TODAY’S COVID-19 CASE SUMMARY
There have been two (2) new cases of COVID-19 in Montgomery and Rocky Hill since our last report on Tuesday, 7-13-21. For further statistics, go to the Health Department’s COVID-19 portal.
CASES IN HOUSEHOLDS OF UNVACCINATED RESIDENTS
Over the last week, Montgomery and Rocky Hill have had five (5) cases, the largest number in seven weeks. Although the number remains low compared to the peak of the pandemic, the cases were preventable.
“The current pattern is unvaccinated people getting infected in office and retail environments and then bringing COVID-19 home to family members,” said Montgomery Township Deputy Health Officer Devangi Patel. “We are seeing two or three cases in the same household. All of them are preventable by getting vaccinated, masking, or both. Fortunately, we are making progress in putting COVID-19 behind us. The vaccines are extremely effective and safe, and the best way to keep us on the right track is for every eligible adult and child to get vaccinated. Communities that are experiencing high rates of COVID infections today are the ones with low vaccination rates.”
MONTY VACCINE CLINICS TONIGHT AND TOMORROW
The Montgomery Township Health Department is offering vaccination clinics this evening and tomorrow using the vaccines approved for adults 18 and older. Walk-ins are welcomes, but appointments are also available. The next several clinics include:
- Tonight, July 16, 5pm to 7pm, J&J Clinic for ages 18+ next to the playground at Montgomery Dog Park (Covert Drive). This is the one-dose vaccine that will be fully effective by the last weekend in July. It’s a great choice if you want to be protected as quickly as possible.
- Saturday, July 17, 9AM to 11AM, Moderna Clinic for ages 18+ at Otto Kaufman Community Center.
- Next Friday, July 23, 5pm -7pm, Moderna Clinic for ages 18+ at Pike Run Clubhouse.
If you would like to make an appointment or need additional details, visit the Montgomery Health Department website, or call the Health Department at (908) 533-9331.
VACCINATE TEENS IN JULY TO PREPARE FOR SCHOOL REOPENING
By Devangi Patel
Montgomery Township Deputy Health Officer
I am very pleased to report that 91% Montgomery adults have had at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine, putting our community in a strong position as schools fully reopen this fall. But the vaccination rate among 12- to 17-year-olds is just 55%, because we did not get vaccine approval for teens until May.
I want to urge local families to vaccinate teenagers this month, so they are protected before school begins. Getting your child vaccinated helps to protect your child and your family.
The Pfizer vaccine, approved for teenagers, requires 5 weeks from the first dose to full immunity, including 21 days between shots plus 14 days following the second dose. With school opening September 9 in Montgomery, that means the deadline to start the vaccine process is August 5, if you want your child to be fully protected on the first day of school.
The CVS at 2311 Route 206 in Belle Mead is offering the Pfizer vaccine daily, with appointments required. You can make your appointment online now.
I encourage parents with questions about the vaccine to talk to your child’s healthcare provider or to call us at (908) 533-9331.
BOARD OF HEALTH EXPLAINS VACCINATION IN MULTIPLE LANGUAGES
Dr. Om Sharma appears in a new vaccine video.
The Montgomery Township Board of Health has released three videos explaining the safety and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines with the intention of encouraging vaccination among immigrant communities. Videos were recorded in English and Hindi by Dr. Om Sharma and in Urdu by Dr. Siddique Faisal, both members of the Board of Health.
In addition, Health Department social worker Amanda Pulgarin recorded the message in Spanish with English subtitles.
If you are aware of a friend, coworker, or family members who would benefit from hearing these messages, please forward the relevant link.
COOLING CENTER FOR TODAY’S HIGH TEMPERATURES
The Montgomery Township Office of Emergency Management warns residents to take precautions during the 90-plus degree weather that has returned to the area. The combination of high temperatures and humidity can be dangerous, particularly for the elderly and people with underlying health conditions.
The Township has established a cooling center at the Otto Kaufman Center at 356 Skillman Road from 8am to 6pm, today only. Users are requested to sign-in, fill out a covid screening form, and wear a mask.
In addition, the township has offered suggestions for beating the heat, including the avoidance of strenuous outdoor activity during the hottest part of the day, staying in the shade, and using indoor fans.
FINANCIAL RELIEF AVAILABLE
Relief programs are available to people impacted financially by the pandemic.
- Recently, the income limits and the amount of funds have been increased for Somerset County families who are eligible to receive money from the Emergency Rental Relief Program (ERRP) to help keep them in their homes if they have lost their income due to the pandemic. Additional information, and an easy-to-use online application are available.
- A new Emergency Broadband Benefit provides a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband service to eligible households. The program also offers a discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers. Eligible households can enroll through an approved provider (such as CenturyLink, Comcast or Verizon, and many cellular providers) or by visiting sort by org. For more information, check out the Broadband Benefit Consumer FAQ.
- Assistance is available to help you pay your utility bills. All New Jerseyans with outstanding balances are encouraged to apply for utility assistance programs now to lower their balances and also contact their utility company to request a flexible repayment plan. You may be newly eligible for financial assistance programs to help you pay your bills. You can learn more and apply for utility help now using a new screening tool from the NJ Department of Community Affairs at gov/dca/dcaid.
- 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.