7-20: Four New Cases; “Mini Vax Clinic” Tomorrow and Pike Run Clinic Friday; Vaccinate Teens by Aug. 5; Township Plans to Opt-Out of Cannabis Businesses for Now; Photo Contest Continues; Financial Relief Available

Posted on July 20, 2021

TODAY’S COVID-19 CASE SUMMARY

There have been four (4) new cases of COVID-19 in Montgomery and Rocky Hill since our last report on Friday, 7-16-21. All recent cases have occurred among unvaccinated residents. For further statistics, go to the Health Department’s COVID-19 portal.


MINI VAX CLINIC TOMORROW AND PIKE RUN CLINIC FRIDAY

The Montgomery Township Health Department is seeking 15 unvaccinated volunteers to help use up remaining doses of the Pfizer vaccine tomorrow at a clinic to be held from 5 to 7pm at Otto Kaufman Community Center. Anyone age 12 or older is eligible. If you are interested or have questions, call the Health Department immediately at (908) 533-9331. First-come, first-served.

In addition, the township will hold a vaccination clinic Friday from 5 to 7pm at the Pike Run Clubhouse for adults 18 and older, using the Moderna vaccine. Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are also available.

If you would like to make an appointment or need additional details, visit the Montgomery Health Department website, or call (908) 533-9331.


VACCINATE TEENS NOW 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 for a first dose 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.


TOWNSHIP PLANS TO OPT OUT OF CANNIBUS BUSINESS FOR NOW

The Montgomery Township Committee last Thursday introduced a proposed ordinance to prohibit cannabis businesses from operating within the township. The township is acting in the wake of a state law passed in February that already permits the use of cannabis and home delivery, regardless of any action taken by New Jersey cities and towns.

That same law gave municipalities a deadline of August 21 to decide whether to permit cannabis businesses in town, or else they would be automatically “opted in.” In recent months, Montgomery’s elected officials held a public forum about cannabis commercialization and received presentations from township police, finance staff, and the planning department.

The proposed township ordinance “opts out” of all cannabis related businesses, including retail.  Before being formally adopted, a public hearing will occur during the Township Committee’s regular meeting at 7pm August 5, when the public will have an additional opportunity to provide input.

The proposed ordinance explains the reasoning for opting out for the time being: “due to the complexity and novelty of the Act… and the relatively short duration in which the Act would allow such decisions to be made before imposing an automatic authorization of such uses in specified zoning districts subject to unspecified conditions, the most prudent course of action for the Township of Montgomery would be to prohibit all such uses within the Act’s 180-day period in order to ensure sufficient time to carefully review.”

The Montgomery Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Committeepersons explained their views on the issue during Township Committee meetings on July 1 and July 15. Video recordings of those meetings are available on the Township website.


ENTER MONTGOMERY WEEKLY PHOTO CONTEST!

The Rec Department has reprised its annual “Show Us Your Montgomery” photo contest. Each week through August 27, residents will submit photos of “their Montgomery” to recreation@twp.montgomery.nj.us. Each week the rec staff will vote on a weekly winner, and the winning photo will become the Recreation Department’s Facebooks cover photo for the week.

Each week’s winning photo will be entered into the Grand Prize drawing. The residents will vote on the weekly winning photos the week of August 30th and the winner will be announced September 6th.  For additional detail, visit the Recreation Department website.


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.