COVID-19 CASE SUMMARY
There have been fifteen (15) new cases of COVID-19 in Montgomery and Rocky Hill since our last report on Friday, 10-15-21. Once again, the majority of the cases are occurring among youth under 20, many of whom are not yet eligible for COVID-19 vaccines.
MONTY CONTINUES FLU VACCINATIONS TOMORROW
Montgomery Mayor Devra Keenan got her flu shot at Pike Run last Friday.
The Montgomery Township Health Department will offer annual flu shots at the Otto Kaufman Community Center on Skillman Road tomorrow and Saturday, from 9 to 11 AM on both days. With colder weather and closer indoor contact with other people, the Montgomery Township Health Department strongly recommends getting a flu shot this year.
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.
Appointments are recommended but not required. The Township website provides additional information and registration for annual flu shots, or you can make an appointment by calling (609) 874-8007.
The Health Department is also offering COVID-19 shots, including the Johnson & Johnson vaccine every Friday afternoon at the municipal building. For additional COVID-19 vaccination opportunities, visit the New Jersey Vaccine Finder website. The Pfizer vaccine is currently approved for ages 12 and older, and as a booster shot after 6 months.
MONTGOMERY POLICE RECOMMEND PRECAUTIONS IN PUBLIC PARKS
Montgomery Police Captain James Gill
Recently there have been two violent attacks of criminal sexual assault occurring in local parks, not far from Montgomery Township, and these should serve as reminders of the importance of taking precautions, according to Captain James M. Gill of the Montgomery Township Police Department.
“These two horrible events are a great concern to us and our neighboring law enforcement partners,” said Captain Gill. “I would like to take a moment to share some general personal safety advice.”
Captain Gill recommends that residents visit public parks with at least one companion, whenever possible. “Perpetrators generally target people who are alone,” he said. “If that is not possible, choose locations where many other people are present, and make sure somebody knows where you are and when you expect to return. You might also consider carrying a non-violent deterrent such as pepper spray or a whistle.”
Recognizing that residents are concerned about the two local incidents, one of which occurred in the popular D&R Canal State Park, Montgomery Township Police will be holding a personal safety question-and-answer session via Zoom on November 9th at 7pm. Go to https://bit.ly/3lU7oxZ to participate.
“This will be an opportunity for the public to share their concerns and experiences, and for my department to suggest best practices for personal safety,” said Captain Gill.
MONTGOMERY “RETURN TO ART” EVENT THIS WEEKEND
Montgomery Township’s new Arts Council is hosting A Return to Art, a 3-day visual arts exhibition and sale, Oct. 22-24, featuring local and regional New Jersey artists. The Arts Council was formed this year by Montgomery Township’s volunteer-driven Economic Development Commission to showcase local and regional artists while providing the community with in-person access to artists who might be their neighbors.
The event kicks off with a ticketed opening reception on Friday from 6 to 9pm where you can mingle and meet the artists. Admission is free on Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 4pm.
“This event is meant to be a celebration. Artists and their communities are craving meaningful connection after spending over 16 months in lockdown.” says Karen Tuveson, Chair of Montgomery’s Arts Council. “Slowly opportunities are returning, but there still aren’t enough venues for artists to exhibit, meet the public, and cultivate collectors. Art is something best experienced in person.”
Deputy Mayor Marvin Schuldiner, liaison to the Montgomery Economic Development Commission, pointed out that artists who create physical products are small business owners. “Making art is a business. We all want to support our small local businesses. Artists are struggling just as much as shop owners in brick-and-mortar buildings.”
To learn more about the artists and/or buy tickets for the opening reception, visit the Montgomery Arts Council website.
PSE&G OFFERS CUSTOMERS WAYS TO CATCH UP ON OVERDUE BILLS
The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities has named this week “Utility Assistance Week” to raise awareness about the new utility assistance.
The BPU expanded income eligibility requirements for the state programs that help make utility bills more affordable. For example, for a family of four, the existing qualifying income limit was approximately $48,000 annually. By raising the limit, the new threshold is $105,000 – that’s more than double.
Regulators also boosted the Fresh Start Program, which provides debt forgiveness for past due balances if customers pay their monthly utility bills in full for a year.
Many people are behind on their bills for the first time and do not know they even qualify or where to look for help. New Jersey residents can use an anonymous online screening tool, nj.gov/dca/dcaid, to see what forms of assistance they may be eligible for, including rental assistance.