TODAY’S COVID-19 CASE SUMMARY AND MASKING ADVICE
There have been ten (10) new cases of COVID-19 in Montgomery and Rocky Hill since our last report on Friday, 7-23-21. Based on the rise in local cases, the Montgomery Township Health Department recommends returning to mask wearing when indoors with people whose vaccination status is unknown to you. Further guidance is expected this week from the CDC.
For further statistics, go to the Health Department’s COVID-19 portal.
BACK TO SCHOOL KICK-OFF VAX CLINIC AUG. 5
To help the community prepare for school reopening on September 9, the Montgomery Township Health and Recreation departments have announced a “Back to School Kick-Off” Vaccine Clinic on August 5 that will feature free ice cream for anyone receiving their first dose. In addition, there will be donated gift certificates for teens to local restaurants and shops—including New World Pizza, Robinson’s Chocolates, and Thomas Sweet’s—and a drawing for Apple AirPods.
The clinic will use the Pfizer vaccine approved for ages 12 and older and will be held from 4 to 7pm at the Recreation Department’s Otto Kaufman Community Center at 356 Skillman Road. We recommend you pre-register on the health department website, but walk-ins are also accepted.
The August 5 date was chosen because it is the last day to start the vaccination process and be fully vaccinated for the first day of school. The Pfizer vaccine requires 5 weeks from the first dose to full immunity, including 21 days between shots plus 14 days following the second dose. With school opening September 9 in Montgomery, that means the deadline for a first dose is August 5 for children to be fully protected in time for school.
Another good opportunity for vaccinating a child is the CVS at 2311 Route 206 in Belle Mead. They offer the Pfizer vaccine daily, with appointments required. You can make your appointment online now.
Parents with questions about the vaccine should talk to their child’s healthcare provider or to call the Montgomery Health Department at (908) 533-9331.
ENCOURAGE FRIENDS AND FAMILY TO VACCINATE
By Stephanie D. Carey
Montgomery Township Health Officer
The vaccination effort against COVID-19 has been very successful in Montgomery Township. More than 9 in 10 of our adults and more than half of our teenagers are vaccinated. But with the more contagious Delta variant driving cases up across the country, this is no time to rest on our laurels. Even with widespread vaccination in Montgomery, cases are rising again.
Nearly 7,000 Montgomery residents are not vaccinated because they are under the age of 12, or they have a medical reason for not vaccinating, or because they haven’t gotten around to it yet. All these people remain vulnerable, particularly with increased summer travel, employees returning to workplaces, and school reopening in the fall.
The best thing we can do is to get teenagers their first shot before August 5, so they will be fully vaccinated in time for school reopening September 9. In addition, I encourage everyone to talk to close friends and family members who are not yet vaccinated. Conversations among friends and family often are more persuasive than official sources of information.
The most effective conversations are ones that are non-judgmental and highly personal. Explain why it matters to you and tell them about your own experience with the vaccine. There’s no single right way to do it, and there are some good sources of ideas for how to bring up the topic and what to say. This magazine article includes seven leading ways to do it. Please join me in helping to ensure the safety of our community.
ENTER MONTGOMERY WEEKLY PHOTO CONTEST!
The Rec Department has reprised its annual “Show Us Your Montgomery” photo contest. Each week through August 27, residents will submit photos of “their Montgomery” to firstname.lastname@example.org. Each week the rec staff will vote on a weekly winner, and the winning photo will become the Recreation Department’s Facebooks cover photo for the week.
Each week’s winning photo will be entered into the Grand Prize drawing. The residents will vote on the weekly winning photos the week of August 30th and the winner will be announced September 6th. For additional detail, visit the Recreation Department website.
FINANCIAL RELIEF AVAILABLE
Relief programs are available to people impacted financially by the pandemic.
- Recently, the income limits and the amount of funds have been increased for Somerset County families who are eligible to receive money from the Emergency Rental Relief Program (ERRP) to help keep them in their homes if they have lost their income due to the pandemic. Additional information, and an easy-to-use online application are available.
- A new Emergency Broadband Benefit provides a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband service to eligible households. The program also offers a discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers. Eligible households can enroll through an approved provider (such as CenturyLink, Comcast or Verizon, and many cellular providers) cellular providers) or by visiting GetEmergencyBroadband.org. For more information, check out the Broadband Benefit Consumer FAQ.
- Assistance is available to help you pay your utility bills. All New Jerseyans with outstanding balances are encouraged to apply for utility assistance programs now to lower their balances and also contact their utility company to request a flexible repayment plan. You may be newly eligible for financial assistance programs to help you pay your bills. You can learn more and apply for utility help now using a new screening tool from the NJ Department of Community Affairs at gov/dca/dcaid.
- Funeral expense relief is available via the Federal Emergency Management Agency for people who have had to pay funeral expenses for a family member lost to COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. Funeral relief information is available online.