8-26: Residents Get High Marks for Contact Tracing Results, COVID-19 Case Report


Township Health Officer Stephanie Carey believes Montgomery residents deserve an ‘A’ for their efforts to keep our community safe by responding to contact tracing.

The health department is getting a 95% successful completion rate in response to contact tracing calls, which the department makes every time someone tests positive for Covid-19 in the community.  Health department staff call these residents to request that they share the contact info of people with whom they have been in close proximity, so that outreach may be made to others who may have had exposure.

“By comparison, most other communities are getting response rates of about two-thirds,” Health Officer Carey said.  “Montgomery’s high level of cooperation means we are better able to contain the spread, and keep our community safe.”

The speed and completeness of contact tracing is key to the effectiveness of curbing transmission.  NPR along with Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security surveyed all states in late July to ask what data they were gathering through contact tracing and making public. New Jersey Department of Health was one of 14 respondents who say they post effectiveness data on a government website, including statistics such as capacity and staff by county, outreach attempts and success rates, etc. (New Jersey Dept. of Health info posted at : https://nj.gov/health/cd/topics/covid2019_dashboard.shtml)

Researcher Crystal Watson of the Center of Health Security, collaborated with NPR on the survey, and praised New Jersey as providing data which is particularly helpful to knowing how many contacts were being reached and notified and the timing in which this was happening. Figures indicate that public health workers in New Jersey overall reached 44% of new cases within 24 hours, and nearly half of those reached refused to provide contacts. While the aim is to increase this, Ms. Watson said modeling suggests that even this level is beneficial in controlling transmission.  Montgomery Twp. Health Department is receiving a much higher cooperation from its residents (95% completion rate), which is helping to protect the community as a whole.

How does contact tracing work?

Contact tracing involves public health professionals doing investigations of infectious disease cases, both to determine their likely source, and to identify additional people who may have become infected. Contact tracing is the most effective way to stamp out new outbreaks before they become large, allowing us to reopen the economy.

The first step in contact tracing is a telephone call placed by health department staff to individuals who have been infected, to ask where they have been and who they have been in contact with. Health workers ask for names and numbers of those additional people, to contact them to ask similar questions, and to provide advice about testing and quarantine, to reduce the chance for further spread.

What happens if contact tracing determines I am at risk of infection?

If you have been exposed to a person who has tested positive, the Health Department staff will help you get access to testing, provide support services, and provide you with written instructions for isolation or quarantine, if needed.   Self-quarantine usually lasts 2 weeks.

Following the instructions of a contact tracer is a necessary sacrifice you can do to help your neighbors, help your community, to return to society, confident in the knowledge that infected people are being identified and are quarantining until they are either recovered or test negative.

If you receive a call from the Health Department, please know that our foremost concern is your family’s health and welfare. Thank you for answering the call!  If you have any questions, contact the Health Dept.’s Covid-19 hotline at: 908-533-9319.



Note: There has been one (1) new case in Montgomery/Rocky Hill since our last report Monday, 8-24-20.

As of 9 am today, 8/26     Montgomery Twp Public Health Shield

NJ cases: 190,306
NJ deaths: 15,914
Somerset County cases: 5,364
Somerset County deaths: 565
Montgomery cases:  141
Montgomery deaths: 7
Rocky Hill cases: 7
Rocky Hill deaths: 0

Age Ranges of Cases in Montgomery & Rocky Hill:

15       <20
20       20-29
19       30-39
22       40-49
27       50-59
19       60-69
6        70-79
20       80+

148 confirmed and probably cases for Montgomery and Rocky Hill in total, of which:

– 134 presumed recovered a

–     7 currently ill

–     7 fatalities

a “Presumed recovered” means 30 days have elapsed since individual’s diagnosis and the person is not hospitalized.

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/

*****DISCLAIMER***** Reported numbers on this page may not match the figures provided on the Somerset County page.  This is due to differences in reporting times.

Testing Site info found at: https://health.montgomery.nj.us/covid-testing/