Zero New COVID Cases in Monty this Week—Is the Pandemic Over?
By Barbara A. Preston l June 15, 2021
Although the Montgomery Health Department is reporting zero new cases of COVID-19 in Montgomery and Rocky Hill since June 11, the pandemic, unfortunately, is still happening.
Montgomery Mayor Devra Keenan says this is the first full week with zero cases. "But, as long as we have unvaccinated people, we will have cases, at least occasionally."
"The vaccines have been unbelievably effective against the current known variants, and let's hope it stays that way," Keenan says. "That is why we continue to reach out and offer vaccination clinics. Get vaccinated since the life you save may be your own, or a person you love."
Montgomery Township can boast that 83 percent of resident over 18 are fully vaccinated, which is almost as good as Rocky Hill, where 89 percent of residents are fully vaccinated, according to Health Officer Stephanie D. Carey.
When ages 12 to 17 is included, the total comes to 85 percent of RH residents and 77 percent of Montgomery Township resident are vaccinated.
"We can say the pandemic is well-controlled in New Jersey now," Carey says. "But with raging epidemics in too many countries, and domestic outbreaks wherever vaccination rates lag, the illness can be re-introduced into clusters of unvaccinated people at any time."
Health Officer Stephanie Carey will give a presentation titled "Turning the Page on COVID in Montgomery and Rocky Hill" at the Montgomery Township Committee Meeting via Zoom at 7 pm on Thursday.
Upcoming vaccination clinics in Montgomery Township
Saturday, June 19, 9 am to noon, Otto Kaufman Community Center. Moderna, for ages 18-plus.
Thursday, June 24, 5 pm to 8 pm, Montgomery High School. Pfizer, for ages 12-plus.
Friday, June 25, 3 pm to 7 pm, Pike Run. Moderna for ages 18-plus.
Saturday, June 26, 9 am to 12 noon, Montgomery Farmers’ Market. J&J for ages 18-plus.
Register for a clinic. The clinics will continued throughout July as vaccinations are available. Carey is busy scheduling clinics now.
"Vaccinated people just are not getting sick in our experience," Carey says. "Then, you have this positive feedback loop: the higher the vaccination rate in a community, the less chance of further spread. So we have to keep striving to get the rest of our community vaccinated."
Mayor Keenan attributes the rapid decline in COVID cases in Montgomery and Rocky Hill to the health department and local elected officials who have offered "many hyper-local vaccination clinics that have resulted in the best in vaccination rates" in the state, and even nationwide.
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"The strength of the Montgomery Township Health Department has been absolutely critical to our success," Keenan adds. "Our nationally accredited department was prepared in February in 2020, way before many folks had even heard of the virus. By ordering supplies, hiring additional staff, purchasing deep freezers - we were prepared to respond quickly and effectively."
"Leveraging our national accreditation, we were the first local health department to receive vaccines directly from the state, which we quickly brought to our most vulnerable homebound residents," Keenan adds. "Through our shared services, we helped keep our neighbors safe by providing vaccines to Hopewell Borough and Pennington Borough residents; and we were able to partner with Hillsborough Health Department to open up south county sites at our respective community centers. I'm beyond proud of our public health team."
Mask requirements in NJ
Last Updated: 06/6/2021
In New Jersey, face masks are no longer required in most outdoor settings and indoor settings, however based on CDC guidance, unvaccinated individuals should continue wearing a face covering in public spaces - especially indoors - to protect yourself and others.
Face masks are still required for all individuals on public transportation, health care facilities, including nursing homes and office-based health care settings, child care centers, K-12 schools, homeless shelters, and correctional facilities, which remain subject to existing requirements and/or recommendations. In addition, businesses may continue to require face coverings for employees, customers, and guests. Businesses are not permitted to restrict the use of face masks by their staff, customers, or visitors.
For more information, refer to Executive Order No. 242.