April 7, 2021

COVID Case Numbers Rise for Younger Adults

By Donald Gilpin

The Princeton Health Department reported on Monday, April 5 that there had been 11 new positive COVID cases in Princeton in the previous 7 days for a daily average of 1.57, and 24 in the previous 14 days, a daily average of 1.71.

The average age of individuals with recent new cases in Princeton is 26 years old. “Not surprisingly, new infections are being spread amongst those ineligible or not previously vaccinated,” said Princeton Health Officer Jeff Grosser. “The good news is that hospitalizations are not increasing due to the less severe health complications associated with younger people. With that said, we are still working to vaccinate those that are at high risk of severe COVID-19.”

The push to vaccinate most of the state’s adult population in the coming months is gaining momentum. On Monday, April 5, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced that all New Jerseyans age 16 and older will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations beginning on April 19, two weeks earlier than the state had originally planned.

“Never forget, the power to end this pandemic rests on our collective shoulders — all nine million of us,” said Murphy in his Monday COVID briefing. “The decisions each of you make as individuals — to get vaccinated, to properly wear a mask, to stay home when not feeling well, to cooperate with contact tracers — these individual decisions protect you, your family, and our community.”

As of Tuesday morning, 1,845,335 New Jersey residents had been fully vaccinated, with 3,065,644 having received at least one dose and a total of 4,794,010 doses administered so far by New Jersey health facilities and vaccine centers. The state’s goal is to vaccinate 70 percent of its adult population, about 4.7 million people, by June 30.

“Princeton Health Department is continuing to work with our congregate living sites and multiple dwelling facilities in order to vaccinate ‘pockets’ of our residents who have been unable to get vaccinated,” said Grosser. “We began homebound vaccinations last week and have successfully vaccinated nearly 30 residents within the confines of their homes due to illness or
injury. The process will continue for as long as we have vaccines. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been an important improvement since it only requires one visit by our nursing staff.” 

The number of locations In Mercer County and the surrounding area that are administering COVID-19 vaccinations continues to expand, with about 30 sites currently operating in the county, according to the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH).

Individuals seeking vaccination must pre-register at covidvaccine.nj.gov. Registering with other NJ COVID-19 vaccine locations (see covid19.nj.gov) might increase chances of getting a vaccination appointment. Also offering vaccines are the following health care centers: Princeton Penn Medicine at princetonhcs.org, Hackensack Meridian at hackensackmeridianhealth.org, and RWJ/Barnabas at rwjbh.org. 

The NJDOH, consistent with Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations, has updated travel guidance for fully vaccinated persons. No quarantine following travel or test before travel (unless required by the destination) is needed, but fully vaccinated persons should get tested 3-5 days after returning to the United States from international travel.

Similar to fully vaccinated travelers, persons who have clinically recovered from COVID-19 in the past three months do not need to quarantine after travel. In addition they do not need to be tested before or after travel, domestic or international.

All travelers should continue to wear a mask while traveling, Grosser pointed out, stay six feet from others and avoid crowds, wash hands often or use hand sanitizer, self-monitor for symptoms during and after travel, and self-isolate should symptoms develop.

Newly eligible for COVID-19 vaccines as of April 5 were individuals ages 55 and up; individuals 16 and up with intellectual and developmental disabilities; higher education educators and staff; communications infrastructure support, and press; real estate, building, and home service workers; retail financial institution workers; sanitation workers; laundry service workers; utility workers; and librarians and support staff.