3-24: Nine New Cases; Don’t Travel—But If You Do, Get Tested; Monty Speaks Out about Anti-Asian Racism; Vaccine Update; Donate Holiday Ham; Detailed COVID Case Data

TODAY’S COVID-19 CASE SUMMARY

There have been nine (9) new cases in Montgomery and Rocky Hill since our last report on Monday, 3-22-21. Detailed case data are available at the end of this ebulletin.


DON’T TRAVEL—BUT IF YOU DO, REGISTER FOR TESTING

By Stephanie D. Carey
Montgomery Township Health Officer

New Jersey’s COVID travel restrictions are still in place—for a reason.  It still is not safe to travel out of state, and if you do, you are required to quarantine for 10 days upon your return to New Jersey.

With Spring Break vacation for Montgomery schools starting Saturday, my department is concerned about the risk of new infections acquired while traveling and brought back to Montgomery when schools reopen April 7th. That why the school district has a strict policy in place that requires 10 days of virtual-only learning after any trip outside of New Jersey or nearby states (NY, DE, PA, CT).

Realizing some people will travel despite warnings, my department has arranged with Somerset County to hold a free COVID testing clinic to be held at the Montgomery Township Municipal Building on April 8th. Details will be forthcoming. Meantime, you can register NOW for these testing facilities so you or a household member can be tested before interacting with friends, neighbors, and family.

  • Central Jersey Urgent Care is offering rapid testing and PCR at its mobile test center in Montgomery Shop Rite parking lot. Telemedicine consultation required before appointment is given.  Call 732 538-2300 or see their website: CJ Urgent Care Skillman.
  • Jersey Pediatric Care (In Hillsborough) is offering testing and care for those up to age 21. Travel-related testing is also available for adults over age 21 without symptoms.  Call their office to schedule at 908-262-2343

Yet nothing can replace the importance of continued vigilance. With increasing rates of vaccination, we are finally able to see the end of the current health emergency arriving soon. We must continue to wear masks, wash hands, and remain socially distanced from each other until the emergency is over.

If you or other household members do travel, 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.


MONTGOMERY SPEAKS OUT AGAINST ANTI-ASIAN RACISM

Some of the speakers at Sunday’s event

By Shelly L. Bell
Township Committeewoman

As liaison to our new Inclusion & Equity Committee, I had the honor on Sunday to preside over a virtual community meeting in response to the racist shootings in three Asian-owned salons in Atlanta, Georgia last week.

Entitled “Montgomery Speaks Out Against Anti-Asian Racism,” the event drew dozens of community leaders, residents, and students, who spoke personally and movingly about their own experiences with racism, and the horror felt at the violence visited upon the Asian American community.  While it was terribly sad that this event was necessary, I am proud of the Montgomery community.

Our speakers included two former Asian American mayors of Montgomery, Dr. Sadaf Jaffer is the chairperson of our committee, as well as Cecilia Birge, who was mayor in 2008-2009. A recording of the event is available to watch on the Montgomery YouTube Channel, and the Montgomery News has published a summary of the event.

My colleague, Township Committeeman Kent Huang, captured the sentiment of many when he said: “Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are a proud community, a resilient community. We draw strength from our culture and from our heritage, from our lived experiences, and from each other. We stand together against all hate, whether that’s directed at Asian American and Pacific Islanders, Black, Indigenous and People of Color, our LGBTQ+ community, and any other minority group that faces intolerance and hate.”

We’re still feeling the pain from the past week’s horrifically racist attacks. As we all gather to mourn the loss of eight precious lives, including six Asian women, there must be no excuses for violence.

As a woman of color, I know the difficulties that racism and misogyny have caused today and always. We must speak out, and demand accountability. In these trying times, no one should remain silent.

We recognize that this recent occurrence cannot be regarded as a one-of-a-kind or rare. Rather, this is the continuation of a racist, violent, and misogynistic history against the Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities.

We hope every day for healing, but especially today. We stand united in allyship against hate and violence in any form.


VACCINE ELIGIBILITY EXPANDS

New Jersey this week expanded vaccine eligibility to educators and many other groups, including transportation workers, migrant farm workers, members of tribal communities, individuals experiencing homelessness or living in shelters, and more.

A recent article in Bridgewater Patch contains a useful guide to the latest sites for getting vaccinated in Somerset County.

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.


DONATE YOUR SHOPRITE “HOLIDAY HAM” TO FOOD PANTRY

The Montgomery Township Food Pantry is pleased to announce that our ShopRite Turkey Donation program is being extended to donating hams during the spring holiday season. If you earn a free ShopRite Ham* and would like to donate it to the Food Pantry, visit the Montgomery ShopRite Service Desk.

You may sign up to donate your free ShopRite ham during store hours through Thursday April 1, 2021. Visit the ShopRite Service Desk. You will need to present your ShopRite Price Plus® Card at Customer Service. The earned free ham points will be deducted from your account and a ham will be donated to the Montgomery Township Food Pantry Program.

Please do not drop off hams at the Montgomery Township Food pantry since we cannot accept perishables. We have arranged a special program working directly with ShopRite. You can contact the Montgomery Food Pantry by email (Montyfoodpantry@gmail.com) or by phone (609-466-1054).

*To earn a free turkey, present your Price Plus® card to the cashier every time you shop at any ShopRite Supermarket and you will be automatically credited. Price Plus® club membership is required to participate. While you can be earning credit at any ShopRite towards your turkey, you must go to the Montgomery ShopRite courtesy desk to donate locally.

 


 

COVID-19 FULL CASE REPORT

There have been nine (9) new cases in Montgomery and Rocky Hill since our last report on Monday, 3-22-21.

As of 9AM today, March 24:

Montgomery cases: 1080

Montgomery deaths: 21

Rocky Hill cases:  25

Rocky Hill deaths: 1

 

Age Ranges of Cases in Montgomery & Rocky Hill:

275    <20

176    20-29

104    30-39

166    40-49

164    50-59

108    60-69

40      70-79

72      80+

1105 confirmed and probable cases for Montgomery and Rocky Hill in total, of which:

 

– 1043 presumed recovered a

– 40  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/