Home » COVID-19 update: cases continue to rise – wear a mask!

COVID-19 update: cases continue to rise – wear a mask!

by Amie Rukenstein

Hopewell Township is reporting that “the CDC Community Level for Mercer County has now moved to High, taking into account hospital admissions and potential for strain on the healthcare system.

The Hopewell Township website noted that “it’s up to each of us to take sensible precautions to reduce community spread at this time. The notice continued:

“Everyone ages 2 years and older should wear a well-fitting mask (indoors, in public) when the COVID-19 Community Level is High, regardless of vaccination status.

“Wear a mask with the best fit, protection, and comfort for you.

“If you are sick and need to be around others, or are caring for someone who has COVID-19, wear a mask.

“People who have a condition or are taking medications that weaken their immune system should talk to their healthcare providers in advance about what additional precautions may be necessary.“

The Hopewell Valley Regional School District COVID Dashboard indicates that from January to today, there have been 1,046 positive COVID-19 cases in the schools (students and staff), as compared to 128 from August to December. HVRSD Superintendent Dr. Rosetta Treece told MercerMe that most of those cases occurred in January, immediately following the winter break, however she strongly urged parents to keep sick kids home from school in order to stop contagion.

Treece told MercerMe: “In terms of masking, we are still mask optional with very strong recommendations that teachers and students wear masks. With the change in the weather, we are encouraging teachers to take advantage of our outdoor spaces and to get outside with their classes as much as possible. 

“Students and staff who have contracted COVID-19 must still isolate at home,” she continued. “If there is a substantial decrease in symptoms, they may return to school after day 5 from the onset of symptoms and must wear a mask through day ten. We are still quarantining classrooms and grade levels as needed. We strongly encourage folks to stay home if showing any symptoms and to test frequently. It is important to not just assume that symptoms are allergies or another respiratory disease; be sure to rule out COVID-19.”

MercerMe checked in with Hopewell Township a few weeks ago when COVID appeared to be on the rise again. On May 13, Health Officer Dawn Marling told us: “New COVID-19 infections have increased significantly throughout New Jersey in recent weeks. The currently circulating Omicron sub-variants are much more contagious than the Delta variant, which predominated cases at the beginning of the school year.

“The Hopewell Township Health Department works closely with the HVRSD nurses to monitor for outbreaks and to provide support to families affected by this virus. Fortunately, hospitalizations remain low and we have not had a COVID-related death reported since February. Our community has higher-than-average rates of vaccination, providing good protection against severe illness. As we navigate this current surge, residents can help reduce transmission by choosing outdoor activities when possible, increasing ventilation indoors, and wearing a high-quality mask when physical distancing is not possible,” Marling said.

For more information: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/covid-by-county.html 

Graph courtesy of Hopewell Township

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