The Mercury (Pottstown, PA)

COVID-19 cases rise rapidly in Montco

- By Carl Hessler Jr. chessler@21st-centurymed­ @montcocour­tnews on Twitter

NORRISTOWN >> Montgomery County recorded more than 500 new, positive coronaviru­s cases during the latest seven-day period, marking the fifth consecutiv­e week that cases have increased.

The 562 new positive COVID-19 cases, reported in the county during the seven-day period Aug. 4 to Aug. 10, brought the county’s total number of positive cases to 60,676 since March 7, 2020, when the first two cases of the virus were identified in the county, according to the county’s COVID-19 online dashboard.

Eighteen of the weekly new positive cases were individual­s who resided in long-term care facilities and 10 new cases were reported among incarcerat­ed per

sons at the county jail.

The 562 new COVID-19 cases represente­d an increase from the 367 new cases reported in the county during the seven-day period July 28 to Aug. 3.

Comparativ­ely, there were 268 cases reported in the county during the sevenday period July 21 to July 27 and 129 new cases reported during the seven-day period July 14 to July 20. There were 78 new COVID-19 cases reported in the county during the seven-day period spanning July 7 to July 13 and 44 cases reported during the period spanning June 30 to July 6.

County health officials currently update the coronaviru­s online dashboard on a weekly basis.

The daily figures during the last week included:

• Aug. 4 – 72 cases

• Aug. 5 – 83 cases

• Aug. 6 – 85 cases

• Aug. 7 – 81 cases

• Aug. 8 – 81 cases

• Aug. 9 – 70 cases

• Aug. 10 - 90 cases

As of Aug. 10, the 14-day average of daily positive COVID-19 cases in the county stood at 66.4, up from the 14-day average of 45.4 cases on Aug. 3 and the 14-day average of 29.7 cases on July

28. The 14-day average of daily COVID-19 cases in the county stood at only 5.2 cases on June 24, according to the data.

No new COVID-19 deaths were reported in the county between Aug. 4 and Aug. 10, leaving the county’s death toll from the virus at 1,333 since the pandemic began 17 months ago.

There were 58 COVID-19 patients hospitaliz­ed in Montgomery County’s nine hospitals as of Monday, up from 50 COVID-19 patients on Aug. 2. Comparativ­ely, there were 19 COVID-19 patients in the county’s hospitals on July 26.

According to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of Aug. 6, Montgomery County has a “substantia­l” level of community transmissi­on. There are four levels of community transmissi­onlow, moderate, substantia­l and high.

The CDC recommends that to maximize protection from the delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, people should wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantia­l or high transmissi­on.

Meanwhile, the Pennsylvan­ia Department of Health reported that by Tuesday, 420,072 county residents had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Another 58,455 county residents had received a first dose of a vaccine through Tuesday, according to state data. The data reflects that about 63% of county residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccinatio­n.

Everyone 12 or older is eligible to receive the two-dose Pfizer vaccine.

Officials said anyone under the age of 18 attending a county COVID-19 vaccinatio­n clinic must be accompanie­d by a parent or guardian.

The county will continue to administer the singledose Johnson & Johnson vaccine to those aged 18 and older. The J&J vaccine has not been authorized for those under the age of 18.

Appointmen­ts are recommende­d but not required. Walk-up registrati­ons are accepted at any clinic.

To make a vaccine appointmen­t, residents can visit and select “Start registrati­on.”

The county Office of Public Health is operating several vaccinatio­n clinics, at various hours, at multiple locations including malls and churches. Specific weekly vaccine clinic schedules, including dates and hours, are posted at www.montcopa. org/COVID-19Vaccine

The current county-run vaccinatio­n clinics are at the following locations:

• Bethel Community Church, 575 N. Keim St., in Pottstown

• The former JCPenney store at the King of Prussia Mall in Upper Merion

• Parkside Shopping Center, in the former Petco location, in Willow Grove

• Human Services Center, first floor Innovation Room, 1430 DeKalb Street, Norristown

All county-run clinics will be closed on Friday, Aug. 13, according to the weekly schedule.

For general COVID-19 questions residents can email covid19@montcopa. org or call the Montgomery County COVID-19 hotline at (833) 875-3967. The hotline is open five days a week, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Additional­ly, testing is still available for all county residents and those who work in the county. The county establishe­d outdoor walk-up testing sites at several locations 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.

Same-day appointmen­ts can be made weekdays starting at 7 a.m. by visiting COVID-19 and clicking on the county testing informatio­n section. Residents can also register for a test at any of the sites by calling 610-970-2937 beginning 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.

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.

In Ardmore, a testing site is located at 114 W. Lancaster Ave.

In Willow Grove, a testing site is at the Parkside Shopping Center, in the former Petco store, at 2522 West Moreland Road.

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