4-16: Twenty-two New Cases; Township Returns to Yellow Zone; Montgomery Vaccine Clinics for Vulnerable; Hiring Election Workers; Deer Program Produces 10,000 Meals; Help Stop Spotted Lanternfly; COVID Report

TODAY’S COVID-19 CASE SUMMARY

There have been twenty-two (22) new confirmed COVID-19 case in Montgomery and Rocky Hill since our last report on Wednesday, 4-14-21.  Detailed case data are available at the end of this ebulletin.


 

MONTGOMERY BACK IN YELLOW ZONE AS CASES MODERATE

Montgomery Township is within a three-county area that has improved to a rating of yellow from orange as the risk of COVID-19 transmission has moderated, said Health Officer Stephanie D. Carey at last night’s Montgomery Township Committee officer, which she called “good news.”

Weekly new cases in Montgomery were 31 for the week ending today. Three-quarters of the new cases have been among youth and adults under the age of 40.

Ms. Carey explained that the improving picture is the key reason why Montgomery Schools will be able to return to full-day in-person instruction in May. “We still need to be cautious about gatherings, especially indoors, until we reach herd immunity,” she said, warning that “mask-wearing and social-distancing are still necessary.”


 

MONTGOMERY VACCINE CLINICS FOR VULNERABLE RESIDENTS

A photo of Montgomery’s Health Department staff taken last week during Public Health Week.

The Montgomery Township Health Department is holding a vaccination clinic today and next Friday using the Moderna vaccine at the Otto Kaufman Community Center. The clinic is limited to those who cannot use the larger county and New Jersey vaccine sites due to language, internet, or transportation limitations. Food handlers are also being included due to their frequent contact with the public and working together in close proximity.

Montgomery and Rocky Hill residents who believe they may qualify should call 908-359-8211 x2400. If you have a neighbor who has limited language, internet or transportation capabilities, consider bringing this phone number to his or her attention.


 

COUNTY HIRING ELECTION WORKERS FOR 2021

The Somerset County Election Board is hiring voters to serve as poll workers for the upcoming Primary and General Elections in 2021.

Training is provided prior to every Election (online training now available) and poll workers are paid $200 per Election. For more information visit the Board of Elections website. You can also access the application online or call 908-231-7086.

 


 

MONTGOMERY DEER PROGRAM GENERATES 10,000 MEALS

Montgomery Township’s deer management program for the 2020-2021 season ended in early February, and the Township had a record number of venison donations to Hunters Helping the Hungry.

Hunters who participate in the Township’s program are able to take any deer that they cull, and have them butchered for personal use.  For additional deer that hunters cannot use, Montgomery provides a freezer and pays for butchering services, and the venison is donated to a food bank.

This past hunting season 72 deer were donated, which generated about 10,000 servings to help feed people in New Jersey facing food insecurity.  This is almost double the number donated last year.

The Township is currently conducting a Deer Density Data Collection Survey utilizing drones. The survey will take place from April 16 through April 20 at night between 8:30pm & 5:30 am. Data collected will inform the Twp.’s ongoing Deer Management Program.


 

HELP STOP THE SPOTTED LANTERNFLY

 

Now is a critical moment for controlling the expected infestation of the spotted lanternfly, an invasive insect that is harmful to agriculture, forests, and home landscaping. The insects are getting ready to emerge from eggs, at which time they will be much more difficult to control.

Destroying  egg masses found on trees now is a “stitch in time”—people who take preventive action can reduce damage to their own properties. Residents are also encouraged to patrol parks and public areas, too. It is as simple as knowing how to recognize the egg masses and keeping an old credit card with you.

More information is available on the Montgomery Township website, including a video from the New Jersey Department of Agriculture for a demonstration of the egg mass-crushing technique.

The removal of the invasive Ailanthus Tree (Tree of Heaven) that attracts the spotted lanternfly is also recommended.


 

COVID-19 FULL CASE REPORT

There has been twenty-two (22) confirmed new case in Montgomery and Rocky Hill since our last report on Wednesday, 4-14-21.

 

As of 9AM today, April 16

Montgomery cases: 1193

Montgomery deaths: 23

Rocky Hill cases:  29

Rocky Hill deaths: 1

 

Age Ranges of Cases in Montgomery & Rocky Hill:

292    <20

198    20-29

133    30-39

189    40-49

178    50-59

119    60-69

40      70-79

73      80+

 

1222 confirmed and probable cases for Montgomery and Rocky Hill in total, of which:

– 1162 presumed recovered a

– 36  currently ill

– 24 fatalities

 

a “Presumed recovered” means cases that have met the criteria for discontinuation of isolation. A minimum of 10 days from diagnosis, or three days after symptoms resolve, whichever is longer.

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/

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

4-14: One New Case plus a Suspected Cluster of Cases; Montgomery Will Start Moderna Vaccine Clinic; Mental Health Program for Kids Tonight; Help Stop the Spotted Lanternfly; Get Ready for Earth Day; Detailed COVID Case Report

TODAY’S COVID-19 CASE SUMMARY

There has been just one (1) new confirmed COVID-19 case in Montgomery and Rocky Hill since our last report on Monday, 4-12-21. However, the Health Department is investigating a suspected cluster of cases associated with a high school sports team.  The team is currently quarantined and will not impact the district’s in-person education program.

Detailed case data are available at the end of this ebulletin.


MONTGOMERY CLINIC TO OFFER MODERNA VACCINE TO VULNERABLE RESIDENTS

A vaccination clinic held last week at the OKCC.

The Montgomery Township Health Department is developing plans for a series of small vaccination clinics at the Otto Kaufman Community Center using the Moderna two-dose vaccine.  The plan follows a pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine based on CDC guidance. The Moderna vaccines will be limited to those who cannot use the larger county and New Jersey vaccine sites due to language, internet, or transportation limitations.

“We are very pleased that Montgomery will have weekly batches of the Moderna vaccine. As one of the earliest municipalities to invest in special refrigeration equipment required for the Moderna vaccine, we’re glad we did, so that we can continue to assist our most vulnerable residents in getting vaccinated,” said Mayor Devra Keenan.

Last week, 95 residents received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine before it was paused due to a very small number of side effects nationwide. Montgomery Health Officer Stephanie D. Carey explains the side effects are “exceedingly rare,” but that her department is monitoring those who received the vaccines.

A batch of the Moderna vaccine arrived in Montgomery this week and the Health Department will soon announce details for clinics at the Otto Kaufman Center for vulnerable residents. Montgomery and Rocky Hill residents who believe they may qualify should call 908-359-8211 x2400. If you have a neighbor who has limited language, internet or transportation capabilities, consider bringing this phone number to his or her attention.


FREE MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAM FOR CHILDREN TONIGHT

Trained crisis counselors will present a highly creative and interactive reading of “Penelope the Powerful Parrot” this evening, April 14, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., via Zoom. Children and Families will enjoy this storytelling experience, which incorporates movement and the spoken word to deliver a message of hope.  The goal is to help alleviate COVID-19 related stress among kid and families.

The program teaches skills for managing pandemic stress and empowers children to feel seen and heard. The program is offered in English and Spanish.

“As we collectively navigate the anniversary of New Jersey’s COVID-19 lockdown, this is a vital time for us to come together and heal as a community, said Somerset County RHCHWC Executive Director Nicci Spinazzola. “‘Penelope The Powerful Parrot’ gives our families the opportunity to discuss their feelings and challenges and provides everyone a chance to find hope and healing in these uncertain times.”

To register for “Penelope the Powerful Parrot” reading via Zoom, click here. The program will be offered monthly.


HELP STOP THE SPOTTED LANTERNFLY

 

Now is a critical moment for controlling the expected infestation of the spotted lanternfly, an invasive insect that is harmful to agriculture, forests, and home landscaping. The insects are getting ready to emerge from eggs, at which time they will be much more difficult to control.

Destroying  egg masses found on trees now is a “stitch in time”—people who take preventive action can reduce damage to their own properties. Residents are also encouraged to patrol parks and public areas, too. It is as simple as knowing how to recognize the egg masses and keeping an old credit card with you.

More information is available on the main Montgomery Township website, including a video from the New Jersey Department of Agriculture for a demonstration of the egg mass-crushing technique.

The removal of the invasive Ailanthus Tree (Tree of Heaven) that attracts the spotted lanternfly is also recommended.


GET READY FOR EARTH DAY 2021

Leaders of the 2018 Stream Clean Up.

Montgomery Township will celebrate Earth Day 2021 with a weekend of COVID-safe activities.

On Saturday April 24th from 9 to 11 AM join the Montgomery Environmental Commission and the Watershed Institute for our annual “stream clean-up.” Meet at Hobler Park (1645 Great Road, Skillman) wearing long pants and close-toed shoes and a mask. Bring a reusable water bottle and gloves; bags will be provided.   Register online at:  https://thewatershed.org/stream-cleanups/

On Sunday April 25th from 11AMto 1PM join us for a Drive-Through Earth Day in Skillman Park where you can pick up a free tree sapling and milkweed to plant at home, and free LED lightbulbs and reusable shopping bags. Contact Lauren Wasilauski (l-wasilauski@twp.montgomery.nj.us) with questions.


 

COVID-19 FULL CASE REPORT

There has been one (1) confirmed new case in Montgomery and Rocky Hill since our last report on Monday, 4-12-21.

 

As of 9AM today, April 14

Montgomery cases: 1173

Montgomery deaths: 23

Rocky Hill cases:  27

Rocky Hill deaths: 1

 

Age Ranges of Cases in Montgomery & Rocky Hill:

286    <20

195    20-29

127    30-39

182    40-49

178    50-59

120    60-69

40      70-79

74      80+

 

1200 confirmed and probable cases for Montgomery and Rocky Hill in total, of which:

– 1147 presumed recovered a

– 29  currently ill

– 24 fatalities

 

a “Presumed recovered” means cases that have met the criteria for discontinuation of isolation. A minimum of 10 days from diagnosis, or three days after symptoms resolve, whichever is longer.

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/

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

4-12: Eight New Cases; Montgomery Vaccinates 100 Vulnerable Seniors; 30% of County Adults Fully Vaccinated; Free Trees for Arbor Day; Financial Relief; Detailed COVID Case Report

TODAY’S COVID-19 CASE SUMMARY

There have been eight (8) new cases in Montgomery and Rocky Hill since our last report on Friday, 4-9-21. Detailed case data are available at the end of this ebulletin.


MONTGOMERY VACCINATES 100 VULNERABLE SENIORS

The Montgomery Township Health Department has over the last two weeks vaccinated 95 homebound and transportation-limited Montgomery seniors with the Johnson & Johnson one-dose vaccine provided directly by the State of New Jersey in response to requests from the township. Five more vulnerable seniors are scheduled for the vaccine this week.

Many doses were given by health department professionals visiting the homes of homebound seniors. In addition, pop-up clinics were organized at the Otto Kaufman Community Center and at the affordable senior housing complex at McKinley Court (photo above).

Montgomery Mayor Devra Keenan said she appreciated New Jersey providing vaccines directly to the township. “The fact that our health department is nationally accredited was a huge advantage in making the argument to Trenton that these doses should be sent to Montgomery for vulnerable residents. We are working hard to get more doses.”

Montgomery Health Officer Stephanie D. Carey described the reaction of local seniors: “There is a sense of joy in the seniors I talk to—it has been such a long, hard, and lonely year.  This vaccine is a vial of hope for better times around the corner.”

A mother and her developmentally disabled daughter came to be vaccinated together.  “This gives my daughter a chance to get back to her school and her friends. She has missed them so much.  This is a chance to get back to normal.”

An older couple said: “Our children made us do it!  They were afraid of making us sick, afraid to see us.  We want to see our grandchildren again.”

Another woman added, “I haven’t seen my granddaughter in a year.  She is about to graduate high school and I want to go to her graduation.  I want to hug them all.”

To get on the list for transportation-limited seniors, contact the Health Department at 908-359-8211 x2400. If you have a neighbor meeting this definition, consider bringing this phone number to his or her attention.


30% OF SOMERSET COUNTY ADULTS FULLY VACCINATED

Somerset County announced on Friday that 30% of all adults in the county are fully vaccinated, compared to 20.5% of all adults in the United States, according to the CDC on Friday.

In a newly released video, Somerset County Commissioner Director Shanel Robinson announced that the county recently received a larger allotment of the Moderna vaccine, and a new supply of the Johnson & Johnson one-dose vaccine.

The video provides photographs from Somerset County’s new drive-up vaccination site at Rutgers Plaza in Franklin Township to supplement Raritan Valley Community College in Branchburg.

Both the RVCC and Rutgers Plaza vaccination clinics are be scheduled through the state system at http://www.covidvaccine.nj.gov/.  Registering does not create an appointment, but registers you to be notified of when you are eligible to make a an appointment. Starting Monday April 19, all New Jersey adults will be eligible. Once you receive a second email from the state with a link to schedule an appointment at any of the sites on the list, including RVCC and Rutgers Plaza.


ARBOR DAY CELEBRATION INCLUDES FREE TREES

An Arbor Day tree planting at Mill Pond Park

The Montgomery Township Shade Tree Committee led an Arbor Day celebration on Friday with the planting of a Willow Oak tree at Mill Pond Park, shown in the photo above featuring (l-r) Sarah Roberts and Larry Koplik of the Shade Tree Committee, Administrator Donato Nieman, Twp. Committeeperson Shelly L. Bell, and Mayor Devra Keenan.

As part of the celebration, children at Village Elementary School received free Witch Hazel tree saplings to plant at home. VES Principal Susan Lacy thanks the Shade Tree Committee saying: “Our students were thrilled to receive their seedlings and we were pleased with the virtual family turnout to pick up seedlings at the door.”

The VES program had some left-over trees, now available to anyone at Mary Jacobs Library in Rocky Hill during open hours, while the supply lasts. The library is open 10 AM to 8 PM Monday to Thursday, and until 6 PM on Fridays and Saturdays.


FINANCIAL RELIEF AVAILABLE

Relief programs are available to people impacted financially by the pandemic.

  • Somerset County has established a rent relief program using Federal grant monies for county residents, including in Montgomery, who have suffered COVID-related income loss, subject to income limitations. Additional information, and an easy-to-use online application are available.
  • 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.

COVID-19 FULL CASE REPORT

There have been eight (8) new cases in Montgomery and Rocky Hill since our last report on Friday, 4-9-21.

As of 9AM today, April 12

Montgomery cases: 1172

Montgomery deaths: 23

Rocky Hill cases:  27

Rocky Hill deaths: 1

 

Age Ranges of Cases in Montgomery & Rocky Hill:

284    <20

195    20-29

127    30-39

182    40-49

177    50-59

120    60-69

40      70-79

74      80+

 

1199 confirmed and probable cases for Montgomery and Rocky Hill in total, of which:

– 1143 presumed recovered a

– 32 currently ill

– 24 fatalities

 

a “Presumed recovered” means cases that have met the criteria for discontinuation of isolation. A minimum of 10 days from diagnosis, or three days after symptoms resolve, whichever is longer.

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/

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

4-7: One Death and 25 New Cases; Free COVID Tests; Vaccine Eligibility Expands; County Opens New Vaccine Site; Vaccines for Homebound Seniors; Financial Relief; Public Health Week; Detailed COVID Case Report

TODAY’S COVID-19 CASE SUMMARY

There have been twenty-five (25) new cases and the death of another senior resident in Montgomery and Rocky Hill since our last report on Monday, 4-5-21. Detailed case data are available at the end of this ebulletin.


 

FREE COVID TESTING TOMORROW IN MONTGOMERY

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.

 

ALL ADULTS ELIGIBLE FOR VACCINE APRIL 19TH

Starting this week, all adults in New Jersey 55 and older are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccines. Starting April 19, all adults ages 16 and older will be eligible.

New Jersey is relaxing travel rules are relaxing for people who are fully vaccinated.  Governor Phil Murphy said, “New Jersey is no longer advising fully vaccinated individuals who travel domestically to self-quarantine after their trip or to get tested before or after travel. The federal requirement for testing upon return to the United States following international air travel stands.”

Important: Fully vaccinated means two weeks after the second Pfizer or Moderna shot, or 2 weeks after the single J&J shot.

To get vaccinated, all residents must sign up on the state website, covidvaccine.nj.gov, so you can be notified when you become eligible. You can also call the New Jersey Call Center Vaccination Support Number between 8 AM and 8 PM:  855-568-0545.

Those who are eligible may also sign up for hospital-based, public, and private sites offering vaccination, such as CVS, and the several New Jersey “Mega Sites.”  There is a new Vaccine Finder website that may be useful, particularly for local pharmacies: https://vaccinefinder.org/search/.  

 


COUNTY OPENS SECOND VACCINE SITE

Somerset County has opened a new drive-up vaccination site in Franklin Township to supplement Raritan Valley Community College in Branchburg. Located at Rutgers Plaza, the former location of a K-Mart on Easton Avenue, the “pop-up” clinic will offer the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

As with the RVCC vaccination clinic, the Rutgers Plaza clinic’s appointments will be scheduled through the state system at http://www.covidvaccine.nj.gov/.  Registering does not create an appointment, but only registers you to be notified of when you are eligible to make a Covid-19 vaccination appointment. Once you qualify, you will receive a second email from the state with a link to schedule an appointment at one of the sites on the list, including RVCC and Rutgers Plaza.


 

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. If you or somebody you know meets these criteria, please contact the Montgomery Health Department at 908-359-8211 x2400 as soon as possible to get on the list of transportation-limited seniors.


FINANCIAL RELIEF AVAILABLE

Relief programs are available to people impacted financially by the pandemic.

  • Somerset County has established a rent relief program using Federal grant monies for county residents, including in Montgomery, who have suffered COVID-related income loss, subject to income limitations. Additional information, and an easy-to-use online application are available.
  • 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.

 

PUBLIC HEALTH WEEK CONTINUES

Montgomery Township is one of only three municipalities in New Jersey that has achieved the rigorous public health accreditation through the Public Health Advisory Board. The public health community has declared this week to be National Public Health Week and is emphasizing several themes, including racism as a public health issue.

According to American Public Health Association, “Racism is an ongoing public health crisis that has played a significant role in widening health disparities. Racism shapes where and how people live, what resources and opportunities they have and directly affects the physical and mental health of people of color.”

“Our department is very focused on working to overcome conscious and unconscious bias that can lead to different health outcomes based on race and ethnicity,” said Montgomery Township Health Officer Stephanie D. Carey.

As part of its efforts to address the many aspects of racism, Montgomery Township last year established and Equity and Inclusion Committee.

 


 

COVID-19 FULL CASE REPORT

There have been twenty-five (25) new cases and one (1) new death in Montgomery and Rocky Hill since our last report on Monday, 4-5-21.

As of 9AM today, April 7

Montgomery cases: 1153

Montgomery deaths: 23

Rocky Hill cases:  26

Rocky Hill deaths: 1

 

Age Ranges of Cases in Montgomery & Rocky Hill:

281    <20

192    20-29

118    30-39

180    40-49

173    50-59

121    60-69

40      70-79

74      80+

 

1179 confirmed and probable cases for Montgomery and Rocky Hill in total, of which:

– 1113 presumed recovered

– 42 currently ill

– 24 fatalities

 

a “Presumed recovered” means cases that have met the criteria for discontinuation of isolation. A minimum of 10 days from diagnosis, or three days after symptoms resolve, whichever is longer.

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/

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

4-5: Thirteen New Cases; Public Health Week; Free COVID-19 Testing; Vaccines for Transportation-Limited Seniors; Free Mental Health Assistance; Video Update of New Municipal Center; COVID Testing

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.

 

 

Free COVID-19 Testing This Sat., April 3 at Skillman Park

Somerset County to Provide Free COVID-19 Testing at Mobile Site

Walk-Ins Are Welcome, Prescriptions Are Not Required

Walk-ins are welcome from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Somerset County is providing free COVID-19 testing for county residents at a mobile test site on Saturday, April 3, between 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Skillman Park in Parking Lot A, off park entrance from Rt. 601 (Main Blvd.), Skillman, NJ 08558.

Although the COVID-19 vaccination rollout has begun, it is still recommended that people practice social distancing and get tested for COVID-19 if they think they have been exposed to the virus.

To receive a COVID-19 test, participants must be age five-years and above and reside in Somerset County. At the test site, residents must show proof of residency with a valid driver’s license or state-issued identification.

Participants do not have to show any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 to receive a test. Walk-ins are welcome, and pre-registration is not required. Click here to learn more about coronavirus symptoms.

Click here to download MAP at right.

Click here for more about the Somerset County testing site  (English) or (Spanish).

Click here for general information about Somerset County COVID-19 testing.

Somerset County’s Department of Health is committed to making tests available for all residents. Any Somerset County municipality that is interested in hosting a mobile testing site should contact Justin Berger at SCCOVID@co.somerset.nj.us.

The Skillman Park COVID-19 mobile testing site is sponsored by Clarity Labs, the Somerset County Board of Commissioners, Somerset County Department of Health, Somerset County Park Commission and the Township of Montgomery.

3-31: One Death and 23 New Cases; Vaccines for Travel-Limited Seniors; Video Update of New Municipal Center; Brush Fire Closes Province Line Road; Job Fair April 15th; COVID Testing; Detailed COVID Case Data

TODAY’S COVID-19 CASE SUMMARY

There have been twenty-three (23) new cases and one (1) new death in Montgomery and Rocky Hill since our last report on Wednesday, 3-29-21. New cases are surging again, primarily among younger residents. Detailed case data are available at the end of this ebulletin.


 

MONTGOMERY RECEIVES VACCINE DOSES FOR SENIORS

Montgomery Township yesterday received 100 doses of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine for homebound and transportation-limited seniors in Montgomery, ages 65 and older.  If you or somebody you know meets those strict criteria, please contact the Montgomery Health Department. A limited number of home visits to homebound seniors by Health Department professionals.

To get on the Montgomery Health Department list of travel-limited seniors, call 908-359-8211 x2400 as soon as possible.

About two-thirds of seniors in Somerset County have been vaccinated, but that leaves many still vulnerable, as indicated by the additional death of a Montgomery senior due to COVID-19 this week.


VACCINE ELIGIBILITY EXPANDS AGAIN

Starting Monday, April 5, vaccine eligibility in New Jersey will expand to all persons 55 and older, and to persons 16 and older with developmental disabilities, and people working in additional occupations such as real estate, banking, higher education, and utility companies.  For additional details, visit the state COVID website.


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 today 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.


PROVINCE LINE ROAD CLOSED AFTER BRUSH FIRE

High winds last weekend knocked down utility poles on Province Line Road and started a brushfire, closing the road indefinitely between Route 518 and Cherry Valley Road. After Montgomery Fire Companies 1 & 2 arrived on the scene, additional utility poles were knocked down, one hitting a firetruck.

Firefighters were able to control and extinguish the blaze, and no injuries occurred.



DRIVE-THRU JOB FAIR PLANNED APRIL 15 AT RVCC

Dozens of employers in Hunterdon and Somerset counties will offer information about job openings at their businesses during the Greater Raritan Workforce Development Board (GRWDB) Drive-Thru Job Fair, running from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, April 15, at Raritan Valley Community College, Branchburg.

Employers of all sizes in the two counties are invited to take part in the free event. As of March 23, 20 business and career-support agencies have signed up to offer information; they represent a range of industries, including healthcare, education, IT, logistics, retail sales, salons, the U.S. Post Office, and many more. Employers have until Tuesday, April 6, to sign-up and provide jobs information. Employers will not need to be present at this free event. Additional details for employers is available here.

On April 15, job seekers are invited to come to Raritan Valley Community College where staff and partners will be stationed in the parking lot across from the RVCC Workforce Training Center and will hand out complete packets to drivers – one per car. Registration for job seekers is not required but is encouraged so that participants can be connected to other career-related resources. Staff distributing the bag of career information will be wearing masks and gloves. Drivers should observe safety protocols as well.


 

COVID TESTING IMPORTANT FOR SPRING BREAK TRAVELERS

It’s Spring Break vacation week for Montgomery schools starting, which means some local families will be traveling.

If you or a member of your household is vacationing, 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 to be held at the Township Municipal Building on April 8th from 1-4pm. You can sign-up for the clinic here, or you can walk-in. Additional options are available locally as well:

  • 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

COVID-19 FULL CASE REPORT

There have been twenty-three (23) new cases and one (1) new death in Montgomery and Rocky Hill since our last report on Wednesday, 3-29-21.

As of 9AM today, March 31

Montgomery cases: 1116

Montgomery deaths: 22

Rocky Hill cases:  25

Rocky Hill deaths: 1

Age Ranges of Cases in Montgomery & Rocky Hill:

278    <20

182    20-29

111    30-39

174    40-49

170    50-59

113    60-69

40      70-79

73      80+

1141 confirmed and probable cases for Montgomery and Rocky Hill in total, of which:

 

– 1082 presumed recovered a

– 36 currently ill

– 23 fatalities

 

a “Presumed recovered” means cases that have met the criteria for discontinuation of isolation. A minimum of 10 days from diagnosis, or three days after symptoms resolve, whichever is longer.

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/

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

 

Vaccination Info from NJ: New Groups Now Eligible

Effective Monday, March 29, 2021, additional individuals that live, work, or are educated in New Jersey are now eligible to receive the vaccine.

These new categories include essential workers in the following sectors:

  • Food production, agriculture, and food distribution, including grocery store workers and restaurant staff
  • Eldercare and eldercare support staff
  • Warehousing and logistics
  • Social service workers and support staff
  • Elections personnel
  • Hospitality, including casino workers and hotel/lodging staff
  • Medical supply chain
  • Postal and shipping service
  • Clergy
  • Judicial system

Beginning April 5, 2021, even more people will be eligible for the vaccine, including the following:

  • All individuals aged 55+
  • All Individuals 16 and over with intellectual and developmental disabilities:
    • Developmental disabilities are a group of conditions due to an impairment in physical, learning, language, or behavior areas.
  • Essential workers in the following sectors:
    • Communications, IT, and media workers, including communications infrastructure support (engineers, technicians) and members of the press
    • Laundry service workers, including workers in laundromats, laundry services, and dry cleaners
    • Real estate, building, and home service workers, including construction workers, code officials, plumbers, electricians, HVAC technicians, property management, and maintenance workers
    • Retail financial institution workers, including bank tellers, lending service, public accounting, and check cashing workers.
    • Sanitation workers, including workers providing disinfection and janitorial services for all essential facilities and modes of transportation; city sanitation workers; residential, commercial, and industrial solid and hazardous waste removal.
    • Utility workers, including electrical generation and supply system, natural gas delivery, nuclear power plant, water supply, telephone, cable/fiber optical/broadband/cellular service workers
    • Higher Education workers, including educators and support staff
    • Librarians, including support staff at municipal, county, and state libraries (i.e. those not included in K-12 announcement)

For a complete list of who is currently eligible for the vaccine, click here for more information.


Getting the Vaccine if You Are Eligible

If you are eligible for the vaccine, please keep an eye out for an email notifying you of an available appointment in the Vaccine Scheduling System. If you prefer not to wait for an appointment through NJVSS, there are additional ways to get vaccinated:


Dedicated Vaccine Appointment Assistance for Seniors (Aged 65+)

Individuals aged 65 and older can now call a special senior hotline at 856–249–7007 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. for vaccination scheduling support. Dedicated appointment slots are reserved for those aged 65 and older. Appointment availability and scheduling varies by location.


Find more information

You can also follow @NJDeptofHealth, @NJGov, and @GovMurphy on social media


Unsubscribe from NJVSS and Related Email Updates

If you have already been fully vaccinated and no longer want an appointment through NJVSS, please click here to be removed from the system.

Please note that we may still email you occasionally with urgent information.

3-29: Eight New Cases; NJ Vaccinations Accelerating; Getting Vaccinated; Sign Up for Testing Now; Arbor Day Activities; Summer Jobs with Montgomery Rec; Detailed COVID Case Data

TODAY’S COVID-19 CASE SUMMARY

There have been eight (8) new cases in Montgomery and Rocky Hill since our last report on Friday, 3-26-21. Detailed case data will not be available until our report on Wednesday. For further statistics, go to the Health Dept.’s COVID-19 portal: https://health.montgomery.nj.us/covid19/ and  State of NJ DOH’s COVID-19 Case Chart.


NJ VACCINATIONS ACCELERATING

The number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in New Jersey approached 4 million over the weekend, in a state of 8.9 million people.

In Somerset County, approximately 18% are fully vaccinated, close to the state average. According to Montgomery Township Health Officer Stephanie D. Carey, the rate of new cases among seniors—who are the most likely to be vaccinated—has dropped sharply. Only 3 of last week’s 26 cases were among residents 60 and older.

“We’re seeing a positive impact from the vaccines, which is reason for us all to hang in for a bit longer as we all get our turn for vaccination,” said Ms. Carey.


GETTING VACCINATED

New Jersey has expanded vaccine eligibility to educators and many other groups, including transportation workers, migrant farm workers, members of tribal communities, individuals experiencing homelessness or living in shelters, and more. A recent article in Bridgewater Patch contains a useful guide to the latest sites for getting vaccinated in Somerset County.

To get vaccinated, all residents must sign up on the state website, covidvaccine.nj.gov, so you can be notified when you become eligible. You can also call the New Jersey Call Center Vaccination Support Number between 8 AM and 8 PM:  855-568-0545.  Those who are eligible may also sign up for hospital-based, public, and private sites offering vaccination, such as CVS, and the several New Jersey “Mega Sites.”  There is a new Vaccine Finder website that may be useful, particularly for local pharmacies: https://vaccinefinder.org/search/

Montgomery Township is keeping a list of seniors with limited ability to get to a vaccination site due to a lack of internet or transportation. We are hopeful that Montgomery will soon have vaccine doses to offer directly to transportation-limited seniors, but they need to get on our list. Encourage them to call 908-359-8211 x2400 to get on our list as soon as possible.


 

FREE COVID TESTING IN MONTGOMERY APRIL 8TH

Montgomery Township has arranged to hold a free COVID testing clinic to be held at the Township Municipal Building on April 8th from 1-4pm. You can sign-up for the clinic here, or you can walk-in. Additional options are available locally as well:

  • 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

MONTY ARBOR DAY EVENTS IN APRIL

Witch-hazel trees, which turn yellow in fall, are being given to students as part of Arbor Day.

Montgomery’s Shade Tree Commission has planned festivities in April to celebrate Arbor Day. Throughout April, a contest at Mary Jacobs Library for young and old involves a guessing game: “Can you guess the number of seeds? Can you tell which tree they came from?” The entry with the closest seed count (and the correct name of the tree) will win a copy of the Eyewitness Guide to Trees.

A Willow Oak Tree will be planted in Mill Pond Park in celebration of Arbor Day will occur April 9 at 3pm, assuming good weather. Mayor Devra Keenan, members of the Township Committee, the Montgomery Township Administrator, and other guests have been invited to the ceremony. The public is invited as well. For additional information or questions, or in case of rain, email shadetreecommittee@twp.montgomery.nj.us

In addition, the Shade Tree Committee will offer a virtual workshop to all 3rd and 4th grade students at the Village Elementary School. The children will be given a 2-foot fall-blooming native witch-hazel seedling for planting in their yards. They will be taught how to handle the trees and how to plant them. A general “tree talk” will follow, stressing the functions of trees in the environment and what the children can do to make a change for the better.  The program is prepared and run by the Montgomery Township Shade Tree Committee and involves many volunteers.


 

MONTY RECREATION IS HIRING!

If you enjoy being outdoors rather than behind a desk or a cash register, and if you would prefer playing games with children instead of being in Zoom meetings with adults, Montgomery Recreation has the job for you! We are looking for fun, energetic, reliable, enthusiastic individuals—teens and adults—who are interested in being a part of our Rec N Crew Camp team in a wide variety of roles.  Interested applicants MUST be available for the entire camp season (6/23-8/6).

Applications are available now through April 16th.  Please click the appropriate link to apply as a counselor or counselor-in-training. Some supervisory roles available. For questions, email John Groeger at jgroeger@twp.montgomery.nj.us


 

3-26: Five New Cases; Three Ways to Help Our Seniors; Sign Up for Testing Now; Vaccine Update; Montgomery Farmer’s Market Tomorrow; Summer Jobs with Montgomery Rec; Free Document Shredding; Detailed COVID Case Data

TODAY’S COVID-19 CASE SUMMARY

There have been five (5) new cases in Montgomery and Rocky Hill since our last report on Wednesday, 3-24-21. Over the last 7 days, there have been 26 cases, the first time we’ve recorded fewer than 30 weekly cases since February 5. Detailed case data are available at the end of this ebulletin.


THREE WAYS YOU CAN SUPPORT OUR SENIORS

A pre-pandemic performance of GREASE at the Montgomery Senior Center.

By Devra Keenan
Mayor of Montgomery

The COVID-19 pandemic has been particularly difficult for the seniors in our community who have suffered the most fatalities and significant isolation due to social distancing restrictions.  I’d like to share with you several ways that everyone in our community can support our seniors today.

  1. Today has been declared “Pick up the Phone and Call Day by WNYC. It’s a great time to call a senior you know in Montgomery to make sure they are ok.
  2. Montgomery Township is keeping a list of seniors with limited ability to get to a vaccination site due to a lack of internet or transportation. We are hopeful that Montgomery will soon have vaccine doses to offer directly to transportation-limited seniors, but they need to get on our list. Encourage them to call 908-359-8211 x2400 to get on our list as soon as possible.
  3. Somerset County has just published a new list of virtual activities for seniors (60 and older). Tell a senior you know about this resource if they have internet access. To register for a program or class, call 908-203-6101 or email Donlin@co.somerset.nj.us.

I am deeply proud of the extent to which our community has come together to support each other during this difficult time.  Today, please join me in turning our attention to our seniors.


 

SIGN UP FOR TESTING BEFORE YOU TRAVEL

By Stephanie D. Carey
Montgomery Township Health Officer

New Jersey’s COVID travel restrictions are still in place—for a reason.  It still is not safe to travel out of state, and if you do, you are required to quarantine for 10 days upon your return to New Jersey.

With Spring Break vacation for Montgomery schools starting, my department is concerned about the risk of new infections acquired while traveling and brought back to Montgomery when schools reopen April 7th. That is why the school district has a strict policy in place that requires 10 days of virtual-only learning after any trip outside of New Jersey or nearby states (NY, DE, PA, CT).

If you travel, be sure to get yourself tested before interacting with friends, families, and neighbors upon your return. Montgomery Township has arranged to hold a free COVID testing clinic to be held at the Township Municipal Building on April 8th from 1-4pm. You can sign-up for the clinic here, or you can walk-in. Additional options are available locally as well:

  • 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

Yet nothing can replace the importance of continued vigilance. With increasing rates of vaccination, we are finally able to see the end of the current health emergency arriving soon. We must continue to wear masks, wash hands, and remain socially distanced from each other until the emergency is over.

If you or other household members do travel, keep these principles in mind:

  1. Outdoor socializing is always better than indoors. Take advantage of the nice weather and see people outdoors during the warmth of the day, while avoiding crowds.
  2. Minimize the interaction among people who live in different household. The good news is that fully vaccinated grandparents can now visit with unvaccinated adult children and grandchildren—but only one unvaccinated household at a time!
  3. If you travel, wear a mask any time you are with people who do not live with you, and maintain social distance.
  4. It is better not to fly to a traditional Spring Break location, but if you do, follow the guidance provided by the CDC.
  5. Upon your return, self-quarantine from anyone who did not travel with you.  Get tested 5 days after your return, before having close contact with others (or self-quarantine 10 days without a test).

We need to get through just a couple of more months until vaccinations are available to everyone. Please be as cautious as you possibly can be.


VACCINE UPDATE

New Jersey has expanded vaccine eligibility to educators and many other groups, including transportation workers, migrant farm workers, members of tribal communities, individuals experiencing homelessness or living in shelters, and more. A recent article in Bridgewater Patch contains a useful guide to the latest sites for getting vaccinated in Somerset County.

To get vaccinated, all residents must sign up on the state website, covidvaccine.nj.gov, so you can be notified when you become eligible. You can also call the New Jersey Call Center Vaccination Support Number between 8 AM and 8 PM:  855-568-0545.  Those who are eligible may also sign up for hospital-based, public, and private sites offering vaccination, such as CVS, and the several New Jersey “Mega Sites.”  There is a new Vaccine Finder website that may be useful, particularly for local pharmacies: https://vaccinefinder.org/search/


 

WINTER FARMER’S MARKET TOMORROW

 The Montgomery Friends of Open Space continues to hold its Winter Farmer’s Market outdoors at Village Shopper near Mooyah on the fourth Saturday of the month, including tomorrow, March 27, from 9 AM to Noon. The final open-air winter market will be April 24.

Vendors include Christopher’s Soaps, The Granola Bar, and produce vendors Clifford Farm, Orchard Farm Organics, and Asian veggie guy, Zell’s Farm.

Warm up with farm fresh shelf-stable organic soups, herbal teas, hoop-house grown produce. All sourced from our local farms!

MFOS’ Farmers’ Market follows recommended guidelines for the health and safety of their customers.   Click here for the guidelines.

Regular season (every Saturday morning) begins in June.  Market sponsorships available! For more information, email the Farmers’ Market manager at FarmMarketManager@montgomeryfriends.org.


 

MONTY RECREATION IS HIRING!

If you enjoy being outdoors rather than behind a desk or a cash register, and if you would prefer playing games with children instead of being in Zoom meetings with adults, Montgomery Recreation has the job for you! We are looking for fun, energetic, reliable, enthusiastic individuals—teens and adults—who are interested in being a part of our Rec N Crew Camp team in a wide variety of roles.  Interested applicants MUST be available for the entire camp season (6/23-8/6).

If you’re 14 or 15 years old, you may consider applying to be a Counselor in Training (CIT).  This is a non-paying position, but you will gain valuable experience as well as earn volunteer hours.

Applications are available now through April 16th.  Please click the appropriate link to apply as acounselor or counselor-in-training. Some supervisory roles available. For questions, email John Groeger at jgroeger@twp.montgomery.nj.us


 

FREE DOCUMENT SHREDDING TOMORROW

Somerset County residents may shred personal documents for free with Operation Secure Shred on Saturday, March 27, at the Somerset County Public Works Garage, South County Facility located at 410 Roycefield Road, Hillsborough, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., or until the trucks are filled. The event will be held rain or shine.

To comply with social distancing guidelines, residents must wear facial coverings and should be prepared to unload their items from their vehicle. Staff will be available to assist residents, if necessary. Residents must be prepared to present a current driver’s license, valid lease, tax bill, or any other bill that shows proof of residency at a Somerset County address. Pre-registration is not required. Businesses and commercial vehicles are NOT allowed.

Residents from any of Somerset County’s twenty-one municipalities can attend as many shredding events as they like and even if they are not residents of the town hosting the event. To view a list of shredding events visit www.co.somerset.nj.us/shredding.

Participants can bring up to six boxes, containers or bags of documents per visit, but they will be required to take back their receptacles. Staples and paperclips do not have to be removed. Junk mail, magazines and newspapers NOT accepted.


 

COVID-19 FULL CASE REPORT

There have been five (5) new cases in Montgomery and Rocky Hill since our last report on Wednesday, 3-24-21.

As of 9AM today, March 26

Montgomery cases: 1085

Montgomery deaths: 21

Rocky Hill cases:  25

Rocky Hill deaths: 1

 

Age Ranges of Cases in Montgomery & Rocky Hill:

275    <20

177    20-29

105    30-39

168    40-49

164    50-59

108    60-69

40      70-79

73      80+

1110 confirmed and probable cases for Montgomery and Rocky Hill in total, of which:

– 1060 presumed recovered a

– 28  currently ill

– 22 fatalities

 

a “Presumed recovered” means cases that have met the criteria for discontinuation of isolation. A minimum of 10 days from diagnosis, or three days after symptoms resolve, whichever is longer.

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/

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