April 28, 2021

Just One New COVID-19 Case in Princeton This Week

By Donald Gilpin

The Princeton Health Department on Monday, April 26, reported just one new case of COVID-19 in Princeton in the previous seven days (0.14 daily average), and just six cases in the previous 14 days (0.42 daily average).

“In the past two weeks, Princeton has seen a 60 percent decrease in the rate of confirmed cases,” said Princeton Health Officer Jeff Grosser. “Much of what we continue to observe in new COVID-19 cases in town is in the 30-year-old range. Princeton’s average age of new cases over the past two months is 34 years of age.”

Grosser said that health officials expect the numbers to remain low and ultimately to decrease further as younger residents continue to get vaccinated.

The Princeton Health Department, which has so far vaccinated 1,000 individuals who work, go to school, or live in Princeton, is running vaccination clinics each week. The department continues to receive about 80 doses of vaccine per week and will continue to make vaccines available to the community.  Information and registration for upcoming clinics can be found on the health department website at princetonnj.gov.

The health department will be holding a COVID-19 vaccine clinic at the Princeton YMCA on Thursday, April 29 from 10 a.m. to noon for those who live, work, or study in Princeton. Individuals 18 and older are permitted to register at 2021covid19vaccine.as.me. The clinic will use Moderna vaccine and will accommodate first doses only, with registration closing after 80 doses have been scheduled.

The Princeton Health Department has teamed up with Hamilton, West Windsor, and Olden Pharmacy to provide a Pfizer vaccine clinic for local 16- and 17-year-olds who live, work, or go to school in Princeton.  Vaccine recipients must have not yet received a COVID-19 vaccine (and not currently have an appointment) and be able to attend a clinic with a parent or guardian between 3 and 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 28 or Thursday, April 29.

Residents seeking vaccines should pre-register through the state at covidvaccine.nj.gov and also check Mercer County locations at covid19.nj.gov, as well as the following healthcare centers offering the vaccine: Penn Medicine Princeton at princetonhcs.org, Hackensack Meridian at hackensackmeridianhealth.org, and RWJ/Barnabas at rwjbh.org.

“If residents are having trouble finding an appointment, they should contact the Princeton Health Department,” Grosser said. “Those who have been vaccinated should continue to follow the CDC’s guidance for vaccinated individuals.”

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced on Monday, April 26 that the size limit on outdoor gatherings will increase from 200 to 500 people on May 10, while the capacity limits for large outdoor sports and entertainment venues in the state will rise to 50 percent. More restrictions are expected to be lifted in the coming weeks as long as New Jersey’s case numbers continue to drop and vaccination numbers rise.

“Residents should remember that reopening guidance is purposely slow,” Grosser said. “As specific restrictions are lifted data is analyzed to reinforce that lifting of restrictions is not causing increased disease transmission. This is the major role of epidemiology in public health, identifying clues to changes that take place over time in health problems in the community.“

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced new guidelines on Tuesday, indicating that vaccinated people can safely attend small outdoor gatherings and participate in walking, exercising, or dining outdoors without masks. The CDC continued to urge mask-wearing in most indoor settings and in crowded outdoor areas.

Murphy pointed out in his Tuesday press conference that New Jersey new case numbers are heading down.  He also noted that the state’s transmission rate has dropped to 0.88, its lowest point in two months, with any number under one indicating that the outbreak is slowing.

More than 2.86 million people have been vaccinated in New Jersey as of Tuesday, about 41 percent of the state’s 6.9. million adult residents.  It is the state’s goal to vaccinate 70 percent of the eligible adult population, about 4.7 million people, by the end of June.