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Health Officer Announces End of COVID Public Health Emergency in Montgomery Township

By Mikayla Salib and Barbara A. Preston | March 10, 2022

Montgomery Township officially ended the COVID Public Health Emergency on Tuesday, according to a public statement released on the township website. The announcement followed the lead of Gov Phil Murphy, who had lifted the statewide school and daycare mask mandate, effective Monday.

After two years of the township being under state emergency orders, face masks will be optional in Montgomery Township’s municipal offices, said Montgomery Health Officer Devangi Patel. Township officials will still require folks to wear masks during public meetings, and at all vaccination and testing clinics.

Montgomery Township Committee Meeting
The Montgomery Township Committee met in person on February 17 for the first time since the pandemic began two years ago. Masking and social distancing were required

“You should still wear a mask and get tested if you feel sick or if you believe you have been in close contact with a person infected with COVID-19,” Devangi said. “And everyone should get boosted.”
Montgomery Health Officer Devangi Patel
Montgomery Health Officer Devangi Patel.
About 63 percent of Montgomery residents who are eligible have gotten booster shots.

Patel became the deputy health officer in Montgomery in 2019. As second-in-command to the previous health officer, Stephanie Carey, Patel developed extensive first-hand experience on how to deal with health concerns. When Carey retired in November, Patel stepped up to lead the health department.

Patel says she was able to “build many relationships with key community partners in Montgomery,” while she worked as deputy health officer. During the early stages of the pandemic, new orders and resources were released constantly at the federal and state level. Patel has worked tirelessly to educate Montgomery residents about the COVID-19 issues.

While masks are optional, it is important to note that COVID cases continue to spread at the yellow, moderate level, as of March 9, according to the Somerset County Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information Hub.

Sean Devlin and Mayor Devra Keenan
Montgomery's Emergency Management Coordinator Sean Devlin and Mayor Devra Keenan signed an order lifting Montgomery's local health emergency on Tuesday.

Mayor Devra Keenan explained: “We can take this step because Montgomery residents have made an exceptional effort in getting vaccinated and following public health guidelines, and because our health department has done an outstanding job.”

Are At-Home COVID Tests Trackable?

During the first in-person Montgomery Township Committee meeting on February 17 — the first in-person meeting in two years — Keenan recognized that lot of people are now taking the at-home tests, rather than going to a test center for a PCR test.

“When a person tests positive at home, is there any way to track them?” Keenan asked.

Montgomery Health Officer Patel responded that folks who test positive using at-home tests will not be counted in the official state, local, or county numbers. She encouraged people who test positive using an at-home test to call the Montgomery Health Department to be counted. (908.359.8211 x2227)

No recent hospitalizations had been reported.

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See most recent COVID numbers from the Somerset County Health Department below.

COVID Cases March 3-9

Montgomery Township:

New Cases — 18

Total Cases — 2,663

New Deaths — 0

Total Deaths — 27

Rocky Hill:

New Cases — 0

Total Cases — 73

New Deaths — 0

Total Deaths — 1


New Cases — 53

Total Cases — 5,682

New Deaths — 0

Total Deaths — 112

Somerset County:

New Cases — 329

Total Cases — 55,238

New Deaths — 0

Total Deaths — 849

(Somerset County officials note that an increased number of cases reported 3/9/2022 is not a true reflection of the daily case count. This is due to a retroactive case upload by a lab into the state system.)

Free PCR COVID Tests & Vaccines

PCR tests are available at Princeton Elks Lodge. Also, Montgomery Township hosts COVID vaccine clinics, and has administered more than 4,000 vaccinations. Because the clinic locations and times change frequently, visit the health department website for the most up-to-date information.


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