SOUTH BRUNSWICK – The number of positive cases of COVID-19 over the past week were once again very high, as the township, state and country continue to feel the effects of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The increases appear to mirror trends within New Jersey, according to information provided by the South Brunswick Office of Emergency Management on Dec. 21.
Officials are once again urging residents to use caution when deciding whether or not to visit with relatives during the holidays, and to remember to properly wear cloth face masks when indoors with anyone other than household members, maintain 6 feet of distance, and wash hands frequently, according to the statement.
This past week, township officials were notified of 70 new cases of residents testing positive. This number represents a 18% decrease in new cases than was reported last week, but is still among the township’s largest number of new cases reported in a single week over the course of the pandemic, according to the statement.
In addition, 36 cases were reported from previous weeks.
South Brunswick currently has 1,170 total cases of residents who have tested positive.
Officials also received notification of two additional deaths attributed to COVID-19, a woman in her 70s and a man in his 80s, bringing the township’s total fatality count to 37.
Statewide, 3,607 people are hospitalized due to COVID as of Dec. 21, approximately the same number of hospitalizations as last week, according to the statement.
Middlesex County saw its numbers increase to 40,232 total cases.
South Brunswick Township Public Schools are currently in virtual learning mode, with no students or teachers in the buildings until at least January. The status of South Brunswick schools remains fluid, with decisions made based on the best and most recent available data, guidance from government organizations, and a comprehensive review of school district capabilities, according to the statement.
TRAVEL ADVISORY LIST:
New Jersey strongly discourages all non-essential interstate travel at this time.
Travelers and residents returning from any U.S. state or territory beyond the immediate region (New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Delaware) should self-quarantine at their home, hotel or other temporary lodging following recommendations from the CDC:
If travel is unavoidable, travelers should consider getting tested with a viral test (not an antibody test) 1-3 days before the trip and again 3-5 days after the trip.
If travelers test positive, they should self-isolate for at least 10 days and should postpone travel during that time.
If travelers test negative, they should quarantine for a full 7 days after travel.
If testing is not available (or if the results are delayed), travelers should quarantine for 10 days after travel.
The advisory is no longer specific to certain states. Because of the rising number of case counts across all states, there is an increased risk of spread of COVID-19 upon return from any travel.
UPDATED STATE GUIDELINES:
New Jersey will roll out COVID-19 vaccines step-by-step to serve all adults who live, work or are being educated in the state.
New Jersey’s goal is to vaccinate 70% of the adult population – or 4.7 million adults – within six months.
Currently, vaccines are available to those persons serving in health care settings who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials, and long-term care residents and staff.
Once vaccine availability expands, additional essential workers will be able to get vaccinated.
The next category of individuals will include adults 65 and over, and adults with underlying medical conditions.
After these phases are complete, the general public will be eligible for vaccination.
Executive Order No. 207 changes inclusion into the New Jersey Immunization Information System (NJIIS) from an opt-in to an opt-out program for any resident who chooses to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. This means that individuals who wish to be vaccinated against COVID-19 do not have to first opt-in to the system to make sure that their two-dose regimen is properly tracked and managed. Thirty days after the current public health emergency ends, individuals who enrolled due to the COVID-19 vaccine will be afforded the opportunity to withdraw from the system.
The Executive Order does not force anyone to receive the vaccine.
For more information about the vaccine, visit www.state.nj.us/health/cd/topics/covid2019_vaccination.shtml