Mass Testing of Montgomery County Inmates for COVID-19 Shows Considerably Higher Numbers than Previously Known

Montgomery County has tested all inmates in its custody for COVID-19 and has found that there are nearly 30 times more cases than were previously known.

Montgomery County officials have tested all the inmates in their custody for COVID-19 and have found that there are nearly 30 times more cases than were previously known, write Jeremy Roebuck and Allison Steele for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Out of 948 inmates, 177 tested positive. But more surprisingly, according to Val Arkoosh, chairperson of the county’s board of commissioners, is that the vast majority of those who tested positive showed no symptoms at the time the tests were administered.

The results offer epidemiologists that are studying asymptomatic transitions crucial new data and suggest that a significantly higher number of people than previously thought may have caught and unknowingly spread the virus.

“This could tell us a lot about the number of people who might have the virus but aren’t showing symptoms and may never show symptoms,” said Aimee Palumbo, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Temple University.

She added that now the county knows who is positive, it “can monitor these people in a closed setting to see if they develop symptoms down the road, or if they’re truly asymptomatic.”

Read more about the issue at the Philadelphia Business Journal by clicking here.

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