Montgomery County COVID-19 cases jump to 136; residents ordered to stay home

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Officials in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania have announced 26 new coronavirus cases on Monday, bringing the county's total to 136.

The new cases range in ages from 18 to 81 years old.

The new cases come one day after the county announced its first coronavirus-related death.

The patient was a 72-year-old man from Abington who had been hospitalized for several days. He died on Saturday.

Drive-thru testing began over the weekend at Temple University's Ambler campus located in Upper Dublin Township.

Dr. Valerie A. Arkoosh, chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners, says by the end of the day Monday, roughly 1,100 will be tested since the opening of the site.

The site is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, by appointment only. Only individuals meeting 1 or more of the following 6 criteria will be eligible:

- Fever at or above 100.4 degrees and respiratory symptoms such as cough or shortness of breath
- Temperature at or above 99.6 degrees and you're 65 years of age or older

- If you are a first responder (police, fire, EMS, dispatcher) and you have a concerned exposure to a patient with a suspected case of COVID19 or respiratory symptoms
- Health care worker who is providing direct patient care and testing is not available through your employer
- People who have known or suspected direct contact to a person with COVID-19
- People whose doctor or health care provider recommended they be tested but has not yet been able to get a test

For more information and to register for an appointment, visit www.montcopa.org/COVID-19 or call 610.631.3000.

Governor Tom Wolf ordered a stay-at-home for the suburban Philadelphia counties of Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties.

In all, 5.5 million people, or more than 40% of the state's population, have been ordered to stay home. Wolf said residents will be able to leave their homes for "allowable activities," including trips to the grocery store and the pharmacy. He did not say how it would be enforced.

Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele urged businesses that are not deemed "life-sustaining" to close following the governor's order last week.

"My advice to you is, don't do it. Comply with our legal order to close. Our local departments throughout Montgomery County are ready to enforce this order. Don't make them do it. If you violate, you can potentially face summary violation of a $300 fine or other penalties, like being charged with obstruction of the intimate administration of justice or law or other government functions," said Steele.

On Monday, Wolf also said statewide school closures will be extended, and schools will remain closed through at least April 6.
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