NORRISTOWN — While statistics indicate Montgomery County residents are continuing to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the county’s 62 municipalities, officials did report more than three dozen new cases of the virus on Wednesday, including new infections at the county jail in Lower Providence.

Officials said 40 individuals tested positive for the coronavirus, according to results of tests administered between July 14 and Aug. 11. The new positive individuals included 19 females and 21 males, who ranged in age from 9 to 79 and resided in 18 municipalities, according to the latest statistics.

“All 62 Montgomery County municipalities are home to individuals with COVID-19,” county Commissioners’ Chairwoman Dr. Valerie Arkoosh said during a Wednesday news briefing.

The 40 new positive cases brought the county’s total number of cases to 10,056 since March 7, when the first two cases of the virus were identified in the county. Two of the positive individuals resided in long-term care facilities, six were at the county jail and the remaining 32 individuals were other members of the community, according to the data.

Officials reported no new coronavirus deaths on Wednesday, leaving the county’s death toll at 823. To date, 440 females and 383 males have died from the virus in the county since the pandemic began in March.

Officials said they have been closely monitoring new cases of the virus reported at the county jail.

“For the last several weeks, the Montgomery County Correctional Facility has been consistently seeing about 18 percent of individuals booked into the correctional facility testing positive for COVID-19. These individuals contracted the coronavirus prior to entering the correctional facility. All new commits undergo testing and a quarantine process as part of their intake,” explained Arkoosh, who was joined at the briefing by fellow Commissioner Kenneth E. Lawrence Jr.

“All positive individuals, currently approximately 30, are in isolation and are currently stable,” Arkoosh added.

Additionally, since Aug. 2, a total of sixteen inmates in the general population have tested positive for the virus.

“These individuals are in isolation and their cellmates and housing units are in quarantine. Two of these individuals are currently hospitalized. The remainder are currently stable,” Arkoosh said.

Nine staff members at the correctional facility also recently tested positive. All of the staff members are currently stable, officials said.

“We have continued to keep the population in the correctional facility as low as possible,” Arkoosh said.

During the last several months, court and jail officials implemented measures to mitigate the potential spread of COVID-19 at the jail, including previously declaring state of emergency operations and limiting visitors. Authorities have also tried to reduce the jail population without threatening public safety.

Since the March 12 emergency judicial order was enacted, the prison population, as of Wednesday, had been reduced by 505 individuals, from 1,342 to 837, which is a 37-percent decrease.

The reductions were achieved by the courts through a combination of early parole for eligible inmates, electronic monitoring for those nonviolent inmates on work release, expediting administrative dispositions for probation violations and deferral of weekend sentences, officials said.

Overall, officials said, county residents continue to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the county.

The overall positivity rate, taking into account all county residents who were tested for the virus between March 13 and Aug. 7, was 2.77 percent, according to the latest data.

“That has been the lowest we have seen since this started. That’s great news and keep up the good work,” Arkoosh said.

Health officials believe having a positivity rate less than 5 percent indicates the county is controlling the spread of the virus and keeping it suppressed. To keep the positivity rate below 5-percent, Arkoosh stressed residents should continue to abide by all mask wearing, handwashing and social distancing recommendations.

“Don’t leave home without a mask,” Arkoosh said.

On Wednesday, 42 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in the county and only three of the individuals required a ventilator. At the peak of the pandemic in April, the county reported several hundred hospitalizations.

Officials said testing is still available for all county residents and those who work in the county and want or need to be tested. The county has established outdoor walk-up testing sites in Pottstown, Norristown, Lansdale, Willow Grove, Ardmore and Green Lane to accommodate those who want to be tested.

The county-run sites provide self-administered tests at no cost, although insurance will be billed if you have it. The sites do require an appointment for testing.

To register for a test at any of the six sites, residents can visit and click on the county testing information button. Residents can also register for a test at any of the six sites by calling 610-970-2937.

That phone number as well as the online registration will open at 8:30 a.m. daily.

In Pottstown, the testing site is located at the county’s Office of Public Health Pottstown Health Center at 364 King St. Testing is available by appointment Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from noon to 2 p.m. and on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

In Norristown, a testing site is located on the parking lot of the Delaware Valley Community Health Norristown Regional Health Center at 1401 DeKalb St. Testing is available Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10 a.m. to noon, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

In Lansdale, a testing site is located at 421 Main St. and is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and on Tuesdays and Thursdays from noon to 2 p.m.

Another testing site is located at Deep Creek and Snyder roads in the Green Lane Park area, where tests are available Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and on Tuesdays and Thursdays from noon to 2 p.m.

In Ardmore, a testing site is located at 114 W. Lancaster Avenue where testing is available Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and on Tuesdays and Thursdays from noon to 2 p.m.

Another testing site is currently available at the county’s Willow Grove Office of Public Health at 102 Old York Rd. Testing is available there on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from noon to 2 p.m. and on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The current Willow Grove location was scheduled to close on Aug. 14.

But a new testing location will open on Aug. 17 at First Baptist Church - Crestmont, 1678 Fairview Ave., Willow Grove. Testing there will be available Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from noon to 2 p.m. and on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

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