Val Arkoosh

Montgomery County Board of Commissioners' Chairwoman Dr. Valerie Arkoosh participates in a meeting.

NORRISTOWN — Montgomery County officials announced that two new COVID-19 testing opportunities will be available for Latino residents of the Pottstown and Norristown areas on two days next week.

The county, in partnership with Latino Connections and ACLAMO and the Pennsylvania Department of Health, will provide free coronavirus testing and education on Monday, Sept. 21 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at ACLAMO in Pottstown, 515 Walnut St.

On Tuesday, Sept. 22, tests will be available from ACLAMO in Norristown, at 536 George St., from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“All of this testing is walk-up. It does not require any kind of pre-registration or appointment. We’re very pleased to offer this additional testing option to Latino residents of Pottstown and Norristown or the surrounding areas,” county Commissioners’ Chairwoman Dr. Valerie Arkoosh said on Wednesday during a weekly news briefing.

The two testing sites on those two days will be an addition to the six testing sites the county currently sponsors daily at locations throughout the county. Currently, each of the six county-sponsored testing sites is offering 50 tests per day, for a total of 300 available tests daily.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, officials reported 29 more individuals tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the county’s total number of cases to 11,519 since March 7, when the first two cases of the virus were identified in the county.

The new positive individuals included 15 females and 13 males, who ranged in age from 12 to 83 and resided in 22 municipalities, according to the latest statistics. The gender of one of the positive individuals was not available on Wednesday. One of the new cases was from a long-term care facility.

No new COVID-19 deaths were reported on Wednesday and the county’s death toll from the virus stands at 830.

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

“Happily, we are starting to see some stabilization in our positive numbers but there is still plenty of virus circulating in our communities,” said Arkoosh, who was joined at the news briefing by fellow Commissioner Kenneth E. Lawrence Jr.

The overall 14-day positivity rate for the county, as of Sept. 11, was 3.11 percent, according to the commissioners’ data. Last week, the positivity rate was 3.17 percent.

“I’m always happy to report when these numbers are going down, even if it’s by a fraction of a percent. That’s some good news this week,” 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.

As schools begin to bring students back, keeping the virus suppressed is more important than ever, Arkoosh said.

“While many of our 22 school districts are beginning the school year with a virtual format, all are hoping that they will feel comfortable bringing at least some students back in-person later this fall or in January,” Arkoosh said. “The likelihood of their being able to do this depends on all of us working together to keep the spread of virus in our community to a minimum. That is our goal. We have to work as a community to keep these numbers low.”

To keep the positivity rate below 5-percent, Arkoosh stressed residents should continue to abide by all mask wearing, handwashing and social distancing recommendations.

On Wednesday, officials reported 28 individuals were hospitalized with the coronavirus in county hospitals, with four needing a ventilator.

“I believe this is the lowest number that we have seen since the early days of this pandemic,” Arkoosh said. “So that is great news.”

At the peak of the pandemic in April, the county reported several hundred hospitalizations.

Officials said testing is 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 www.montcopa.org/COVID-19 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. The six county test sites will be closed on Labor Day.

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. The site will be closed on Friday, Sept. 18.

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.

In Willow Grove, testing is available at First Baptist Church - Crestmont, 1678 Fairview Ave. Testing there is 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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