3-12: Sixteen New Cases; Cases Up among Youth Ahead of Spring Break; Free Testing in Monty Tuesday; Food Drive Saturday; NJ Relaxes Rules for Businesses & Gatherings; Expanded Vaccination Eligibility; Detailed COVID Case Report

TODAY’S COVID-19 CASE SUMMARY

There have been sixteen (16) new cases in Montgomery and Rocky Hill since our last report on Wednesday, 3-10-21, and 42 cases over the last seven days as shown in the chart. Detailed case data available at the end of this ebulletin.


 

CASES UP AMONG YOUTH AHEAD OF SPRING BREAK

By Stephanie D. Carey
Montgomery Township Health Officer

Montgomery’s new COVID-19 case counts have remained stubbornly high, averaging about 40 cases weekly over the last six weeks. None of these cases are among adults 60 and older, suggesting that vaccines are working among that high-priority group. But cases are rising fast among youth under the age of 20.

Since late January, we have had a 46% increase in cases among the youngest residents, bringing the grand total to 259 youth cases. As I have previously reported, we are seeing new cases driven by youth socializing and sports. The arrival of the United Kingdom variant is another key factor, the UK variant is 70% more transmissible than the original virus.

With Spring Break on the horizon, accelerated cases among vacationing youth is a serious risk. The Montgomery schools will be closed for break between March 27 and April 7th. During this time, it will be tempting for young people and families to travel outside of our area, where COVID-19 may be more widespread.

If you or other household members are planning to travel, please keep these principles in mind:

  1. Outdoor socializing is always better than indoors. Take advantage of the nice weather and see people outdoors during the warmth of the day, while avoiding crowds.
  2. Minimize the interaction among people who live in different household. The good news is that fully vaccinated grandparents can now visit with unvaccinated adult children and grandchildren—but only one unvaccinated household at a time!
  3. If you travel, wear a mask anytime you are with people who do not live with you, and maintain social distance.
  4. It is better not to fly to a traditional Spring Break location, but if you do, follow the guidance provided by the CDC.
  5. Upon your return, self-quarantine from anyone who did not travel with you.  Get tested 5 days after your return, before having close contact with others, (or self-quarantine 10 days without a test).

We need to get through just a couple of more months until vaccinations are available to everyone. Please be as cautious as you possibly can be.


FREE COVID TESTING IN MONTGOMERY TUESDAY

Somerset County is operating a free COVID-19 testing site Tuesday in the Montgomery Township courtroom. Pre-registration is available and walk-ins will also be accepted. Testing will be offered from 1 to 4pm on March 16 from. Any Somerset County resident aged 5 and older is eligible and no prescription is needed. Pre-registration is available online or by calling 908-231-7155. Additional information is available on the Montgomery website.



FOOD PANTRY DRIVE SATURDAY AT SHOP RITE

The Montgomery Food Pantry is partnering with the Princeton Elks Club and the Montgomery Volunteer Fire Department #2 on a food drive in front of Montgomery ShopRite from 9am to 3pm tomorrow Saturday, March 13 & Sunday, March 14.  For more information, click here:

https://montgomerytogether.us/food-pantry-information/


NJ RELAXES RULES FOR BUSINESSES & GATHERINGS

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy this week signed Executive Order No. 230, which will increase indoor capacity limits for certain businesses and increase both the general indoor and outdoor gathering limit, while retaining the mandate on wearing mask in public. The changes went into effect this morning.

The following businesses may increase indoor capacity limits from 35 percent to 50 percent, excluding the employees:

  • Indoor premises of restaurants, cafeterias, and food courts, and bars
  • Indoor recreation, amusement, and entertainment businesses
  • Personal care services (barber shops, nail salons, and other personal care businesses)

Rules for indoor gatherings

  • The indoor gathering limit will increase from 10 people to 25 people.
  • Indoor gatherings that currently have a higher limit  – religious services or ceremonies, political events, weddings, memorial services, or performances – are unchanged.

Rules for outdoor gatherings:

  • The general outdoor gathering limit will increase from 25 people to 50 people.
  • Outdoor gatherings that are religious services or ceremonies, political events, weddings, funerals or memorial services will remain unchanged.

UPDATE ON EXPANDED ELIGIBLIITY FOR VACCINATIONS

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. Beginning Monday, additional categories will be eligible to book appointments 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.


COVID-19 FULL CASE REPORT

There have been sixteen (16) new cases in Montgomery and Rocky Hill since our last report on Wednesday, 3-10-21.

As of 9AM today, March 12

Montgomery cases: 1029

Montgomery deaths: 21

Rocky Hill cases:  25

Rocky Hill deaths: 1

Age Ranges of Cases in Montgomery & Rocky Hill:

259    <20

168    20-29

96      30-39

162    40-49

157    50-59

101    60-69

39     70-79

72     80+

1054 confirmed and probable cases for Montgomery and Rocky Hill in total, of which:

– 961 presumed recovered a

–  71 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/