COVID-19 Case Count 5-21, NJ Business Week, Mental Health Support & Resources

TODAY’S COVID-19 CASE REPORT

 

As of 9 am today, 5/21:

NJ cases: 151,472
NJ deaths: 10,843
Somerset County cases: 4,390
Somerset County deaths: 387
Montgomery cases:  101
Montgomery deaths: 7
Montgomery presumed recovered: 75 a
Rocky Hill cases: 6
Rocky Hill deaths: 0
Rocky Hill presumed recovered: 6 a

Age Ranges of Cases in Montgomery & Rocky Hill:

5      <20
10      20-29
14      30-39
15      40-49
23      50-59
17      60-69
4      70-79
19      80+

Total 107 cases for Montgomery and Rocky Hill

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

The above numbers represent a snapshot in time, and will change daily or even hourly as new data come in. We are including both laboratory-confirmed cases, and probable cases, meaning cases believed to have COVID-19 based on symptoms and exposure to confirmed cases (identified via contact tracing), but who cannot yet qualify for testing at this time. If you are experiencing cough and fever, you should isolate yourself from well family members, and stay home until 3 days after your symptoms resolve without medications. If your symptoms worsen, contact your health care provider for a telemedicine consultation. We continue to stress the importance of washing hands, maintaining social distancing, and staying home.

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/.


It’s “Local & State Business Community Week” in New Jersey

Businesses make location and investment decisions based upon the Census count, which is as accurate as the responses received. Census responses could lead to more jobs and new business and that’s a great thing – especially as we recover from COVID-19. Ten questions, 10 minutes, an impact for 10 years! Fill it out or remind a friend:

https://2020Census.gov

 

Montgomery Health Dept. and GIS have created a Local Restaurant Map, also now linked at top of the Montgomery Business Directory and Health’s Restaurant webpage.  Please confirm hours with the individual restaurant, as they may be changing. Please observe all social distancing directions during order and pickup.


 

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Abby Grayson, a mental health professional located in Montgomery, wrote the following article to support our local community during the pandemic and beyond:

May is mental health awareness month, and it might be more important this year than ever before.

Human beings are meant to be connected. The physical presence of others is something that is not just “nice to have,” but is essential to our wellbeing. So, social isolation, coupled with the stressor of many potential anxieties (including fear of getting sick or losing a loved one, fear of losing a job or other kinds of economic instability, stress about your children’s education while you work from home, sadness about missing important milestone life events, and much more) have the ability to take a real toll.

Many have experienced various ups and downs during this time. There are some positives to being at home, and a lot of people have seized the opportunity to spend more time outdoors, eat meals with their families, or otherwise enjoy a different pace of life. At the same time, a perfectly normal response to this crisis is to feel blue from time to time, to experience stress or feel overwhelmed, to grieve the loss of the friends and relatives you cannot see or hold, and to be anxious about the many things that might feel out of your control at the moment. If you are an essential worker, a caretaker for an elderly or sick loved one, or have health problems yourself, your anxiety may be even more heightened.

There are various ways to cope with these feelings, including adding in additional time for self-care; finding an at-home hobby you enjoy; taking a break from reading news or engaging in social media and limiting screen time apart from work; meditating or adding in exercise of some kind; reading about how others are coping; and other measures that help reduce stress.

But when those typical feelings escalate and become more distressing, it is your mind and body signaling you to pay more attention to yourself. And it’s also possible that should you begin to feel regularly depressed, sleepless, or disengaged, or have anxiety or other symptoms that interfere with your daily functioning, you might need additional support.

When members of our community are looking for help, they often don’t know where to turn or how to find the support they need — and that has never been more true than right now. Many are asking: is support available during this time? How do I talk to someone? Isn’t everything closed?

Luckily, many mental health organizations and practitioners have moved their practices to telehealth (and some remain open with appropriate cleaning and social distancing measures in place). This means that support is readily available.

And, it’s important to add that for those of you who may have already been regularly accessing mental health services, whether counseling, medication management, addiction recovery services, or any combination of those — now is not the time to put that on the back burner! Try to prioritize your commitment to your mental health. If you’re having trouble paying for services, talk with your clinician, who may be able to work with you or provide appropriate referrals. This great resource from NAMI has many helpful suggestions for those diagnosed with mental illness.

These are uncharted times for many of us, and it’s important to remember that asking for help is a sign of strength! With that in mind …

How Do I Find Someone to Talk To? Here are some suggestions on how to find a mental health professional:

  • Check with your insurance; they often have a list of covered providers. And, in light of the COVID19 crisis, New Jersey has significantly relaxed its telehealth rules, meaning that most insurances are fully covering mental health sessions provided by video or phone.
  • Ask friends and family. Don’t be shy! Many people who have had a good experience with a mental health professional will be glad to talk about it and to share their practitioner’s information.
  • Ask your primary care physician. They often have a list of area providers.
  • Check online. There are many great online referral sources, where you can read all about practitioners and choose someone who may seem like a good fit for your needs. Two good places to begin are com and goodtherapy.org. If you’re in need of a clinician who works on a sliding scale due to financial limitations or lack of insurance, check out OpenPath Collective.
  • Online platforms like TalkSpace and BetterHelp are services that provide online counseling via text messaging with licensed therapists.

In addition, a great deal of help is available for free by phone. For instance, New Jerseyans feeling the emotional and mental toll of COVID-19 can get support from a special helpline: (866) 202-HELP (4357) provides free, confidential support. The helpline is answered by trained specialists from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week. New Jersey Human Services’ Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services provides support to the Mental Health Association of New Jersey to operate the line.

Here is a list of the many other ways to access help by phone and online:

PHONE SUPPORT & ONLINE SUPPORT & MEETINGS LIST

One last point: it can be difficult to be with loved ones constantly. If you’re frustrated with your family right now, know that it is perfectly natural! Seek support from friends, family outside the home, on social media, and by doing activities alone if possible for a break and some mental “space.”

If, however, you’re worried about your safety or concerned you may be experiencing domestic violence, please reach out to Safe + Sound or Womanspace for crisis or support services. In addition, if you experience an immediate, life-threatening mental health emergency or are in contact with someone experiencing such an emergency, please dial 911. Our police are ready and able to conduct wellness checks, assess well-being, and direct residents to emergency care as needed.

Most importantly, take care of yourself as best you can during these difficult times. Whatever social/distancing and “staying safe by staying at home” (if you can) look like for you, there is no doubt that the challenges are many. Be gentle with yourself, remember that people are resilient, and know that your Montgomery community, Montgomery leadership, and area mental healthcare professionals are all here to support you.

Author: Abby Grayson, MA, LPC, NCC