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Mercer County COVID-19 Update

TRENTON– The Mercer County Division of Public Health and County Executive Brian M. Hughes provide the following COVID-19 update: 

  • In Mercer County, cases remain high with around 28 cases per 100,000 residents reported a day, based on the past week’s reports.

  • There have been a number of questions related to the Omicron variant. There is a great deal that is unknown at this time. New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH), like many others, is closely monitoring scientific data and news. We will continue to be vigilant in our own community.

  • The emergence of the Omicron variant underscores the importance of vaccination, boosters, and preventive efforts to protect against COVID-19. CDC recommendations on booster doses are based on the latest data, with the goal of ensuring that people have optimal protection against COVID-19 infection, severe illness, and death.

  • Boosters are recommended  6 months after your initial Pfizer of Moderna series, or two months after your one-dose J&J vaccine. Early data from South Africa suggest increased transmissibility of the Omicron variant, and scientists in the United States and around the world are urgently examining vaccine effectiveness related to this variant. Click to view the full CDC statement.

  • Based on the state’s dashboard, 77 percent of county residents have been vaccinated; another 63 percent have been partially vaccinated.  Booster vaccines are proven safe and effective in protecting you against COVID-19, including any variants. If you're are eligible to receive it, County Executive Hughes urges you to get a booster. 

  • If you have not yet been vaccinated, or need a booster, use the New Jersey vaccine provider search: covid19.nj.gov/pages/vaccine. You can also be vaccinated at any Mercer-operated clinic, which supplies Moderna, Pfizer or J&J vaccine for anyone age 5 and up, and boosters for anyone 18 and older. For a list of upcoming clinics, click here.

  • The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) confirmed that the Omicron variant is in the United States. New Jersey residents who attended the Anime NYC 2021 Convention at the Javits Center in New York City from November 19-21 should get a COVID-19 test as soon as possible, monitor for symptoms and seek medical help if they are sick following news that a Minnesota resident who attended the conference tested positive for the Omicron variant. 

  • The NJ Department of Health continues to work on a comprehensive analysis of breakthrough cases. The data thus far show that vaccinated persons continue to have greater protection from the virus and the potential for serious illness, hospitalization, and death. 

  • The Division continues to partner with NJDOH to provide information and guidance on the virus as well as any vaccine-related questions. Residents are encouraged to call 1-800-962-1253 (24/7) with any and all questions they may have. For vaccine support, call 1-855-568-0545 (8 a.m.-8 p.m.).

  • Residents should continue to follow CDC guidance on masking, maintain physical distancing, wash your hands regularly, and if you’re sick, stay home and get tested.

Mercer County COVID-19 Update

The State of New Jersey this week ramped up its COVID-19 vaccination efforts, and Mercer County is preparing to do the same. The County will open a vaccination site at CURE Insurance Arena in Trenton in partnership with Capital Health System, which will manage the site. The opening date is dependent on vaccine supply but a soft opening is planned next week.

We had a successful partnership with Capital Health during the COVID-19 testing program we established last spring, and I can’t think of a more fitting partner for this next phase of the pandemic response – the vaccination phase. Like other vaccination locations, this site will be for those eligible under the state’s phasing plan that is designed to ensure that those most at risk are prioritized.

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Mercer County COVID-19 Update - 4/3

A letter from County Executive Brian M. Hughes

This week, Mercer County saw its first deaths due to coronavirus disease. The fact that this occurrence was inevitable makes it no less painful, and I offer my deepest sympathy for the loved ones of the five individuals who passed away.

Sadly, there will be more deaths related to COVID-19. We also know there is community spread and expect to see the number of positive cases increase as more people are tested. This pandemic represents an unprecedented crisis – it’s been reported that half the world is now under a stay-home order. But I can assure you that in Mercer County we are doing everything we can to protect the health and well-being of our residents.

Mercer County, in collaboration with health care partners, opened an appointment-only, drive-up testing site for COVID-19 this week at Quaker Bridge Mall.The center tested more than 260 symptomatic individuals over the first three days. 

Please be aware that the testing center is by appointment only for symptomatic Mercer County residents age 18 or older who have a prescription from a health care practitioner. If you are symptomatic for COVID-19 and want to be tested, contact your health care practitioner, who must fax your prescription to the site’s appointment makers at 609-630-4031. If you do not have a personal practitioner, go to an urgent care facility or health clinic and have a prescription faxed to the appointment makers.

Regarding positive test cases of COVID-19, Mercer County has been releasing only the total number of cases countywide. But the number of positive cases is quickly growing and there is no uniform presentation of data town by town. Some municipalities are offering fairly detailed information including age, gender and occupation. Additionally, we have heard from a number of constituents who want to know the number of cases in their town compared to neighboring towns.

Within the next day or so, we will launch a new website that will list cases by Mercer municipality. Our goal is to update the data every 24 hours. At absolutely no time will personally identifying information be revealed. We are making every effort to be transparent while also respecting the letter of the law with regard to individuals' privacy rights.

These are stressful times filled with much uncertainty. We’ve all had to change our routines; our movements have been restricted; schools are closed; many businesses have been forced to close or alter their services, affecting the owners, their employees and their patrons. It’s an unsettling scenario and we don’t know when life will return to normal.  

We do know that the best defense we have right now against COVID-19 is to adhere to the governor’s directive to stay home. If you must go out – to the grocery store, to a medical appointment, to take a walk or to report to an essential job -- practice social distancing by keeping at least 6 feet from others. Otherwise, please stay home. Those at higher risk – older adults and people with existing health problems – depend on everyone else to stay safe.

And continue to take everyday preventive measures: wash your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds, cover coughs and sneezes, and clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.

I deeply appreciate your commitment to helping slow the spread of COVID-19. There are many more difficult days ahead, but I know that Mercer County is up for the challenge. If we all work together, we WILL get through this crisis.

Brian M. Hughes
Mercer County Executive

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