NORRISTOWN — As week 14 of the coronavirus outbreak in Montgomery County came to a close on Friday, officials reported three more deaths and more than six dozen new positive cases of the virus.

The three most recent deaths included two women and one man who ranged in age from 67 to 89. One of the individuals lived in a long-term care facility. The three deaths bring the county’s death toll to 768. To date, 407 females and 361 males have died from the virus in the county, according to county statistics.

The 768 total deaths were “confirmed positive” COVID-19 cases through the use of lab tests.

Earlier this week, officials said 92 other deaths in the county have been listed as “probable” COVID-19 deaths. Those are deaths that list COVID-19 as a cause of death on a death certificate but in which there was no laboratory confirmation of the virus.

Additionally, officials reported 74 new positive cases of the coronavirus on Friday, which brings the county’s total number of cases to 7,756 since March 7 when the first two cases of the virus were identified in the county. The individuals, 48 females and 26 males, ranged in age from 3 to 100 and they resided in 28 municipalities, officials reported.

“While we’ve moved to the ‘Yellow Reopening Phase,’ there remains an active virus in our midst,” said county Commissioners’ Chairwoman Dr. Valerie Arkoosh, referring to Gov. Tom Wolf’s color-coded reopening plan for the county.

“The county is focused on early detection and containment of any new outbreaks. We have eliminated restrictions for testing so that anyone who needs or wants to be tested can be tested, whether or not they have symptoms,” Arkoosh added. “As the coronavirus continues to remain in our community, each of us must be personally responsible for our actions and work together to minimize the spread of COVID-19 in Montgomery County.”

On June 5, the county moved from the “red phase” to the “yellow phase” of Wolf’s color-coded reopening plan, a phase that loosened some restrictions, including the stay-at-home order that was in effect since March.

However, officials pointed out that even in the yellow phase, telework should continue where feasible and gatherings of more than 25 people are prohibited. Visitor restrictions remain in place at congregate care settings and at the county jail. In-person retail operations are allowable but curbside and delivery, if possible, are recommended. Gyms, hair salons and spas remain closed in the yellow phase.

More information about the reopening process can be found at www.montcopa.org/COVID-19

“I think we are in good shape here. We are moving in the right direction. But I just want to remind everybody that this could easily go the other way,” Arkoosh said on Thursday, referring to published reports that 14 other states have recorded surges in new positive cases of the virus after reopening.

Arkoosh continued to stress the importance of social distancing measures and mask wearing during the yellow phase as ways to prevent the spread of the virus.

“We must continue to take precautions when we are out in public,” Arkoosh said.

Arkoosh has said the county put infrastructure in place to move into the yellow phase safely. Officials will be watching for surges in positive cases, or “hotspots,” and will monitor how much hospital space is available and measure testing and contact tracing capabilities in the county.

Testing for anyone who needs or wants to be tested continues to be available at the county’s community-based testing sites in Pottstown, Norristown and Whitpain.

A walkup testing site is available at the county’s Office of Public Health Pottstown Health Center at 364 King St. Testing is available Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. by appointment only. To make an appointment, residents should call 610-970-2937 beginning at 8:30 a.m. daily.

A walk-up community-based testing site is located on the parking lot of the Delaware Valley Community Health Norristown Regional Health Center, 1401 DeKalb St., in Norristown. Testing is provided by appointment only from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. Monday through Friday and is open to Norristown residents and all established patients of the Delaware Valley Community Health Center regardless of where they reside. Residents can register for testing by calling 610-592-0680 starting at 8:30 a.m. daily.

A drive-thru site at the central campus of the Montgomery County Community College in Whitpain is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. as testing supplies allow. Registration for each day’s appointments will open at 8 a.m. daily and will remain open until all available spots are filled. Individuals can register online at www.montcopa.org/COVID-19 or can call 610-631-3000 to register for a testing appointment.

While the community-based testing locations will be closed on Saturday and Sunday, information on additional testing sites, many of which operate over the weekend, can be found at www.montcopa.org/COVID-19 under the “County Testing Information” button.

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