperation and adherence to public health guidelines, our community has many COVID-19 heroes.


NEW CDC GUIDANCE FOR VACCINATED PEOPLE

The number of COVID-19 vaccine doses given in New Jersey continues to grow rapidly, by over half a million since the start of the month. As of yesterday, 2.6 million doses have been given, including 870,000 that are second doses.

As more Americans have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19, the CDC has issued new guidance for fully vaccinated people. Full vaccination status kicks in two weeks after receiving a second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, and two weeks after receiving the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Fully vaccinated people may socialize with each other in private homes without masks and social distancing.  They can also socialize with the unvaccinated members of a single household, so long as none of their household members is at increased risk of severe illness. This is the basis for allowing fully vaccinated grandparents to socialize with adult children and grandchildren.

The CDC advises that fully vaccinated people should still wear masks and socially distance when in public, or when mingling with people from more than one household.


EXPANDED ELIGIBILITY FOR VACCINES

In addition to everyone 65 and older and adults with underlying conditions, eligibility for vaccines has expanded to include Pre-K through 12th grade educators and childcare workers in licensed and registered settings are now eligible for the vaccine. Click here for more information about vaccine eligibility.

The State’s vaccine call center is pro-actively reaching out to people aged 75 and older who are registered to receive the vaccine to provide assistance with scheduling an appointment. Click here for more information on efforts to expand vaccine capacity and access.

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/.

Montgomery Township is keeping a limited list of vulnerable, elderly residents lacking internet access or transportation, to help them get access to vaccine.  If you have no internet access, nor transportation, call 908-359-8211 x2400. If you have a neighbor meeting this definition, consider bringing this phone number to his or her attention.


COUNTY OFFERING FREE MENTAL HEALTH HELP

If you or your family are experiencing feelings of isolation, fear, confusion, anxiety, or stress, Somerset County is offering free counseling through the new Somerset County Hope and Healing Crisis Counseling Program (CCP). The CCP  is funded through a FEMA/SAMHSA grant in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

All support provided through this program is confidential, anonymous, and free. For more information, visit the Somerset County website or call the support hotline at 908-231-6414.


 BEWARE OF TELPHONE SCAMS

Montgomery Police received a report from a local business that a person purporting to be from their utility company attempted to solicit payment for their utility bill over the telephone.  The caller provided specific information regarding the employee’s business and requested payment for an outstanding utility bill in the form of gift cards.  Fortunately, the employee realized their account was in good standing and this was a scam.

Below are some red flags for businesses and households to look out for:

  • You receive a call from what looks like your utility provider on your caller ID.
  • The caller threatens to shut off your service and demands an immediate payment by cash, pre-paid card, wire transfer or Bitcoin.
  • The caller informs you that you require a new meter and demands a deposit before the installation can occur.
  • You’re given a phone number to call back that, when called, may sound similar to your utility provider’s automated call system.
  • The caller alerts you that, because of your good bill-paying history, you’re eligible for a bill reduction or discount but you must provide information first.

As another reminder, utility providers do not accept payment via prepaid gift cards, wire transfers or cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin.


COVID-19 FULL CASE REPORT

There have been fifteen (15) new cases in Montgomery and Rocky Hill since our last report on Wednesday, 3-8-21.

As of 9AM today, March 10:

Montgomery cases: 1013

Montgomery deaths: 21

Rocky Hill cases:  25

Rocky Hill deaths: 1

 

Age Ranges of Cases in Montgomery & Rocky Hill:

254    <20

164    20-29

94      30-39

159    40-49

155    50-59

101    60-69

39      70-79

72      80+

1038 confirmed and probable cases for Montgomery and Rocky Hill in total, of which:

– 956 presumed recovered

–  63 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.

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/