TODAY’S COVID-19 CASE SUMMARY
There have been thirteen (13) new cases in Montgomery and Rocky Hill since our last report on Wednesday, 3-31-21. Detailed case data are not available today, due to staff being out to vaccinate homebound seniors in town. 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, andhttps://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/
LOOKING TOWARD PANDEMIC’S END DURING PUBLIC HEALTH WEEK
By Stephanie D. Carey
Montgomery Health Officer
The year 2020 was historic in the way that the pandemic impacted the global community. This year is about the challenge of bringing the pandemic to an end. Because this is Public Health Week, it is the ideal time to reflect on where we are and where we are going.
One of the important themes of public health week is rebuilding our public health capacity, including environmental protection, and improving racial equity. Montgomery has made major investments in our public health, doubling our department’s size during the pandemic.
Our health department is one of only three municipal health departments in New Jersey that has receive national public health accreditation, an achievement we reached as the pandemic began one year ago, after four years of effort. This accreditation has helped us respond during the pandemic. Indeed, I am very proud of the fact that last week we were among the first municipalities to directly receive vaccine from New Jersey to administer to homebound and transportation-limited seniors.
This is a key moment. COVID-19 cases are rising in our community, with highly transmissible variants of the virus present. At the same time, vaccination efforts are accelerating. We are in a race between vaccination and infection. It is very important that we all continue to use public health measures to keep ourselves and our families safe until vaccines are more widely available. That means continuing to wear your mask in public to protect yourself and others.
In the coming months, we can expect our focus will shift from vaccine shortages to efforts to persuade vaccine-reluctant people to get vaccinated for the health of the entire community. We also expect we will be vaccinating children this summer, which will help our schools become even safer places for the next school year.
Last Thursday I provided a more detailed public health update to the Township Committee that can be watched on the township website.
COVID TESTING IMPORTANT FOR SPRING BREAK TRAVELERS
Spring Break is concluding this week, which makes this an important time for many residents to get tested for COVID-19.
Travelers should be sure to get tested before interacting with friends, families, and neighbors upon their return home.
- Montgomery Township has arranged to hold a free COVID testing clinic at the Township Municipal Building on April 8th from 1-4pm. You can sign-up for the clinic here, or you can walk-in.
- 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.
MONTGOMERY VACCINATING TRANSPORTATION-LIMITED SENIORS
Montgomery Township last week received 100 doses of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine for homebound and transportation-limited seniors in Montgomery, ages 65 and older, and we are hopeful we will receive more doses from New Jersey. If you or somebody you know meets those strict criteria, please contact the Montgomery Health Department at 908-359-8211 x2400 as soon as possible to get on the list of travel-limited seniors.
About two-thirds of seniors in Somerset County have been vaccinated, but that leaves many still vulnerable, as indicated by the death of another Montgomery senior last week due to COVID-19.
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.
SEE MONTGOMERY MUNICIPAL CENTER PROGRESS IN VIDEO
The construction of Montgomery’s new Municipal Center is making rapid progress near the corner of Route 206 and Orchard Road. Montgomery Mayor Devra Keenan has released a video update for residents including drone footage and interviews with the building’s architect and construction manager.
You’ll also see detailed architectural drawings that will allow you to imagine what the new municipal offices and library will be like to visit. The project remains on schedule for opening mid-2022.
The municipal complex is partly funded by more than $5 million in New Jersey state grants 30-year, low-interest bonds.