Montgomery County commissioner tests positive for COVID-19

NORRISTOWN, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Ken Lawrence, the vice chair of the Montgomery County Commissioners said Monday that he tested positive for the coronavirus over the weekend.

Lawrence made a visit on Saturday to a testing site at the Second Baptist Church in Pottstown, which he helped to fund. While there, the head of the Black Doctor's Consortium, who was running the site, told him he should get tested, despite not having symptoms.

"I just want to say, I feel great," said Lawrence. "I've been completely asymptomatic so far. I had no reason to believe I'd be positive."

Now, he'll be quarantining for the next two weeks after getting the positive test result.

"I think the lesson here is we need more widespread community testing. We're only testing people right now who have symptoms," he said.

Because of his positive test, Montgomery County moved to virtual briefings for the first time. The county is reporting a downward trend in the rate of positive tests; 83 new cases from Sunday and 18 on Monday. Health officials also reported three new deaths.

Now, as the county looks ahead, the election board took a step in getting ready for the June 2 primary, voting to consolidate polling locations from 352 to 140.

"Many locations are in retirement communities, so obviously that's an area we have to pull from and we're using as many schools as possible because there's a lot of schools across the county," said Joe Gale, a Montgomery County commissioner.

Every Montgomery County resident will get a letter telling them where their new polling place will be.

Gale says he's been pushing for in-person voting.

"I think citizens have the right to feel secure when they vote," he said.

Lawrence, on the other hand, is still urging people to vote by mail.

"It's incongruent to have an election during a pandemic, but we need to do that," said Lawrence.

For residents who do want to vote by mail, applications are due to the county office by May 26 at 5 p.m.

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