NORRISTOWN, PA — It’s well known by now that Montgomery County, along with much of the region, continued to see a steady drop in its overall number of coronavirus cases over the last several weeks. But another metric also showed significant improvement in the last 10 days: the rate of death.
It’s very welcome news for local residents who have loved ones in area nursing homes. Even as Montgomery County prepares to move into the green phase of the state’s coronavirus mitigation plan on Friday, visitors are still not allowed in long term care facilities.
Over the past week, since June 15, there have been just four deaths reported in the county. But Montgomery County Commissioner Val Arkoosh urged caution.
“Covid-19 is not over,” she said Monday. “Green does not mean going back to the old normal. Green means going forward to a new normal, one where we are living as safely as possible with this virus. The risk is not going to be zero. “
Coronavirus has devastated Montgomery County, mainly in nursing homes, which have seen more than 80 percent of the county’s total of 781 deaths, as of late Monday.
The “curve” of deaths in the county has risen steadily and sharply ever since late March, and no significant plateau was reached until June 11, when fatalities in facilities around the county finally began to taper off.
In addition to the sharp decline in fatalities due to coronavirus, the county is also down to a daily average of 45 new cases over the past 14 days. That average was at 73 on June 9.
Arkoosh cited states which have seen rapid growth in cases after reopening four to six weeks ago as reason to continue to be cautious.
“Our goal as always is a responsible reopen,” she added.
The county’s three community testing sites, at Norristown, Pottstown, and Montgomery County Community College, have recorded a positive testing rate of 11 percent over the last two weeks. The overall rate for all testing sites within the county, including private healthcare facilities, is below 10 percent, which is the state’s minimum requirement to move a county to green.
The county reported 19 new cases Monday, and the county’s total number of positive tests sits at 8,041 as of Monday afternoon.
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