Hopewell Township Health Officer Dawn Marling warned Hopewell Township Committee members and the public of a consistent high level of COVID-19 transmission currently in the township.
At a Hopewell Township Committee meeting on Sept. 13, Marling reported that the township is experiencing 16 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 per week in the township.
“For a reference point, back in June, we were receiving about four cases per week. That has quadrupled to 16 cases per week now in Hopewell Township,” she said. “The last definitive numbers I can give you are, during the month of August we had 63 new cases. We ended on Aug. 26 with a total of 948 cases since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
With the 2021-22 school year already underway for Hopewell Valley Regional School (HVRSD) schools, Marling and the Hopewell Township Health Department are having regular communications with school nurses.
“At this point we are having daily conversations with our school district nurses and we have certainly had a lot of activity in last few days with the school district reopening,” she said. “So we really want to implore parents to please keep their children home if they are showing any signs or symptoms or if anyone in the household is showing signs and symptoms of COVID-19,” adding that parents should take an extra abundance of caution so that school nurses can do their jobs and avoid unnecessary contact tracing.
“We also want to obviously reinforce the message how important it is for vaccinations and keeping people out of the hospital. Like I said before we have a relatively good rate of vaccination in Hopewell Township, but nothing is perfect,” Marling said.
As of Sept. 14, the state’s data dashboard has 227,942 Mercer County residents fully vaccinated and 262,588 people with at least one vaccine dose in the county. According to the 2020 census from the U.S. Census Bureau, Mercer County has 387,340 residents.
The state dashboard also indicates that the county has had 34 new confirmed cases of COVID-19.
“The data is showing that over and over again that if you are unvaccinated you are far more likely to have a severe illness to be hospitalized or to die,” Marling said. “Right now we are offering next week a Hopewell COVID-19 vaccine clinic at the Hopewell Borough Train Station that will be on Sept. 21 in the evening from 5-7 p.m.”