9-28: Four new COVID Cases; Pfizer Booster Shots; Flu Clinics Begin October 6; Township Thanks Health Officer on Retirement; Watch Anti-Bullying Film; Container Facility Hours Changing; Disaster Resources; Election Info

COVID-19 CASE SUMMARY

There have been four (4) new cases of COVID-19 in Montgomery and Rocky Hill since our last report on Friday, 9-24-21.


PFIZER BOOSTER SHOTS NOW AVAILABLE

If you are 65 or older, a long-term care resident, an adult with underlying medical conditions, or an adult at increased risk of COVID-19 exposure because of your job, you are now eligible for a Pfizer booster shot, at least six months after your second Pfizer shot. Read New Jersey’s full statement here about booster shots.

To facilitate the registration process for a Pfizer booster shot, the Montgomery Health Department recommends that residents download the “Docket” app and follow sign-up instructions to conveniently access and display the exact dates, vaccine types, and batch numbers they received previously.

Vaccine appointments can be made at any existing vaccination location without a prescription. Somerset County is offering clinics with boosters this week in Bernardsville, North Plainfield, and South Bound Brook. Montgomery Township’s next Pfizer vaccination clinic will be Thursday October 7 at the Otto Kaufman Community Center from 4 to 7pm. Additional Montgomery vaccination opportunities are available online.


ANNUAL FLU CLINICS WILL BEGIN OCTOBER 6

The Montgomery Township Health Department has announced that the first annual flu vaccination clinic will be held October 6 at the Otto Kaufman Community Center on Skillman Road.  Residents aged 4 and older are eligible. Masks are required and short-sleeve shirts encouraged.

Flu shots are free for Seniors with Medicare, for first responders, and for residents who lost their job or insurance due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  For all others, the cost is $25 and can be paid via credit card or check.

Advance appointments are required and available during daytime and evening hours. Walk-ins are accepted, but you’ll get quicker service if you sign up online or make an appointment by phone at 609-874-8007.


TOWNSHIP THANKS HEALTH OFFICER CAREY UPON HER RETIREMENT

The Montgomery Township Committee last Thursday formally thanked its Health Officer, Stephanie D. Carey, upon her planned retirement after 17 years, effective October 31.

In a resolution adopted by the Township Committee, Ms. Carey was cited for having “worked tirelessly to ensure the health and safety of the residents of Montgomery by organizing yearly flu clinics and most recently during the COVID-19 Pandemic by making sure Township residents were made fully aware of the devastating effects of the disease as well as organizing multiple vaccination clinics within Montgomery Township, Hopewell and Pennington Boroughs.”

Ms. Carey thanked the Township Committee for supporting her work, saying “Your support has been lifesaving for our community.” She promised she is leaving the township in “the worthy hands” of her deputy, Devangi Patel, who will assume Ms. Carey’s duties.

“Under Stephanie’s leadership, the rate of COVID-19 infection was kept lower than in most large New Jersey towns, and we achieved the highest vaccination rate in the most vaccinated county in New Jersey,” said Mayor Devra Keenan. “We owe a lot to Stephanie, not just during the pandemic but also for her years of advance preparation.”


ANTI-BULLYING FILM RECOMMENDED FOR MONTY TEENS

The Municipal Alliance of Montgomery – Rocky Hill encourages parents and children 13 and older, school staff, and community leaders to view an important documentary about bullying. The film, The Upstanders, is available for free next Tuesday, October 5, at 7pm. To register go to: REGISTRATION LINK

This documentary—about resilience and the power of connection to end bullying—addresses aspects of our everyday lives that is not often talked about.  Block out October 5 on your family calendars and watch together!


CONTAINER FACILITY OPEN DAILY THIS WEEK FOR FLOOD DEBRIS

Montgomery Township’s Container Facility at 12 Harlingen Road will remain open daily through Friday this week, from 8 am to 2 pm, to discard debris from Hurricane Ida.  Be prepared to show proof of residency. The facility will not be open on Saturday this week.  Next week the hours will be Tuesday and Thursday only, from 8 am to 2 pm.


DISASTER RESOURCES FOR RESIDENTS, BUSINESSES, NONPROFITS

Somerset County is part of a declared Federal Disaster area due to Hurricane Ida, meaning that Federal relief monies may be available to residents through the Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster process.  Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

If you are facing a major loss, use the state portal to report damage and keep documentation, photos, and receipts. This should expedite reimbursement. Federal funding is available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide. FEMA has created a webpage that includes New Jersey resources and assistance for families. If you wish to assist with the recovery efforts, visit FEMA’s Volunteer/Donate page.

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority Board approved a disaster relief program that will provide grants between $1,000 and $5,000 to New Jersey businesses and non-profits with up to 50 employees that suffered physical damage as a result of Tropical Storm Ida and any additional flooding immediately thereafter. Landlords and home-based businesses are not eligible.

Local lists of recovery resources are available on the Montgomery Township and Somerset County websites.  Montgomery’s Office of Emergency Management has established a special hotline for Ida-related questions or concerns at (908) 395-7991. In addition, Montgomery Township is collecting requests for help with a range of extraordinary challenges via an Emergency Help Form on the township website.

Additional resources include these hotlines: NJ Mental Health 866-202-HELP, SAMSA Disaster Distress Hotline: 800-985-5990.


VOTER REGISTRATION DEADLINE APPROACHES; ELECTION POLL WORKERS NEEDED

Many residents have received mail ballots for the 2021 New Jersey State Election that is now officially underway. Mail ballots can be returned via the US Postal Service or deposited in a secure drop box beginning late next week. The Somerset County list of drop boxes includes the Montgomery Township Municipal Building at 2261 Route 206 in Belle Mead.

If you are not yet registered to vote, or uncertain of your status, New Jersey offers a voter portal to assist you. The registration deadline is October 12.

Somerset County is still in need of paid poll workers for Election Day and for the first-ever “early in-person” voting that begins October 23. Residents interested in learning about temporary employment as a poll worker should visit the Somerset County Board of Elections website, where they will also find an application form.