Health Care Experts Sound Alarm as Local COVID-19 Cases Skyrocket
Trenton Health Team and community health care providers urge renewed caution this holiday season based on steeply rising COVID-19 infections in Mercer County, calling on everyone ages 5 and up to get a free COVID vaccination or booster shot as soon as possible. Find a vaccine location here.
“I’m really worried about how dangerous it is right now for everyone remaining unvaccinated,” warned Dr. Rachael Evans, Chief Medical Officer at Henry J. Austin Health Center. “A majority of new COVID infections are people without vaccines. Vaccines and booster shots provide the best protection against serious illness and death due to COVID.”
Since November 1, Mercer County COVID-19 infections have tripled from 12 per 100,000 to 36.3 per 100,000, as of December 6, 2021, according to COVID Act Now. That marks the highest weekly average in more than six months, ranking Mercer County’s COVID-19 risk level as “Very High.”
COVID-19 infection rates have climbed more than 25 percent in eight weeks — from .93 on Oct. 1 to 1.19 on Dec. 4, according to COVID Act Now. Infection rates above 1 mean each person who is ill spreads the virus to more than one additional person, resulting in widespread infection.
More area residents are becoming seriously ill due to COVID-19, with the 7-day average hospitalization rate rising 150 percent — from 20 patients on November 4 to 50 patients as of December 2, 2021. The number of patients requiring intensive care is rising but remains below 10 in Mercer County, moving from 2 on November 18 to 8 as of December 2, 2021, according to COVID Act Now.
THT is providing $25 gift cards to each person age 5+ receiving a first dose or booster shot at these weekly walk-up sites while supplies last:
- Mondays — 4-7 pm Kilmer Elementary School, 1300 Stuyvesant Avenue
- Tuesdays — 4-7 pm Rivera Middle School, 400 N. Montgomery Street
- Wednesdays — 4-7 pm Trenton Central High School, 400 Chambers Street
- Thursdays — 4-7 pm Trenton Deliverance Center, 1100 S. Clinton Avenue
“Covid is not taking a holiday,” said Gregory Paulson, executive director of Trenton Health Team. “As we gather with family and friends, we need to remain careful to reduce the risk of infection.”
Safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines are available FREE at pharmacies and other walk-up locations across Trenton for EVERYONE age 5+ and FREE booster shots are recommended for EVERYONE age 18+. No insurance is required. No citizenship status is required. Find a vaccine location here.
“We have the resources to protect our families and our community,” said Dr. Eric Schwartz, Capital Health Vice President, Community Health and Transformation. “We have to stay vigilant — get vaccinated, get your booster shot, wear your masks and avoid big indoor crowds. That’s how we can all have a happy new year.”
New Jersey health officials are tracking the latest COVID-19 variant, Omicron, and cases have been identified. For now, the Delta variant remains the dominant virus strain in Mercer County.
Research shows people infected with Delta have higher viral loads—meaning more virus in their bodies—than with previous variants, and Delta spreads about twice as easily from one person to another than previous COVID-19 strains. Scientists are still studying the Omicron variant.
“We’re always here for the community,” said Dr. Adela M. Ames-Lopez, Director of Health and Human Services for the City of Trenton. “Just walk in. Get vaccinated. Ask questions. We’ll help anyway we can. It has never been easier to protect yourself and your loved ones from the potentially deadly effects of COVID-19.”
To find local COVID-19 vaccine sites, visit trentonnj.org/covid or call 609-256-4010.
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