Coronavirus Response

Featured News

Doylestown Township is taking the threat of Coronavirus (COVID-19) very seriously. We are communicating with Bucks County Health Department as they are monitoring the situation very closely. For now, we are continuing to follow the guidelines recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and suggest that Doylestown Township residents do the same. Doylestown Township has enacted the following mitigation measures and changes in operation that may affect you in the weeks ahead.

Doylestown Township Administration

The Township Building is open to the public. All visitors must wear a face covering. To conduct business online, get in touch with the Township administrative staff by emailing info@doylestownpa.org or calling 215-348-9915. Our staff will respond to emails and calls in a timely manner.

Public Safety

The Police, Fire, and Emergency Medical Services continue normal operations. For true emergencies, dial 911.  The Police Department non-emergency line is 215-348-4200. Please do not call 911 to inquire about testing for COVID-19. Contact your healthcare provider for instructions and guidance.

Parks & Recreation

All Township trails, open space, the Dog Park, Kids Castle, playground equipment, Sensory Trail, restrooms, courts, fields are open and available for use but we remind you to play at your own risk.  We encourage you to get outside and enjoy our bike and hike trails, but please ensure that you are not congregating in groups and maintaining social distance from others. 

Code Enforcement / Permits

The Township will be conducting inspections and reviewing permit applications but will continue to do so in a safe way. To schedule an inspection please call the office at 215-348-9915. This includes all residential and commercial construction.

Municipal Authority

The Doylestown Township Municipal Authority is operating as normal.


Resources:
Prevention:
  • Cover coughs or sneezes with your elbow. Do not use your hands!
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available
  • Clean surfaces frequently, including countertops, light switches, cell phones, remotes, and other frequently touched items
  • Contain: if you are sick, stay home until you are feeling better

NEWS

Updated 10/13/2020 10:00 AM

October 13, 2020

During a span in which new COVID-19 cases rose precipitously across both Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Bucks County managed to hold the line last week on new infections, showing almost no increase over the previous seven days.

The county’s new case numbers for Oct. 4-10 totaled 229, an average of almost 33 per day and one more than the previous week’s total of 228.

Infections spread within households and as a result of gatherings with family and friends continued to rise, accounting for 47 percent of last week’s new infections.

Hospitalizations remained low, with seven county residents hospitalized with coronavirus as of Saturday, one of whom was in critical condition and on a ventilator. The county’s seven-day positivity rate dropped to 2.8 percent of those tested compared to 3.7 percent the previous week.

Bucks County’s new case totals stood in contrast to statewide trends in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Through Oct. 8, Pennsylvania’s average number of new daily cases had increased by 16 percent over the previous week, and New Jersey’s increased by 21 percent, according to a data analysis published by The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Pennsylvania reported 1,742 new cases on Saturday, the state’s highest one-day total since Apri1 11, and the third-highest one-day total since the pandemic began. However, more than twice as many COVID tests are being done daily today than in April.

Gov. Tom Wolf said last week he was “very concerned” about the increasing state numbers, which health officials blamed largely on infections among people ages 18 to 22.

Because of the relatively young age of those accounting for the latest spike, hospitalizations remain low statewide, though they are rising.

“Younger people have mild courses of illness, and medical care has improved for those at higher risk of COVID complications,” said Bucks County Health Department Director Dr. David Damsker. “Things will likely remain this way for the foreseeable future. We must continue to protect the vulnerable while using common sense to keep moving forward as a society.”

The county did report five COVID deaths last week, although three of the deaths occurred in September. The decedents ranged in age from 84 to 97, all had underlying health conditions and three resided in long-term care facilities.

Eighteen of last week’s Bucks County cases were delayed reports no longer considered to be infectious, the health department reported.

Of the 229 cases in Bucks last week, 108 were traced to household contacts and 46 to community spread. Twenty resulted from infections at non-healthcare workplaces, 15 were infected during out-of-state travel, 12 are residents or workers at long-term care facilities, six are healthcare workers, one occurred at the county prison and 21 were unable to complete a full interview immediately.

Through Saturday, Bucks County has had 8,690 residents test positive for COVID-19 during the pandemic. A total of 532 deaths have been attributed to the virus, including 416 long-term care residents, while 7,751 are confirmed to have recovered.

The county’s death total was adjusted downward slightly this week after a review of the death data found several errors, such as duplicate reports.

The median age of those who have been infected in Bucks is 49, while the median age of death is 84.

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com.

An interactive Bucks County map showing numbers of active infections by municipality can be found here.

Unless there are significant new developments, the next Bucks County COVID update will be posted next Monday, Oct. 19.

 

October 6, 2020

Bucks County officials called today for families, friends, roommates and others under the same roof to step up their COVID-19 precautions, as household spread accounted for nearly half of the county’s new infections last week.

The county’s new case count for Sept. 27 through Oct. 3 declined to 228, an average of about 33 cases per day and 13 fewer than the previous week. Infections spread within members of the same household were responsible for at least 45 percent of those infections, the highest percentage to date during the pandemic.

“We are seeing more and more of our cases coming directly from friends and family members, especially at parties and social gatherings,” said Bucks County Health Department Director Dr. David Damsker. “Community spread is going down, which means if we can tighten up our actions when we’re around the people we know, we can really drop the number in Bucks County.”

Community spread – cases in which investigation fails to identify the source of the infection – accounted for 14 percent of last week’s new cases here, the health department reported.

Hospitalizations remained low, with 12 county residents in hospitals with coronavirus. For the first time since March, no patients were listed as critical and no ventilators were needed throughout the week.

Unfortunately, five new deaths were reported last week, four of whom had underlying health conditions and none of whom lived in long-term care facilities. A total of 10 deaths were reported in September.

Last week’s decedents were three women ages 62, 71 and 93; and two men ages 27 and 74. The 27-year-old was described as having had “severe” underlying health conditions.

Twenty-six of last week’s Bucks County cases were delayed reports no longer considered to be infectious, the health department reported.

Of the 228 cases in Bucks last week, 103 were traced to household contacts and 32 to community spread. Fourteen resulted from out-of-state travel, 12 were infected at non-healthcare workplaces, 11 are residents or workers at long-term care facilities, eight are healthcare workers, and 48 were unable to complete a full interview immediately.

“Many schools have had cases brought in by students and staff who got infected through non-school exposures,” Damsker said. “But we have yet to see any secondary spread from those cases within schools because of the protocols in place. Nothing will be 100 percent effective all of the time, but the guidelines have worked very well thus far, and we anticipate they will continue to do so if followed appropriately.”

Through Saturday, Bucks County has had 8,457 residents test positive for COVID-19 during the pandemic. A total of 530 deaths have been attributed to the virus, including 413 long-term care residents, while 7,561 are confirmed to have recovered.

The median age of those who have been infected in Bucks is 50, while the median age of death is 84.

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com

 An interactive Bucks County map showing numbers of active infections by municipality can be found here.

Unless there are significant new developments, the next Bucks County COVID update will be posted next Monday, Oct. 12.

September 22, 2020

Bucks County’s weekly COVID-19 case count continues to ebb and flow, increasing last week by about three cases per day over the previous week, while hospitalizations and deaths have remained consistently low.

Transmission of the coronavirus from one member of a household to others continued to be the largest single source of new infections, accounting for 41 percent of the 241 cases recorded last week. Community spread accounted for about 17 percent.

The daily case average was about 34. Fifteen of last week’s cases were delayed reports no longer considered to be infectious, the Bucks County Health Department reported.

One Bucks County resident died last week as a result of COVID-19 – a 64-year-old man with underlying health conditions – and by Saturday nine residents were hospitalized, two of them in critical condition and on ventilators.

Statewide, the number of infections increased last week by about 11 percent over the previous week, about the same as in Bucks. At the same time, the positivity rate across Pennsylvania dropped from 4.2 percent to 3.8 percent, indicating that robust testing is continuing across the state, Gov. Tom Wolf said.

Bucks County joined 46 other Pennsylvania counties, including all of Southeast Pennsylvania, in having what the state considers a moderate level of transmission. Two counties – Centre and Indiana – were listed as having substantial transmission levels, while the rest were deemed to have low rates.

The state also updated its travel recommendations, adding Nebraska and Wisconsin to the list of states for which visitors should quarantine for two weeks after returning. Nevada was removed from the warning list, which also includes Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Tennessee.

Of the 241 cases in Bucks last week, 99 were traced to household contacts, 41 to community spread, and 18 to out-of-state travel. Twelve are healthcare workers, 12 were infected in other workplaces, 10 are residents or employees of long-term care facilities, and 49 were unable to complete a full interview immediately.

Through Saturday, Bucks County has had 7,984 residents test positive for COVID-19 during the pandemic. A total of 525 deaths have been attributed to the virus, including 413 long-term care residents, while 7,063 are confirmed to have recovered.

The median age of those who have been infected in Bucks is 50, while the median age of death is 84.

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com.  An interactive Bucks County map showing numbers of active infections by municipality can be found here.

Bucks County’s COVID updates are moving from a semi-weekly format to a weekly report. Unless there are significant new developments, the next Bucks County COVID update will be posted next Monday, Sept. 28.

September 14, 2020

Bucks County’s weekly COVID-19 case count declined last week, while Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine today called on college students to follow safety guidelines to help limit the spread of coronavirus.

COVID-19 cases have generally risen throughout the state in recent weeks, a trend Levine attributed to colleges and universities being back in session.

Students, Levine said, are “uniquely in a position to help change the course of the spread of this virus. What happens on campus has a direct impact on what happens off campus, and if the virus spreads among students, it will invariably spread to other places in the community.”

Levine pointed to North Central Pennsylvania, where 19- to 24-year-olds accounted for 7 percent of cases in April, but 69 percent of cases so far in September. The region includes Penn State’s main campus and other universities.

Northeast Pennsylvania posted a similar spike among the same age group, moving from 6 percent of cases in April to 40 percent in September, Levine said.

Bucks County also posted a sharp increase in COVID cases during the first week of the month, but those numbers declined last week, averaging 31 new infections per day compared to 35 the previous week.

Hospitalizations and deaths remain relatively low. Eight Bucks County residents are hospitalized with COVID – three in critical condition and on ventilators – and three deaths have been reported in September.

Like Levine, Bucks County Health Department Director Dr. David Damsker has attributed September’s higher infection numbers largely to college students and social gatherings. Over the past four days, those numbers have notched up again, averaging 36 cases per day.

“If not for social gatherings and college students becoming infected while socializing, Bucks County would have very few infections,” Damsker said. “People need to continue to take precautions in social settings by wearing masks and distancing themselves from others. If everyone did that, our numbers would be very low.”

From Friday through today, 142 infections were confirmed, 15 of them delayed reports no longer considered to be infectious.

Of the 142 cases, 67 were spread among people sharing households, 19 were attributed to community spread, 15 were people infected out of state, eight were infected in workplaces, five are residents or workers at long-term care facilities, two are healthcare workers and 26 were unable to complete full interviews immediately.

Bucks County now has had 7,811 residents test positive for COVID-19 during the pandemic. A total of 524 deaths have been attributed to the virus, including 413 long-term care residents, while 6,903 are confirmed to have recovered.

The median age of those who have been infected in Bucks is 51, while the median age of death is 84.

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com.  An interactive Bucks County map showing numbers of active infections by municipality can be found here.

Unless there are significant new developments, the next Bucks County COVID update will be posted on Thursday.

After a spike in new cases ahead of the holiday weekend, the rate of confirmed COVID-19 infections in Bucks County slowed this week.

Since Monday’s report, the county has averaged about 26 new cases per day, down from 35 the week prior. Seven people were hospitalized as of Thursday, two of whom were in critical condition and on ventilators.

“This week is a good example of what we’re likely to experience for the foreseeable future,” said Bucks County Health Department Director Dr. David Damsker. “Our case counts and hospitalization numbers fluctuated a little bit over the past seven days, and since we won’t be at zero cases any time soon, this makes a lot of sense. Thankfully, the overall numbers are very good, and the ups and downs are minor.”

Of the 80 new cases reported over the last three days, five were delayed reports and are believed to be no longer infectious.

The county Health Department also recorded two more deaths caused by the coronavirus: an 82-year-old man who died Sept. 5 outside of Bucks County and a 49-year-old woman who died Tuesday. Both patients had underlying health conditions.

Household spread accounted for more than a third of infections reported this week contributing 32 cases to the new tally.

Eighteen cases were attributed to community spread. Patients in 11 of the new cases could not be immediately interviewed.

Six new cases appeared out of long-term care facilities since Monday with four healthcare workers also testing positive. Four employees contracted the virus in other workplaces.

Five cases were pinned on out-of-state travel.

Bucks County has had a total of 7,662 cases of COVID-19, of which 6,763 have recovered. The virus has caused 520 deaths in the county.

Median age of infection remains steady at 51, and median age of death at 84.

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com.  An interactive Bucks County map showing numbers of active infections by municipality can be found here.

Barring significant developments, the next Bucks County COVID update will be posted Monday.

September 7, 2020

The number of Bucks County residents hospitalized for COVID-19 dropped today to three, unaffected by a 53 percent spike in new infections last week.

The hospitalization number is the lowest the county has seen since March 16, when there also were three infections, said Bucks County Health Department Director Dr. David Damsker. Of those who are hospitalized, two are in critical condition and on ventilators.

Last week’s total of 244 new cases increased the county’s daily average to 35 new cases per day, compared to 23 the week before.

Damsker attributed much of the increase to college students and social gatherings.

“College students, their friends, and related family member cases have caused our numbers to go up somewhat over the past week or so. The infections weren’t from classroom exposures, but from the social gatherings on and off campus,” he said. “Friends and family members can and do have COVID, so take the additional precautions even with familiar people.”

If college students from Bucks County are infected elsewhere and return home to convalesce, the numbers are added to Bucks County’s total, Damsker said. If they attend school outside the county and stay there while recovering, they are not included in the county’s numbers.

“Our hospitalizations have continued to fall to almost zero,” Damsker said. “While we must continue to practice good hygiene, wear our masks and be additionally cautious around our vulnerable populations, people should be very optimistic about where we are right now.

“The majority of our hospitals have no COVID patients, and almost all cases are very mild. That is by far the most important metric in Bucks right now, regardless of some who prefer to focus solely on case counts.”

Over the past four days, 132 new infections have been reported, for a daily average of 33. One death was reported during that period: a 91-year-old woman who lived in a long-term care facility and had underlying health conditions.

Of the 132 new cases from Friday through today, six were delayed reports no longer considered infectious. More than half – 69 cases – were the result of infections spread among members of the same households. Fifteen were attributed to community spread, 11 were infected out of state, four are residents of long-term care facilities, three are healthcare workers, three were infected at other workplaces and 27 were unable to complete a full interview immediately.

Bucks County now has had 7,591 residents test positive for COVID-19 during the pandemic. A total of 522 deaths have been attributed to the virus, including 413 long-term care residents, while 6,650 are confirmed to have recovered.

The median age of those who have been infected in Bucks is 51, while the median age of death is 84.

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com.  An interactive Bucks County map showing numbers of active infections by municipality can be found here.

Unless there are significant new developments, the next Bucks County COVID update will be posted on Thursday.

August 20, 2020

The Bucks County Health Department reported an average of roughly 26 COVID-19 cases per day over the past three days as the county’s infection rate continued to stabilize at a relatively low level.

Hospitalizations remained low, but one death was reported this afternoon. The decedent was a 48-year-old resident who had been hospitalized outside of Bucks County with COVID complications since late May. It was not known if he had underlying health conditions.

It was the fifth death of a Bucks County resident from coronavirus to be reported this month.

Of the 77 cases reported from Tuesday through today – 17 on Tuesday, 34 on Wednesday and 26 today – seven were delayed reports no longer considered to be infectious.

The 77 cases included 36 people infected by household contacts, 18 attributed to community spread, five infected out of state, five residents or employees of longterm care facilities, three infected at other workplaces and 10 who were unable to complete a full interview immediately.

Bucks County now has had 7,079 residents test positive for COVID-19 during the pandemic. A total of 518 deaths have been attributed to the virus, including 411 long-term care residents, while 6,264 are confirmed to have recovered.

The median age of those who have been infected in Bucks is 52, while the median age of death is 82.

Ten Bucks County coronavirus patients are hospitalized, two in critical condition and on ventilators.

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com.  An interactive Bucks County map showing numbers of active infections by municipality can be found here.

Unless there are significant new developments, the next Bucks County COVID update will be posted on Monday.

August 13, 2020

The Bucks County Health Department reported 96 COVID-19 cases – an average of 32 per day – over the past three days, with no new deaths and hospitalizations continuing to decline.

Twelve of the cases are delayed reports no longer considered to be infectious.

Of the 96 reported infections, 31 were infected through household contacts, 19 were attributed to community spread, 18 were infected out of state, five were infected at work, one is a long-term care facility resident, one is a jail inmate, one is a healthcare worker, and 20 were unable to be interviewed immediately.

The number of Bucks County residents hospitalized for coronavirus fell to 12, two of whom are in critical condition and on ventilators.

“The numbers have clearly come down now” since the July 4 holiday, said Health Department Director Dr. David Damsker. “We don’t know how far down they’re going to go, but we will have a baseline number of cases from people being out and about, and there will be a certain amount of transmission in the community. We’re just waiting to see what that baseline ends up being.”

Damsker called the drop in hospitalizations “really important,” and the daily fluctuations in case numbers less so.

“At one point we had 265 to 270 people in the hospital and dozens of people ventilated – 30 or 35 – and now we’re down to two,” he said. “Our overall hospitalization rate is as low as it has been since mid-March. That’s probably the most important indicator.”

Bucks County now has had 6,898 residents test positive for COVID-19 during the pandemic. A total of 515 deaths have been attributed to the virus, including 410 long-term care residents, while 6,014 are confirmed to have recovered.

The median age of those who have been infected in Bucks is 52, while the median age of death is 82.

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com.  An interactive Bucks County map showing numbers of active infections by municipality can be found here.

Unless there are significant new developments, the next Bucks County COVID update will be posted on Monday.

August 6, 2020

The Bucks County Health Department reported a significant decline in the number of COVID-19 cases over the past three days, with the daily count averaging 29 from Tuesday through today.

The county reported a total of 87 cases over the three-day period – 28 on Tuesday, 38 on Wednesday and 21 today – with consistently low hospitalization numbers and no deaths. Of the 87 cases, 24 were delayed reports that no longer are considered infectious.

Statewide, the seven-day average of new daily cases has been decreasing since July 30, and reached 788 on Wednesday, the lowest level since July 14.

“Our numbers, along with many others in Southeastern Pennsylvania and across the state, are now trending back downward after a small summer increase,” said Dr. David Damsker, director of the county health department.

Despite the improving numbers, Gov. Tom Wolf announced today that the state Departments of Health and Education were recommending that school and youth sports be suspended for the remainder of 2020. Wolf said the recommendation was not an order, and that school boards and administrators would make the final decisions on whether their districts would postpone sports activities.

The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association pronounced itself “tremendously disappointed” with the governor’s recommendation.

Damsker also expressed concern that some school districts already have committed to virtual-only instruction at a time when case numbers appear to be declining once again.

“Several area school districts are now making critical decisions about virtual schooling that will last many months in some instances, when our cases are headed lower, hospitalizations continue to be at the lowest rates since March, and deaths are infrequent,” Damsker said. “While it is, of course, an individual school district decision, our local data are showing improvements now that will hopefully be taken into account when finalizing school health and safety plans.”

Of the 87 cases reported in Bucks County over the past three days, 36 were infected through household contacts, 14 were attributed to pure community spread, nine were infected out of state, four are residents or workers at long-term care facilities, three are healthcare workers, one was infected at a non-healthcare workplace and 20 were unable to be fully interviewed immediately.

Bucks County now has had 6,708 residents test positive for COVID-19 during the pandemic. A total of 514 deaths have been attributed to the virus, including 410 long-term care residents, while 5,667 are confirmed to have recovered.

The median age of those who have been infected in Bucks is 53, while the median age of death is 82.

Nineteen Bucks County coronavirus patients are hospitalized, three of whom are in critical condition and on ventilators.

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com.  An interactive Bucks County map showing numbers of active infections by municipality can be found here.

Unless there are significant new developments, the next Bucks County COVID update will be posted on Monday.

August 3, 2020

After a one-week lull, Bucks County’s COVID-19 cases once again increased over the past week, with 287 infections reported.

After dropping by nine cases the previous week, the Bucks County Health Department reported an increase of 30 cases last week. The daily average increased from 37 to 41 cases.

Hospitalizations remained low, and one death was reported, for a total of three COVID fatalities in July.

Over the past four days, the health department reported 144 additional cases, for an average of about 38 per day. Of those, 27 were delayed reports no longer considered to be infectious.

Of the 144 cases reported from Friday through today, 50 were infected by household members, 22 were infected while out of state, 22 were attributed to community spread, eight were infected at work, three are employees of long-term care facilities, two are healthcare workers,  and 37 were unable to complete full interviews immediately.

The first coronavirus death of August also was reported today: a 71-year-old woman with underlying health conditions who died on Sunday.

Bucks County now has had 6,624 residents test positive for COVID-19 during the pandemic. A total of 514 deaths have been attributed to the virus, including 410 long-term care residents, while 5,444 are confirmed to have recovered.

The median age of those who have been infected in Bucks is 53, while the median age of death is 82.

Twenty-five Bucks County coronavirus patients are hospitalized, three of whom are in critical condition and on ventilators.

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com.  An interactive Bucks County map showing numbers of active infections by municipality can be found here.

Unless there are significant new developments, the next Bucks County COVID update will be posted on Thursday.

July 20, 2020

Bucks County’s total number of COVID-19 infections passed the 6,000 mark over the past four days, as the daily case average continues to move upward since the July 4 holiday weekend.

The Bucks County Health Department reported a total of 147 infections from Friday through today, a daily average of about 37. Forty-three of those cases were delayed reports that no longer are considered infectious.

Those numbers are up from what the county was reporting a month ago, when daily case totals more typically were in the upper teens or low 20s. Factors driving the increases continue to be out-of-state exposures and household spread.

Community spread remains low – about five cases per day – and the number of people hospitalized on ventilators – two – is the lowest since March.

“We’ve had some additional cases from summer travel and Fourth of July parties,” county Health Director Dr. David Damsker said. “I think the combination of being in the `green’ phase and the nice summer weather lowers people’s guard down a bit. It is not unexpected to have a few more cases at this point.”

Of the 147 infections reported over the past four days, 49 were the result of household contacts. Twenty-seven resulted from out-of-state infections, 20 were attributed to pure community spread, eight are residents or staff at long-term care facilities, six are healthcare workers, four were infected at other workplaces, two are jail inmates and 31 were unable to be interviewed immediately.

One death was reported: an 80-year-old man with underlying conditions who lived in a long-term care facility. It was the second death reported this month.

Bucks County now has had 6,039 residents test positive for COVID-19 during the pandemic. A total of 512 deaths have been attributed to the virus, including 409 long-term care residents, while 4,369 are confirmed to have recovered.

The median age of those who have been infected in Bucks is 54, while the median age of death is 82.

A total of 35 Bucks County patients remain hospitalized, two of them in critical condition and on ventilators.

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com.  An interactive Bucks County map showing numbers of active infections by municipality can be found here.

Unless there are significant new developments, the next Bucks County COVID update will be posted on Thursday.

July 14, 2020

Bucks County averaged 22 new COVID-19 infections over the past four days, maintaining a low baseline of cases for another weekend. Out-of-state travel and infections spread within households continued to account for the largest numbers of new cases.

The Bucks County Health Department reported 88 new infections from Friday through today, with an additional 20 delayed-report cases that no longer are considered infectious.

Of the 108 total cases, 34 were from household contacts, 25 were infected while out of state, 18 were attributed to pure community spread, 10 are residents or workers at long-term care facilities, four were infected at non-medical workplaces, two are healthcare workers, and 15 were unable to be interviewed immediately.

“We’re continuing to do well here in Bucks County,” said Dr. David Damsker, director of the county health department. “Our baseline numbers have remained relatively static, even though we still have cases related to travel.”

Health officials also reported today the county’s first death resulting from the coronavirus this month: a 96-year-old women who lived in a long-term care facility and had underlying health conditions.

Bucks County now has had 5,762 residents test positive for COVID-19 during the pandemic. A total of 511 deaths have been attributed to the virus, including 409 long-term care residents, while 4,047 are confirmed to have recovered.

The median age of those who have been infected in Bucks is 55, while the median age of death is 82.

A total of 31 Bucks County patients remain hospitalized – less than half the total of a week ago – four of them in critical condition and on ventilators.

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com.  An interactive Bucks County map showing numbers of active infections by municipality can be found here.

Unless there are significant new developments, the next Bucks County COVID update will be posted on Thursday.

July 13, 2020

The number of Bucks County residents hospitalized for COVID-19 infections dropped today to a level not seen since late March, while new infections continued at a low baseline over the past few days.

Thirty-one residents who have tested positive for coronavirus are now hospitalized, 24 of them non-critical cases and seven in critical condition and on ventilators. It is the lowest number of hospitalizations since March 31, when the number was 29.

In addition, no Bucks County deaths attributed to COVID have been reported since July 1.

“We now have the lowest numbers of hospitalized Bucks County residents since March,” said Dr. David Damsker, director of the Bucks County Health Department. “Given the recent increases in travel-related infections from states with higher incidences of COVID-19, we need to maintain the same common-sense health and safety practices that have gotten us this far in Bucks County.”

The county health department has reported 75 new cases – an average of 25 new infections per day over the past three days – along with six cases that were delayed reports and no longer are considered infectious.

Of the 81 total cases, 19 were spread among household members, 17 were attributed to pure community spread, 15 were infected while out of state, eight live or work at long-term care facilities, six are healthcare workers, two became infected at other workplaces and 14 were unable to be interviewed immediately.

Bucks County now has had 5,654 residents test positive for COVID-19 during the pandemic. A total of 510 deaths have been attributed to the virus, including 408 long-term care residents, while 3,997 are confirmed to have recovered.

The median age of those who have been infected in Bucks is 55, while the median age of death is 82.

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com.  An interactive Bucks County map showing numbers of active infections by municipality can be found here.

Unless there are significant new developments, the next Bucks County COVID update will be posted on Monday.

July 6, 2020

Bucks County recorded 103 new COVID-19 infections over the past four days, an average of about 26 per day. Almost half of those new cases involved people who became infected while traveling out of state.

No deaths from the coronavirus were reported by the Bucks County Health Department from July 3 through today. An additional 14 cases were delayed reports that no longer are considered infectious.

Of the 117 total infections, 50 resulted from out-of-state contacts, 19 were from household contacts, 14 were attributed to pure community spread, six are residents or workers at long-term care facilities, two are healthcare workers, and 26 were unable to be interviewed immediately. 

“Over the last four days, 50 of our 103 new cases were infected during out-of-state travel, many from Myrtle Beach, S.C.,” said Health Department Director Dr. David Damsker. “Think twice before you leave for any area of the country that is currently experiencing a high prevalence of COVID-19.

“If you have to go, be smart,” Damsker added. “Wear a mask, sanitize your hands frequently, and avoid bars and other similar gatherings of people.”

Without the out-of-state infections, Bucks County’s new cases would have averaged about 13 per day over the four-day period. 

Gov. Tom Wolf recommended last week that Pennsylvanians who travel to one of 15 states where coronavirus is surging should self-quarantine at home for two weeks upon their return. The states identified by the Wolf administration are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah. 

Bucks County now has had 5,576 residents test positive for COVID-19 during the pandemic. A total of 510 deaths have been attributed to the virus, including 408 long-term care residents, while 3,912 are confirmed to have recovered.

The median age of those who have been infected in Bucks is 56, while the median age of death is 82. 

A total of 68 Bucks County patients remain hospitalized, nine of them in critical condition and on ventilators. 

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com.  An interactive Bucks County map showing numbers of active infections by municipality can be found here.

Unless there are significant new developments, the next Bucks County COVID update will be posted on Thursday. 

June 29, 2020

As Bucks County awaits the impact of having gone green on Friday, health officials continued to report relatively low numbers of new COVID-19 infections over the past three days.

The county averaged 10 new cases per day from Saturday through today, the Bucks County Health Department reported, along with five additional cases that were delayed reports and no longer are considered infectious. Only two were attributed to pure community spread.

One death was reported: a 92-year-old man who had underlying health conditions and lived in a long-term care facility died on Sunday.

Bucks County moved into the least-restrictive green phase of Gov. Wolf’s recovery plan on Friday, enabling restaurants and bars to open at reduced capacities for inside customers, along with close-contact businesses such as hair salons, fitness centers, tattoo parlors and casinos. Businesses that already had been operating at reduced capacities in the yellow phase were allowed to expand their numbers.

Public officials here have continued to stress mask-wearing, social distancing, and frequent hand-washing and disinfecting of high-contact surfaces. While the move to green is expected to cause the number of new infections to rise at least slightly, the effect of the new standards will not begin to be known here for another week or two.

“Our inspectors have found that most bars have followed our safe guidance thus far, and we’re grateful for that,” said Health Department Director Dr. David Damsker. “We want everything to remain open going forward and we’re off to a good start.”

Masks are still required to enter businesses. Please see Bucks County’s COVID-19 Economic Resources Portal for more complete guidance on the move to green.

Of the 35 total cases added to the county’s total in the past three days, 10 were spread by people who had traveled out of state, eight resulted from household contacts, seven are residents or workers at long-term care facilities, three were from workplace contacts, two were attributed to community spread, one was infected in a healthcare setting, and four were unable to be interviewed immediately.

Bucks County now has had 5,395 residents test positive for COVID-19 during the pandemic. A total of 507 deaths have been attributed to the virus, including 405 long-term care residents, while 3,604 are confirmed to have recovered.

The median age of those who have been infected in Bucks is 56, while the median age of those who have died is 82.

A total of 74 Bucks County patients remain hospitalized, 10 of them in critical condition and on ventilators.

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com.  An interactive Bucks County map showing numbers of active infections by municipality can be found here.

June 26, 2020

Bucks County finally moved into the green phase of Gov. Tom Wolf’s recovery plan today, allowing businesses ranging from hair and nail salons, fitness centers, casinos and restaurants and bars to reopen and/or increase their capacities.

Bucks joined 11 other counties in going green today, as all but one of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties are now in the least-restrictive reopening phase. Lebanon County, the final county still in the yellow phase, will be allowed to move to green on July 3. Philadelphia is voluntarily maintaining some added restrictions until Jul 3.

Wolf called it “a milestone worth a cautious celebration of the hard work and collaborative spirit of Pennsylvanians. But we must remember that the restrictions that remain in the green phase will help us continue to enjoy the freedoms this phase allows for.”

Moving into the green phase will enable previously-closed businesses to open at 50 percent occupancy. Gatherings of up to 250 people will be allowed with the appropriate social distancing, and restaurants and bars can open their inside facilities to 50 percent occupancy.

Businesses that previously operated at 50 percent occupancy under yellow may increase to 75 percent.

Masks are still required to enter businesses. Please see Bucks County’s COVID-19 Economic Resources Portal for more complete guidance on the move to green.

At a news conference on Thursday, County Commissioners’ Chair Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia said she believes the county “is definitely ready” to go green.

“I think there is a huge difference between Bucks County and the rest of the country that we are seeing on TV right now,” she said. “I’m seeing a lot of people in those states who are mocking the idea of (wearing) a mask. I saw people in Arizona on TV last night making a commitment to never wear a mask. Not a good thing to do.”

In contrast, Marseglia said, Bucks County residents have followed health safety recommendations, resulting in a sustained drop in COVID numbers. “We are protecting ourselves and we are protecting each other,” she said.

The Bucks County Health Department today announced 21 additional COVID-19 cases, one of which was a delayed report no longer considered infectious. As has been the case for the past several days, residents who were infected out of state accounted for a substantial share of those new cases.

Seven of the 21 cases were people infected while out of state, four were from household contacts, three are residents or workers at long-term care facilities, two were attributed to pure community spread, one was infected in a healthcare setting and four were unable to be interviewed immediately.

“Number one, just remember that (the virus) is still there,” Health Department Director Dr. David Damsker said at the Thursday news conference. “It’s not gone. Green does not mean gone.”

Damsker encouraged residents to continue to practice the same masking and distancing precautions taken during the earlier yellow phases. “The nice thing is, all businesses are open now, even if they are under some restrictions,” he said.

Two deaths also were reported today, neither of them recent: a 79-year-old man who died on May 29 and a 64-year-old woman who died on April 17. Both had underlying health conditions and one resided in a long-term care facility.

Seventy-four residents remain hospitalized, 11 of them in critical condition and on ventilators.

A total of 506 deaths of Bucks County residents have now been attributed to COVID-19, 404 of whom lived in long-term care facilities. Of the 5,360 county residents who have tested positive for the virus, 3,518 have been confirmed to have recovered.

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com.  An interactive Bucks County map showing numbers of active infections by municipality can be found here.

June 25, 2020

Residents traveling to other states and bringing COVID-19 infections back with them continued to add to Bucks County’s case totals today.

Ten of the 32 cases reported today by the Bucks County Health Department were the result of out-of-state contacts. Eight of the 32 cases were delayed reports so old that the patients no longer are infectious.

Health Department Director Dr. David Damsker urged those who are traveling – particularly to areas where COVID-19 numbers are high – to take extra precautions upon their return.

“We’ve had (cases from) Florida, Texas, Arizona and New Jersey over the last several days,” Damsker said. “Over the past week we’ve seen more and more people getting sick in other states and then coming back to Bucks County….That’s why we need to keep our guard up” and continue to wear masks and practice social distancing.

Even if they don’t feel sick, Damsker suggested that people returning from high-incidence states monitor their temperatures and screen themselves for symptoms daily, avoid visiting friends and relatives – especially those who are elderly – for a few days after returning home, and stay away from gatherings as well.

No new deaths were reported in Bucks today.

In addition to the 10 out-of-state infections, the 32 cases included 13 residents or workers at long-term care facilities, four household contacts, three attributed to pure community spread, one spread in a healthcare setting, and one spread at a workplace.

Seventy-seven patients remain hospitalized, 11 of them in critical condition and on ventilators. A total of 3,393 people who tested positive for COVID-19 are confirmed to have recovered.

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com.  An interactive Bucks County map showing numbers of active infections by municipality can be found here.

June 24, 2020

Twenty-seven new COVID-19 infections, one delayed report that no longer is infectious, and one death attributed to the coronavirus were reported today by the Bucks County Health Department.

Of the 28 cases added to the county’s total of 5,311, eight infections occurred in other states, six are residents of long-term care facilities, five resulted from household contacts, two were attributed to pure community spread, one was transmitted at a workplace and six were unable to be immediately interviewed.

“Multiple cases today were infected due to out-of-state travel,” said Health Department Director Dr. David Damsker. “Unlike much of the pandemic where Southeastern Pennsylvania was a ‘hot spot,’ Bucks County now has fewer cases than many of the places people are traveling to. Please continue practicing caution when leaving the area.”

The death today of a 62-year-old man who had underlying health conditions was attributed to COVID-19, the health department reported.

His death pushed the number of Bucks County deaths blamed on COVID-19 to 504, of which 404 have been residents of long-term care facilities. A total of 3,333 patients are confirmed to have recovered.

Seventy-seven patients remain hospitalized, 11 of them in critical condition and on ventilators.

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com.  An interactive Bucks County map showing numbers of active infections by municipality can be found here.

June 18, 2020

As Gov. Tom Wolf prepares to announce tomorrow whether Bucks County will be allowed to enter the “green” stage of his reopening plan, the county recorded 19 new COVID-19 cases today, two delayed-report cases that no longer are infectious, and three additional deaths.

Of the 21 cases added today, 10 were infections spread by household contacts, four were attributed to pure community spread, one is a resident of a long-term care facility, one was infected in a healthcare setting, one was from an out-of-state exposure, and four were unable to be interviewed immediately.

Two of the three COVID-infected people who died were residents of long-term care facilities and had underlying health conditions.

Seventy-nine Bucks County coronavirus patients are hospitalized, 14 of whom are in critical condition and on ventilators.

A total of 5,187 Bucks County residents have now tested positive for coronavirus, more than half of whom – 2,752 people – have now been confirmed to have recovered. A total of 499 deaths have been attributed to COVID, 401 of them residents of long-term care facilities.

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com.  An interactive Bucks County map showing numbers of active infections by municipality can be found here.

June 17, 2020

Bucks County’s low incidence of COVID-19 infections continued today as 11 new positive cases were announced, along with six delayed-report cases that no longer are considered infectious.

Two deaths of infected residents also were reported: a 102-year-old woman who died in late April and a 90-year-old woman who died last week. Both were residents of long-term care facilities and had underlying health conditions.

Of the 17 cases announced today, eight were spread through household contacts, three were spread in healthcare settings, three were attributed to pure community spread, one was spread at a workplace and two were unable to be interviewed immediately.

Eighty COVID-19 patients remain hospitalized, 15 of whom are in critical condition and on ventilators.

Bucks County has now had 5,166 total positive cases, 496 deaths attributed to coronavirus – 399 of them long-term care residents – and 2,510 patients are confirmed to have recovered.

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com.  An interactive Bucks County map showing numbers of active infections by municipality can be found here.

June 16, 2020

The Bucks County Health Department added 13 cases today to its COVID-19 totals, 10 of them new infections, the other three delayed reports that no longer are considered contagious.

One death of a coronavirus-infected person also was reported: an 84-year-old woman who lived in a long-term care facility and had underlying health conditions.

Of the 13 infections reported today, eight are residents or workers at long-term care facilities, four were attributed to pure community spread and one was from a household contact.

Eighty-one Bucks County COVID-19 patients are hospitalized, 15 of whom are in critical condition and on ventilators.

Bucks County has now had 5,150 total positive cases, 494 deaths attributed to the coronavaris, and 2,401 patients confirmed to have recovered.

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com.  An interactive Bucks County map showing numbers of active infections by municipality can be found here.

June 15, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Larry R. King, 215-348-6413lrking@buckscounty.org

Bucks County’s daily average of COVID-19 cases, already at a low baseline level, dropped to an average of less than 21 cases per day last week for the first time since the pandemic’s initial days in March.

A total of 145 cases were reported last week, an average of 20.7 per day. Saturday’s total of eight new infections was the lowest daily total since March 21, when there were five cases reported.

No statistics were reported on Sunday, but today’s two-day total of 26 represents an average of 13 per day to begin this week. The total includes six delayed case reports too old to still be considered infectious.

“A total of 34 cases over the last three days is something we should be very optimistic about,” said Dr. David Damsker, director of the Bucks County Health Department. “We are a week and a half into the yellow phase and a ways out from the large protests that occurred.”

Three deaths of people who tested positive for COVID-19 also were reported over the three-day period. All were over age 85, lived in long-term care facilities and had underlying health issues.

Of the 34 cases reported from Saturday through today, 12 were the result of infections spread within households, 10 are residents or workers at long-term care facilities, four resulted from pure community spread, two were transmitted in healthcare settings, two were from workplace contacts and four were unable to be interviewed immediately.

Eighty-two Bucks County coronavirus patients remain hospitalized, 14 of them in critical condition and on ventilators. A total of 493 county deaths have now been attributed to COVID-19, while 2,321 who have tested positive for the virus are confirmed to have recovered.

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com.  An interactive Bucks County map showing numbers of active infections by municipality can be found here.

June 11, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Larry R. King, 215-348-6413lrking@buckscounty.org

As reports of new COVID-19 cases continued along a low baseline, Bucks County officials expressed optimism today that the county will soon be allowed to move from the yellow phase of Gov. Wolf’s reopening plan to the least-restrictive green phase.

“We feel like here in Bucks County, we are ready to move to green,” said Health Department Director Dr. David Damsker during a news briefing this afternoon. Damsker said he hoped the county could move to green “as early as next Friday, or potentially the Friday after that.”

The health department today reported 24 new cases of the coronavirus, but once again the daily numbers that will be sent to the state were inflated by delayed reports of 20 additional cases that date to early April, raising the daily total to 44.

Of those 20 old cases, some two months old, 16 came from one congregate living facility, Damsker said.

“This is a perfect example of the problems of not using the date of symptom onset for reporting,” he said, a standard for which the county has argued with the state, unsuccessfully, throughout the pandemic.

“For many of our cases that we reported today, the person was actually sick in early April,” Damsker said. “It makes little sense to use today’s date for any analytical purposes, and it isn’t good epidemiology.”

Damsker said the county has reached “sort of a baseline number, where I believe we will probably see the same number of cases that we have today, tomorrow and the next day for many, many weeks to come, until we have a vaccine or we are lucky enough to snuff the virus out totally by social distancing.”

Of today’s 24 new cases, six are residents or workers at long-term care facilities, eight were spread through household contacts, three were attributed to community spread, one was spread in a healthcare setting and one was infected at a workplace. Five were unable to be interviewed today.

Three deaths were also reported today – two women in their 90s and one in her late 40s. All lived at long-term care facilities and had underlying health conditions.

A total of 5,091 Bucks County residents have tested positive for the coronavirus, 484 of whom have died and 2,202 of whom are confirmed to have recovered.

Eighty-six Bucks County patients are hospitalized, 16 of them in critical condition and on ventilators.

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com.  An interactive Bucks County map showing numbers of active infections by municipality can be found here.

June 8, 2020

Five thousand Bucks County residents have now been confirmed with COVID-19 since the first cases of the pandemic were diagnosed three months ago.

The overall case total for Bucks reached 5,007 today as 36 positive cases were added for Sunday and Monday. The two-day average of 18 cases per day is still extremely low compared to even two weeks ago, with the rate of community spread consistently less than 10 percent of the total.

Four more deaths were reported since Saturday: three men and one woman ranging in age from 64 to 95, all with underlying health conditions. One was a resident of a long-term care facility.

Of the 36 new cases, 14 were the result of household contacts, eight are residents of long-term care facilities, three were from work contacts, three were attributed to pure community spread, two occurred in healthcare settings and six were unable to be interviewed immediately.

Nine of the infections reported were delayed transfer cases involving Bucks County residents diagnosed in other jurisdictions that no longer are considered infectious.

Ninety-three Bucks coronavirus patients remain hospitalized, 17 of them in critical condition and on ventilators. A total of 475 county residents who have tested positive for the coronavirus have died, while 1,948 are confirmed to have recovered.

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com.  An interactive Bucks County map showing numbers of active infections by municipality can be found here.

June 3, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Larry R. King, 215-348-6413
lrking@buckscounty.org

Over the past two days, Bucks County reported 51 more cases of COVID-19. However, at least 17 of those cases are so old they are no longer infectious.

Of 39 new cases reported today by the Bucks County Health Department, 17 were “delayed transfer” cases from Philadelphia – infections of Bucks County residents that were confirmed in Philadelphia, but not reported to Bucks until weeks later.

Excluding those numbers, the county had a total of 34 cases reported Monday and Tuesday, an average of 17 per day. Five deaths were also reported over the two-day period – two of them from more than two weeks ago.

The county’s case count remains low on a day when Gov. Tom Wolf announced that he would be ending his stay-at-home order on Thursday. The stay-at-home order only applies to counties still in the restrictive “red” phase of Wolf’s three-tiered reopening plan.

All Pennsylvania counties are expected by Friday to be in either the partially open yellow phase of Wolf’s plan or the relatively unfettered green phase, in which all businesses are permitted to operate on some level, along with many modest-scale social activities.

“I remind Pennsylvanians that yellow means caution and even in the green phase everyone needs to take precautions to keep themselves and their communities healthy,” the governor said.

Of the 51 cases reported Monday and Tuesday, 12 were from household contacts, nine are residents of long-term care facilities, six were spread at healthcare settings, four were from work contacts, four resulted from pure community spread, and 16 were not able to be interviewed immediately, most of them the older cases transferred from Philadelphia.

The five deaths occurred among people 65 or older with underlying health conditions. All were residents of long-term care facilities.

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com.  An interactive Bucks County map showing numbers of active infections by municipality can be found here.

May 29, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Larry R. King, 215-348-6413
lrking@buckscounty.org

The Bucks County Health Department reported 40 new cases of  COVID-19 today, the largest daily total in a week, as 18 Western Pennsylvania counties moved into the green phase of Gov. Tom Wolf’s reopening plan.

Dr. David Damsker, director of the Bucks County Health Department, said increased reports of new infections are not unusual on Fridays, as a number of private testing labs have delivered larger than usual batches of results on Fridays and Mondays.

Damsker said the increased numbers were largely tied to long-term care facilities and infections from household contacts, with very little pure community spread. “Regardless of today’s slight increase, we expect to see the overall trend downward to continue,” he said.

The spike followed Thursday’s report of only 19 new infections, the lowest one-day total since March 26. The number has not exceeded 40 since last Friday, when it hit 42.

Of today’s new cases, 12 were infections from household contacts, 11 were residents or workers at long-term care facilities, three were spread in healthcare settings, three were pure community spread, and two were tied to non-healthcare workplaces. Nine of the newly infected patients were not able to be interviewed today.

Five deaths also were reported today, all occurring within the past six days. Ranging in age from 63 to 98, all but one were long-term care residents, and all had underlying health conditions.

Ninety Bucks County coronavirus patients remain hospitalized, 20 in critical condition and on ventilators. Of the 4,754 county residents who have tested positive for COVID-19, 451 have died and 1,556 are confirmed to have recovered.

In addition to the newly green counties that were announced last Friday by Gov. Wolf and that moved into that status, another 16 counties were told by the governor today that they can move to green status next Friday. That is when Bucks and all other Pennsylvania counties that are still in shut-down red status are expected to be able to move to partially open yellow status.

The counties going green next Friday are Allegheny, which includes Pittsburgh, Armstrong, Bedford, Blair, Butler, Cambria, Clinton, Fayette, Fulton, Greene, Indiana, Lycoming, Mercer, Somerset, Washington and Westmoreland.

More than half of Pennsylvania’s counties are expected to be in green status by June 5, which is currently the least restrictive category. Even under green, however, gatherings of more than 250 are prohibited, restaurants and bars can only operate at 50 percent occupancy, personal care services such as hair salons and barbershops must operate at 50 percent occupancy and by appointment only, and indoor recreation, health and wellness centers, spas, casinos, theaters, shopping malls and indoor entertainment must operate at 50 percent occupancy.

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com.  An interactive Bucks County map showing numbers of active infections by municipality can be found here.

May 28, 2020

The Bucks County Health Department today reported 19 new COVID-19 cases, the lowest one-day total since March 26.

Six deaths of people with the virus also were reported, raising the county’s total deaths to 451.

The new infection number continues a downward trend over the past several days, bolstering the confidence of county officials that Bucks residents have taken the necessary steps to be able to reopen much of its economy safely.

“What we’re seeing now is a very low baseline of community spread,” said Dr. David Damsker, director of the Health Department. “I don’t want anyone thinking that coronavirus is going to disappear overnight; it doesn’t work like that. But we know that the overall baseline community spread has come down and leveled off at a very low rate, and we’re hoping to keep it that way.”

Officials in other Southeast Pennsylvania counties have voiced similar optimism, while leaders in Philadelphia, where numbers have increased, are more guarded about whether they will choose to reopen when allowed to by the state.

At a news conference today, the Bucks County Commissioners urged residents not to confuse moving into Gov. Wolf’s “yellow” stage of reopening on June 5 with an end to restrictions. They said residents must remain vigilant about wearing masks around other people, keeping safe distances from others, avoiding large gatherings, sanitizing surfaces and washing hands.

“That’s what (made) those numbers drop and we have to keep those numbers moving in that direction so that we can move to green,” said Commissioner Bob Harvie.

“I am hopeful and optimistic that once we move to yellow on June 5, in a few weeks we will be in a position to move to green,” said Commissioner Gene DiGirolamo.

Damsker said that about 500 county residents per day have been undergoing testing for COVID-19, but that the demand for testing has decreased lately. “We certainly have the capacity to do any testing that is necessary, certainly for symptomatic people,” he said.

Damsker said the county continues to discuss with the state how best to do mass testing of asymptomatic people.

Of today’s 19 new cases, seven are residents of long-term care facilities, three resulted from community spread, one came from a household contact, one is a jail inmate and one came from a healthcare setting. Six were unable to be interviewed today, but Bucks County contact tracers do continue to reach out to those they initially miss and have successfully spoken with more than 95 percent of infected residents.

Of the six people who died, all were over age 65, four lived in long-term care facilities and all had underlying health conditions.

Ninety-seven coronavirus patients are hospitalized, 20 of whom are in critical condition and on ventilators. A total of 1,532 are confirmed to have recovered.

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com.  An interactive Bucks County map showing numbers of active infections by municipality can be found here.

May 27, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Larry R. King, 215-348-6413lrking@buckscounty.org

Today’s report of 31 new infections in Bucks County remained a lower number than in past weeks, while nine additional deaths were reported by the county health department.

Two of the deaths were reported today, while the others occurred at least one week ago, and one more than a month ago. Six were residents of long-term care facilities and all had underlying health conditions.

Of the 31 new cases, seven were attributed to pure community spread, seven are residents or employees of long-term care facilities, five were infected through household contacts, three were associated with healthcare jobs, three with other workplaces, and one is a prison inmate. Five of the newly infected residents were unable to be interviewed today.

A total of 97 patients are hospitalized, 20 of whom are in critical condition and on ventilators.

Since the pandemic began, Bucks has had 4,699 residents infected with COVID-19, 445 of whom have died and 1,492 of whom are confirmed to have recovered.

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com.  An interactive Bucks County map showing numbers of active infections by municipality can be found here

May 21, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Larry R. King, 215-348-6413, lrking@buckscounty.org

On the eve of Gov. Tom Wolf’s announcement of the next counties to be allowed to reopen, Bucks County reported 51 new COVID-19 infections and six deaths.

The leading cause of the new cases was transmission between people who share a household.

Sixteen cases came from household contacts, 15 are among residents of long-term care facilities, four are healthcare workers, two are long-term care employees and three were attributed to pure community spread, the Bucks County Department of Health reported. Twelve were unable to be interviewed today.

The six reported deaths, one of which occurred in April and another two weeks ago, all involved people with underlying health conditions. They ranged in age from 74 to 96, and all but one lived in long-term care facilities.

At an afternoon news conference today, the county commissioners expressed hope that Wolf would allow Bucks to move soon into the yellow phase of his reopening plan, enabling many closed businesses and daycares to reopen. They cited the county’s unique collection of data as part of the reason.

“I’m still praying for yellow coming tomorrow,” Commissioners Chair Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia said.

“We feel that there needs to be a different look at some of the metrics established by the state early on,” Commissioner Bob Harvie said. He praised residents for being compliant so far with Wolf’s stay-at-home orders, and credited the health department with gathering better data than other counties through its long-running program of contact tracing and case investigation.

“I think the data is really moving in the right direction,” Harvie said. “I’m really hopeful that we’re going to be recognized for all that hard work.”

Commissioner Gene DiGirolamo said he remains “hopeful and optimistic that we’re going to be included in whatever group is going to be moving to yellow tomorrow….I absolutely believe that we are ready to move to yellow, and do it safely.”

A total of 126 patients are hospitalized, 23 of whom are in critical condition and on ventilators.

Since the pandemic began, Bucks has had 4,536 residents infected with COVID-19, 411 of whom have died and 1,366 of whom are confirmed to have recovered.

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com.  An interactive Bucks County map showing numbers of active infections by municipality can be found here.

BC COVID FB Layout 5 21

May 20, 2020

The Bucks County Health Department today announced 44 new positive cases of COVID-19, a significant decline after a two-day spike Monday and Tuesday.

After posting 29 new cases on Saturday and 24 on Sunday, the county’s daily cases increased to 81 on Monday and 67 on Tuesday.

The county’s case count over the past 14 days has averaged 71 cases per day when calculated by the date they were reported. But when the more accurate onset date is used – the date when a person’s symptoms began to appear – the 14-day average is 43 cases per day.

Eighteen of today’s new cases are among residents of long-term care facilities, nine were from household contacts, four were deemed pure community spread and two are healthcare workers. Eleven were unable to be fully interviewed today.

“Based on our extensive data collection, I believe that Bucks County is ready to move to the yellow phase,” said Dr. David Damsker, director of the health department. “We hope that Gov. Wolf and Health Secretary Levine also see it the same way very soon.”

Six deaths also were announced: a 102-year-old woman and five men ranging in age from 79 to 89. All were residents of long-term care facilities and had underlying health conditions.

The Bucks County death toll surpassed the 400 mark today. Since the pandemic began, 4,486 infections have been reported here and 405 people have died.

A total of 126 patients are hospitalized, 22 of them in critical condition and on ventilators, and 1,366 have been confirmed to have recovered.

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com.  An interactive Bucks County map showing numbers of active infections by municipality can be found here.

May 19, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Larry R. King, 215-348-6413, lrking@buckscounty.org

The deaths of 16 more people who had COVID-19 were reported today by the Bucks County Department of Health, many of them older fatalities not disclosed until now.

Ten of the deaths happened more than a week ago, six of them in April. Health Director Dr. David Damsker said the facilities where they died had been slow in reporting the cases. Seven of the older cases were from a single nursing home.

All of the victims, who ranged in age from 100 to 57, had underlying health conditions, and all but one lived in long-term care facilities.

The Health Department also reported 67 new positive cases of COVID-19, more than half of them from long-term care facilities. Thirty-six of the new cases were among residents of long-term care facilities, and three were staff members.

Nine of the other cases were from household contacts, four from pure community spread, three from healthcare workplaces, three from co-workers at other jobs, and nine were unable to be interviewed today.

A total of 4,441 cases of COVID-19 have now been confirmed in Bucks, 399 of whom have died and 1,337 of whom are known to have recovered.

A total of 128 patients are hospitalized, 19 of them in critical condition and on ventilators.

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com.  An interactive Bucks County map showing numbers of active infections by municipality can be found here.

May 18, 2020

Department of Health Announces CDC Teams to Assist in Pennsylvania COVID-19 Response

Harrisburg, PA – Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine today announced that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has sent three teams to Pennsylvania to assist with the COVID-19 response.

“We are so pleased to have this level of collaboration and assistance from the CDC to help our teams working in the field in Pennsylvania,” Dr. Levine said. “COVID-19 is a particularly challenging situation for congregate settings, including large workplaces, food industries and long-term care facilities. These teams are assisting us in our response in these hardest-hit areas as we work to protect the public health and safety of Pennsylvanians.”

These teams arrived in Pennsylvania on Thursday, May 14. Since then, they have been working to become familiar with the situation across the state so they can begin providing assistance to locations in need. There are two teams assisting long-term care facilities and one team assisting food facility outbreaks.

The CDC teams will be onsite in Pennsylvania for two weeks to help in the response using their expertise. These teams will help assess the situation, teach infection control practices, and offer training on personal protective equipment (PPE) and outbreak response at the facilities they visit. They will also assist with developing a testing strategy for the nursing homes they visit and use their expertise to help cohort residents.

As of 12:00 a.m., May 18 p.m., there were 63,056 positive cases of COVID-19 statewide in 67 counties and 4,505 confirmed deaths. Most of the patients hospitalized are 65 or older, and most of the deaths have occurred in patients 65 and older. More data is available here.

The Wolf Administration stresses the role Pennsylvanians play in helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Cover any coughs or sneezes with your elbow, not your hands.
  • Clean surfaces frequently.
  • Stay home to avoid spreading COVID-19, especially if you are unwell.
  • If you must go out for a life-sustaining reason, please wear a mask.

MEDIA CONTACT:    Nate Wardle, 717-787-1783 or ra-dhpressoffice@pa.gov

May 15, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Larry R. King, 215-348-6413lrking@buckscounty.org

As Gov. Tom Wolf said he was easing restrictions in 12 more Pennsylvania counties, the increase in COVID-19 cases continued to moderate in Bucks County, with 58 new infections announced today.

Eight more deaths were also announced in Bucks, all of which occurred over the past three days. All of the deceased, who ranged in age from 100 to 57, were residents of long-term care facilities and had underlying health conditions.

Nineteen of the new cases are among long-term care residents, as well as three among staff. Fourteen caught the virus from a household member, three at healthcare jobs, and two at other workplaces. Seven were attributed to pure community spread, and nine were unable to be interviewed today.

“The overall decreased case count is very encouraging, and provides evidence that our actions have made a huge difference,” Health Department Director Dr. David Damsker said. “I am truly optimistic today, and hope the next several days continue the same trend.”

Wolf has given no indication yet of when Bucks County might be allowed to move from stay[-at-home “red” status to “yellow” status, in which most businesses and daycare facilities would be allowed to open, albeit with strict social distancing precautions.

The counties that were announced today by the governor will be allowed to move to yellow status next Friday. Most are in the south-central and northeast portions of the state. The counties are Adams, Beaver, Carbon, Columbia, Cumberland, Juniata, Mifflin, Perry, Susquehanna, Wyoming, Wayne and York.

Thirteen other counties in Western Pennsylvania moved to yellow status today, joining 24 additional counties, mostly with sparse populations, that partially reopened two weeks ago.

That leaves Bucks and 14 other Pennsylvania counties in the same situation: closed with no word of a reopening date. Those 15 counties comprise about 60 percent of the state’s population.

A total of 182 Bucks residents remain hospitalized, with 19 in critical condition and on ventilators. Of the county’s 4,250 cases to date, 1,200 are confirmed to have recovered and 367 have died. All but 60 of the deaths have been residents of long-term care facilities who had underlying health conditions.

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com.  An interactive Bucks County map showing numbers of active infections by municipality can be found here.

May 15, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Larry R. King, 215-348-6413lrking@buckscounty.org

The Bucks County Health Department today announced 58 new positive cases of COVID-19 and 11 deaths, two of which dated back to April.

Health Director Dr. David Damsker said the numbers, which have declined compared to recent weeks, are a reflection of compliance with social distancing measures. He warned, however, that state-ordered mass testing at long-term care facilities could result in the amount of new positive cases fluctuating again.

“If you look at the epidemiological curve, you see the numbers coming down, and we hope that what we are seeing is a trend,” Damsker said at an online news conference this afternoon. “But because there are certain situations at long-term care facilities that are doing mass testing, we could see some numbers bumping up. But we do think the overall numbers of community-type spread cases – either household contacts or pure community spread – seem to be leveling off over the last week or two.”

Twenty-three of the new cases reported today were residents of long-term care facilities, three were staff workers, nine were spread through household contacts, six are healthcare workers, three were infected at other lines of work, and four were attributed to pure community spread. Contact tracers were unable to interview 11 of the new cases today.

Those who died ranged in age from 93 to 56, and all had underlying health conditions. Nine of the 11 lived in long-term care facilities.

A total of 181 patients are hospitalized, 24 of them in critical condition and on ventilators. Of Bucks County’s 4,190 total COVID-19 cases, 1,162 are confirmed to have recovered.

At today’s news conference, the commissioners said county government buildings will reopen to the public on Monday on an appointment-only basis. Employees and visitors will be required to wear face masks and practice social distancing measures. All county employees were offered the option of being tested last week before many of them return to their offices after working remotely from home.

Damsker said 85 county employees are known to have tested positive for COVID-19, most of them workers at the county-owned Neshaminy Manor Nursing Home or the Bucks County Correctional Facility. None has died.

“There’s only a handful of (employees) that have COVID who are not from one of those two facilities, and you can imagine why that is the case,” he said. “They are operating in the highest-risk category of anyone in the county, and that’s been over the last couple of months.”

Damsker said that while restrictions placed on Bucks County during Gov. Tom Wolf’s stay-at-home order have helped flatten the curve of infection, residents must remain compliant with social distancing measures when the county moves into Wolf’s “yellow” stage of partial reopening. Wolf has not indicated when he might ease the restrictions here.

“We understand that when we move to yellow, and hopefully that will be soon, we may see an increased number of cases,” he said. “However, if everyone follows the rules that we’ve put out there, the masking and the social distancing … these are really important to blunt a second wave. It can be very manageable, but we need everyone’s cooperation to do that.”

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com.  An interactive Bucks County map showing numbers of active infections by municipality can be found here.

May 13, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Larry R. King, 215-348-6413lrking@buckscounty.org

Gov. Tom Wolf’s office signaled today that Bucks County is “rapidly moving” toward reopening, and pledged to provide more information within a week, the county commissioners said in a statement released this afternoon.

The governor did not grant the commissioners’ request, made Saturday, that the county be given a certain date for moving from shutdown “red” mode into partially reopened “yellow” status. Twenty-four less-populated counties entered yellow status on Friday, and 13 others in western Pennsylvania are set to join them this Friday.

Instead, a Wolf representative spoke this afternoon with Commissioners’ Chair Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia and reached “consensus that we are rapidly moving toward the `yellow phase’ of reopening and there should be more information within the next week,” the commissioners’ statement said.

Wolf’s office also agreed to involve a staff member in Bucks County’s daily conference calls with fellow officials from the five-county Philadelphia region. Marseglia said she also pushed for regular, if not daily, communication between Bucks County Health Director David Damsker, Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine and Levine’s epidemiology staff.

In a conference call Saturday that included Levine, members of Wolf’s staff, the county commissioners and Damsker, Bucks officials sought consideration of different metrics for allowing the county to reopen than what Wolf has proposed, as well as more frequent communication and a date certain for moving into “yellow” status.

“(W)e never stated an intention to defy Governor Wolf’s stay-at-home order as some have inferred,” the commissioners said in their statement, which can be read in full here: https://tinyurl.com/y73kgsh5

The commissioners acknowledged the hardships being endured in the meantime by small business owners whose enterprises remain shuttered. The county has pledged $6 million of its CARES Act funding from the federal government to provide relief grants to small businesses in the near future.

They advised businesses against defying Wolf’s order by opening prematurely, as doing so could cost them their business licenses, occupancy permits and insurance – effectively their ability to operate.

“We appreciate the frustration, fear, and anxiety that many small business owners are feeling right now,” the commissioners’ statement said. “While it may be extremely difficult to remain closed now, the alternative of potentially never being able to open again because you’ve lost your business license or insurance is far worse.”

The county health department today announced 63 new positive cases of COVID-19, as well as seven deaths of residents who had tested positive for the virus.

Thirty-five of the new cases are in long-term care facilities, as well as three among staff. Twelve people were infected within their households, two are healthcare workers, one caught the virus at a non-medical workplace, and seven were unable to be reached today by contact tracers.

Three of the infections were the result of pure community spread, meaning the infected person had no indication of where or from whom he or she acquired the virus.

The seven decedents, ranging in age from 105 to 59, all had underlying health conditions. Six were residents of long-term care facilities.

A total of 180 coronavirus patients are hospitalized in Bucks, including 24 in critical condition and on ventilators. Of the county’s 4,133 positive cases during the pandemic, 1,140 patients are confirmed to have recovered.

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com.  An interactive Bucks County map showing numbers of active infections by municipality can be found here.

May 12, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Larry R. King, 215-348-6413lrking@buckscounty.org

Seventy new positive cases of COVID-19 were reported today by the Bucks County Health Department, more than half of them from long-term care facilities.

Nine more coronavirus-related deaths were recorded, pushing the county’s total to 341 fatalities since the pandemic began. All had underlying health conditions and all but one lived in long-term care facilities.

Of the new cases, 36 live in long-term care, three work in those facilities, 10 got the virus from a person in their household, four were from contacts at work, two are healthcare workers, and eight were unable to be reached by contact tracers. Only seven were identified as community spread.

“The numbers consistently show improvement,” said Health Director Dr. David Damsker, “and I feel more and more comfortable with the idea of moving to the next phase of reopening in the near future.”

Those who died ranged in age from 99 to 62. Three of the deaths occurred in April and were just reported today.

One hundred seventy-five coronavirus patients are hospitalized in Bucks, including 24 in critical condition and on ventilators. A total of 1,100 are confirmed to have recovered.

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com.  An interactive Bucks County map showing numbers of active infections by municipality can be found here.

May 11, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Larry R. King, 215-348-6413lrking@buckscounty.org

The Bucks County Health Department today reported 82 new positive cases of COVID-19, and the deaths of 20 people who had the virus.

Forty-nine of the new cases are among residents of long-term care facilities, three are long-term care employees, eight were the result of community spread, eight caught the virus from someone in their household, four were infected at work, two are healthcare workers, and one is a prison inmate.

“While we continue to sympathize with the families of those who have lost loved ones, we remain on a positive and consistent track with regard to low numbers of community spread in Bucks County,” said Health Director Dr. David Damsker.

Workers doing contact tracing were unable to reach seven of the newly infected persons, but will make further attempts. The new cases pushed Bucks County’s total to 4,003 of whom 1,765 have been residents or employees of long-term care facilities. .

Those who died included 11 men and nine women between the ages of 100 and 58. Seventeen of the 20 lived in long-term care facilities. A total of 332 Bucks County residents have died in the pandemic, 274 of them from long-term care facilities.

One hundred eighty-three coronavirus patients are hospitalized in Bucks, including 19 in critical condition and on ventilators. A total of 1,071 are confirmed to have recovered.

The county-owned Neshaminy Manor Nursing Home also issued a weekly update on its coronavirus testing, cases and deaths.

“We are saddened to report that 35 residents who tested positive for the virus have passed away since the pandemic began,” the facility reported today.

County officials recently conducted mass testing at Neshaminy Manor, resulting in 82 residents testing positive and 141 testing negative. Eight of those who tested positive have fully recovered, while “most of our other residents are slowly improving,” the facility reported.

Fifty-eight staff members at Neshaminy Manor have tested positive for COVID-19, 46 of whom have fully recovered. The others are still being monitored by the county health department.

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com.  An interactive Bucks County map showing numbers of active infections by municipality can be found here.

May 10, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Larry R. King, 215-348-6413, lrking@buckscounty.org

Bucks County officials met Saturday afternoon with representatives of Gov. Tom Wolf’s office and Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine, pressing their case for the county to be moved into the yellow reopening phase before Wolf’s latest stay-at-home order expires on June 4.

The Skype conference call included County Commissioners Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia, Bob Harvie and Gene DiGirolamo, as well as county Health Director Dr. David Damsker, Emergency Services Director Scott T. Forster, Chief Operating Officer Margaret McKevitt, and County Solicitor Joe Khan.

The commissioners said Levine and Wolf’s staff listened to their concerns and understood the commissioners’ request for a date certain for when Bucks County residents and businesses can move into the yellow phase of Wolf’s reopening plan.

Commissioner Marseglia explained the need for communication of that date by Wednesday, May 13, saying, “The citizens of Bucks have been patient and committed to the requirements of a stay-at-home order and use of PPE; now they need to be given the final date so they can prepare for the change, which will involve extensive social distancing requirements.”

The commissioners’ clear direction on a date for reopening is best illustrated by the June 2 primary election, Commissioner Marseglia said. If Bucks County and much of Pennsylvania are still under a stay-at-home order through June 4, some voters may not feel safe enough to cast their ballot, she said.

“Voting in person is as social an activity as it gets,” Commissioner Marseglia said. If Bucks County moves to the yellow reopening phase no later than May 31, she said, the commissioners believe voters will have the confidence needed to cast their ballots in person.

“The overwhelming majority of Bucks County has understood and agreed with the unprecedented steps which needed to be taken to contain this virus,” Commissioner Harvie said. “I’m confident that the governor will allow Bucks to move into the ‘yellow’ phase before June 4. But even in the yellow phase there will be restrictions we must abide by, and not every business will be allowed to open. Still, it will be a step forward, and a step closer to normalcy.”

Commissioner DiGirolamo added: “I appreciate the opportunity to discuss the progress we have made to limit community spread here in Bucks County with the Governor’s Office and Dr. Levine. We are looking forward to hearing back from the Governor’s Office by Wednesday, May 13, on a future date that Bucks County can move to the ‘yellow phase’ of reopening along with the 37 other counties in the state that have already done so. I am hopeful that date will be as soon as possible.”

On Friday, Wolf said that 13 more counties in Western Pennsylvania would be allowed to move to the “yellow” phase of his three-tiered reopening plan on Friday, May 15. Those counties are Allegheny, Armstrong, Bedford, Blair, Butler, Cambria, Fayette, Fulton, Greene, Indiana, Somerset, Washington and Westmoreland.

They will join 24 other counties that were allowed to move Friday from closed “red” status to yellow, meaning most businesses and day cares can open, but must follow strict safety precautions.

Bucks County had 158 new cases reported Friday and Saturday, but those cases continued to show minimal community spread, with only 13 such cases identified over the two-day period.

Sixty-four of the new cases were residents or workers at long-term care facilities, 29 caught the virus from people in their households, and 13 caught it from infected co-workers, the county’s contact tracing determined.

Eleven deaths of people with COVID-19 also were reported over the two-day period, raising the county’s death toll to 311. The decedents ranged in age from 96 to 62, all but two lived in long-term care facilities, and all had underlying health conditions.

A total of 78 deaths of people with coronavirus were reported last week, down 14 from the previous week’s total.

One hundred ninety-five coronavirus patients are hospitalized in Bucks, including 20 in critical condition and on ventilators. A total of 1,015 are confirmed to have recovered.

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com.  An interactive Bucks County map showing numbers of active infections by municipality can be found here.

May 10, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Larry R. King, 215-348-6413lrking@buckscounty.org

Bucks County health officials today reported 81 new positive COVID-19 cases today, but none was the result of community spread, said Dr. David Damsker, director of the health department.

“It is promising to see we had no cases of pure community spread, meaning we had no cases in people for which we could not identify the source,” Damsker said. “While I’m confident this will not be the case every day, it is a good sign of the overall positive trend.” Coronavirus (2)

Of the 81 new cases, 61 are among residents of long-term care facilities, four are long-term care workers, seven caught the virus from a household member and four are either healthcare workers or patients who contracted the virus while in a healthcare facility. Five were unable to be reached today for follow-up information.

Only one death was reported today – a 98-year-old woman residing in a long-term care facility who had underlying health conditions.

Bucks County has had 3,922 positive cases during the pandemic, and 312 deaths.

One hundred ninety-six coronavirus patients are hospitalized in Bucks, including 20 in critical condition and on ventilators. A total of 1,021 are confirmed to have recovered.

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com.  An interactive Bucks County map showing numbers of active infections by municipality can be found here.

May 8, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Larry R. King, 215-348-6413lrking@buckscounty.org

Gov. Tom Wolf today ordered 13 more counties in Western Pennsylvania to reopen next week, while officials in two counties that missed the cut said they were going rogue and opening anyway.

Wolf announced that the 13 counties could move to the “yellow” phase of his three-tiered reopening plan on Friday, May 15. Those counties are Allegheny, Armstrong, Bedford, Blair, Butler, Cambria, Fayette, Fulton, Greene, Indiana, Somerset, Washington and Westmoreland.

They will join 24 other counties that were allowed to move today from closed “red” status to yellow, meaning most businesses and day cares can open, but must follow strict safety and social distancing precautions.

“I’d like to emphasize that this plan is not a one-way route. We are closely monitoring the 24 counties in the yellow phase and will re-impose restrictions if danger arises,” Wolf said.

“Every contact between two people is a new link in the chain of potential transmission,” the governor said. “And if the new case count begins to climb in one area, restrictions will need to be imposed to prevent local medical facilities from becoming overwhelmed. So, Pennsylvanians should continue to make good choices.”

Leaders in two counties where officials were miffed at being passed over for yellow status said they would reopen without Wolf’s blessing.

One is Beaver County, where one nursing home is reportedly responsible for 300 of the county’s 479 positive COVID-19 cases. All but seven of the county’s 78 coronavirus deaths have been in long-term care facilities.

One Beaver County commissioner called Wolf’s exclusion an “arbitrary and capricious” decision. “Any analysis of fact would lead you to a different decision,” said Commissioner Jack Manning.

Lebanon County also announced it would move into yellow status without Wolf’s approval. A group of state and county elected officials, all Republicans, sent Wolf a letter informing him they would move the county from red to yellow status effective May 15.

The letter said the county had met the requirements of Wolf’s original stay-at-home order, “which was to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 outbreak and allow hospitals the time to gear up for COVID-19 patients being admitted to the ICU and in need of ventilators. The residents of our county have heeded your instructions to practice social distancing and other mitigation efforts, and as a result, our local healthcare facilities do not lack the capacity to effectively treat these patients going forward.”

Asked about the defections at a news briefing today, Wolf said the counties were “taking a chance with the lives of residents,” but did not threaten any specific sanctions on them.

He also appeared to downplay a much-debated metric that a number of counties, including Bucks, have been urging him to reconsider: that of requiring an infection rate of no more than 50 per 100,000 residents over a 14-day period. County officials here have argued that standard ignores the low level of community spread that health officials have documented through contact tracing.

“We’re not looking at just one variable,” Wolf said. “People keep coming back to the 50 per 100,000, (but) we’re looking at a whole host of things … We’re looking at all the data we have, including the number of cases, and we’re looking at how that trajectory is changing over time. Those and a lot of other things go into our decision as to whether we think things are ready to reopen.”

The 96 new cases reported today in Bucks County continued to show minimal community spread, with only eight such cases identified. Half of the new cases were residents or workers at long-term care facilities, 14 caught the virus from people in their households, and 10 caught it from co-workers.

Seven deaths of people with COVID-19 also were reported today, raising the county’s death toll to 307. They ranged in age from 91 to 62, five lived in long-term care facilities, and all had underlying health conditions.

One hundred ninety-two coronavirus patients are hospitalized in Bucks, including 20 in critical condition and on ventilators. A total of 996 are confirmed to have recovered.

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com.  An interactive Bucks County map showing numbers of active infections by municipality can be

May 7, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Larry R. King, 215-348-6413lrking@buckscounty.org

As Gov. Tom Wolf once again extended his stay-at-home order for Bucks and other counties still shut down by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bucks County Commissioners today re-stated their belief that Wolf’s standards for reopening should be more flexible.

During a virtual news conference this afternoon, the commissioners and Health Director Dr. David Damsker said the county may be a lot closer to being able to safely reopen than state officials are willing to acknowledge.

“What’s really important to look at is who gets sick and why,” Damsker said. “And so the number of 50 per 100,000 is arbitrary.”

Damsker was referring to a guideline set out by Wolf that before reopening, counties show a decreasing number of new coronavirus cases and average less than 50 cases per 100,000 persons over the course of 14 days. For Bucks, that would mean an average of 23 new cases per day over a two-week span, a level not seen since late March.

At the same time, the county’s aggressive contact tracing efforts have documented a steady decrease in the amount of new community spread cases, which have consistently averaged less than 10 per day.

Wolf last week announced that 24 counties meeting his standards would be allowed to partially reopen on Friday, moving them from “red” shutdown status to “yellow” status, in which most businesses and daycares can open under certain safety restrictions. At the same time, the governor is expected to announce additional counties that can move from red to yellow next week. Bucks is not expected to be among them.

“We are closer to yellow than the metric of 50 per 100,000 would allow us to be,” Damsker said.

For weeks, the lion’s share of Bucks County’s new infections and deaths have been among residents of long-term care facilities and, to a lesser degree, people who work in them.

Those are among the cases Bucks officials would like to see excluded from Wolf’s calculations, while placing a greater emphasis on declining community spread. But even those long-term care numbers are showing signs of declining, Damsker said.

“Right now we are on the tail end of the nursing home outbreaks,” he said. “At Neshaminy Manor, where 77 residents have tested positive, many of those residents are recovering…they are doing just fine.”

Other nursing homes are showing similar signs of stabilizing, with residents recovering and staff returning to work after being sick, Damsker said. “We’re still having some issues at the nursing homes, no question about it, but I think we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel with regard to the outbreaks,” he said.

The commissioners took umbrage at suggestions by others, including some elected officials, that their urging of Wolf to place less emphasis on infection numbers in congregate living facilities suggested a lack of concern for the frail and elderly.

“As one who has a mother in a county nursing home, I’m offended,” Commissioners’ Chair Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia said. “It isn’t that we don’t care, and it wasn’t that we didn’t necessarily want numbers from nursing homes to count. We wanted the metric to change.”

“We care about every single person in every nursing home,” added Commissioner Gene DiGirolamo. “Any suggestion that we don’t care is just absurd, it really is. We do care, and we grieve along with the families.”

In a letter sent April 29 to Wolf, the commissioners, Damsker and other county officials urged the governor “to decrease the specific reliance on the incidence rate of COVID-19, per capita, as a major contributing factor to reopening.”

Strict adherence to the governor’s numerical guidelines, the letter said, could permanently mire the county in red status, having “a detrimental effect on our effort to maintain Bucks County’s infrastructure of business, tourism and community support.”

The full letter can be viewed here: https://tinyurl.com/y9y5lbqn  Neither Wolf nor his staff has responded to it directly.

Commissioner Bob Harvie predicted that surrounding counties might also start questioning Wolf’s metrics soon, and said Bucks County has solid data to support its position.

“We’re doing a tremendous amount of contact tracing that’s giving us a lot of very valuable data,” Harvie said. “And that data that other counties don’t necessarily have is telling us what’s happening with the virus. You don’t gather this data simply to put it up on a screen, or to share it with the media or put it on the front page. You gather it because you’re using it to measure how this virus is behaving, the impact it is having on our community.

“What we’re seeing,” Harvie said, “is a real drop in community spread. The real issue is in sharing this data with the governor.”

Of 106 new positive cases reported today in Bucks County, only seven were attributed to community spread. Fifty-one are among residents or employees of long-term care facilities.

Twelve additional deaths were reported, ranging in age from 105 to 42, all with underlying health conditions. All but two lived in long-term care facilities, and all but two were over age 75.

A total of 300 Bucks County residents with COVID-19 have died. Of the 3,706 who have been infected, at least 986 have recovered and been released from isolation.

One hundred eighty-nine coronavirus patients are hospitalized in Bucks, including 20 in critical condition and on ventilators.

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com.  An interactive Bucks County map showing numbers of active infections by municipality can be found here.

May 6, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Larry R. King, 215-348-6413lrking@buckscounty.org

Long-term care facilities accounted for more than half of the 95 new COVID-19 cases reported today by the Bucks County Health Department.

Forty-five residents and six staff members tested positive in the latest numbers, which brought the county’s total to 3,599 positive cases.

Eight deaths of people with COVID-19 also were reported, all of them elderly residents of long-term care facilities, and all with underlying health issues. The decedents ranged in age from 94 to 68.

Almost 82 percent of the county’s 288 deaths have been among residents of long-term care facilities, and 85 percent have been ages 70 and above. Only 4 percent of Bucks County’s deaths have been under the age of 60.

Community spread remained low in Bucks County, accounting for only seven of the new cases.

Statewide there have been almost 52,000 positive coronavirus cases reported, including more than 10,000 in long-term care facilities. A total of 3,106 Pennsylvanians with COVID-19 have died, Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said.

A total of 956 county residents have been confirmed to have recovered, and have been released from isolation. One hundred ninety-seven COVID-19 patients remain hospitalized, 21 of them in critical condition and on ventilators.

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com.  An interactive Bucks County map showing numbers of active cases by municipality can be found here.

May 5, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Larry R. King, 215-348-6413lrking@buckscounty.org

Twenty-two more deaths of people with COVID-19 were reported today by the Bucks County Health Department, with elderly residents of long-term care facilities continuing to be especially vulnerable to the virus.

The deaths, which occurred over several days extending back to April, amounted to the largest number announced in a single day in Bucks County. All had underlying health conditions, all but four were residents of long-term care facilities, and all but four were age 75 or older.

“We’re going through a really bad phase right now in our nursing homes,” said Dr. David Damsker, director of the health department. “It’s affecting a lot of people, and it’s affecting us personally. We are hopefully near the peak of it; we are seeing more staff returning as they recover, and we are seeing more residents recovering in the nursing homes as well.”

Damsker said at least 66 congregate living facilities in the county – more than three-quarters of the total – have had outbreaks. “When this wave is over, I don’t think we will have large outbreaks again because so many of the staff and residents will have immunity” from the current infections, he said.

Of the 85 new positive cases reported today, 56 were residents or employees of long-term care facilities, while only four were attributed to community spread.

Bucks County has had 3,505 residents test positive for the virus since the pandemic began, with 280 total deaths, 81 percent of which have been long-term care residents.

A total of 920 residents have been confirmed to have recovered, and have been released from isolation. One hundred ninety-two COVID-19 patients remain hospitalized, 24 of them in critical condition and on ventilators.

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com.  An interactive Bucks County map showing numbers of active cases by municipality can be found here.

May 4, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Larry R. King, 215-348-6413, lrking@buckscounty.org

The Bucks County Commissioners today released a letter sent last week to Gov. Tom Wolf, urging flexibility in the reduced COVID-19 infection rate he will require before the county can reopen.

“(W)e are submitting this letter as one of appeal as we endeavor to decrease the specific reliance on the incidence rate of COVID-19, per capita, as a major contributing factor to reopening,” said the letter, dated April 29. It requests a dialogue on the subject with Wolf, Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine or a member of Wolf’s staff as soon as possible.

No one has responded, Commissioners Chair Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia said this morning during a virtual town hall she conducted with fellow commissioners Bob Harvie and Gene DiGirolamo. All three signed the letter, along with county Chief Operating Officer Margaret McKevitt, Health Department Director Dr. David Damsker and Emergency Management Director Scott T. Forster.

Wolf has set out a three-tiered strategy for Pennsylvania regions and counties to reopen, in which they move from a shut-down “red” status to a partially open “yellow” stage and, ultimately, to an unfettered “green” status. He announced on Friday that 24 counties, mostly in low-population areas with relatively few COVID-19 cases, will be moving to “yellow” status this week.

Among the standards he seeks for such counties, Wolf has said, is a consistently decreasing number of new positive cases, with a countywide goal of averaging less than 50 cases per 100,000 persons over the course of 14 days.

For Bucks County, that would amount to 320 cases over a two-week span, or an average of 23 per day. The county has not had that few cases since March 26, when there were 18, and has exceeded 100 new cases per day on more than half of the days over the past three weeks.

Strict adherence to the governor’s standard, the letter said, “will have a detrimental effect on our effort to maintain Bucks County’s infrastructure of business, tourism and community support. In our efforts to increase access to testing in the community and long-term care facilities, we will see an uptick in cases, possibly in those who are mildly symptomatic, asymptomatic, or untested who were sick in the recent past but continue to test positive. That could easily drive up the numbers well beyond the threshold without actually increasing community risk, and permanently keep Bucks County in the ‘red zone.’”

The letter noted that Bucks County, which has conducted aggressive contact tracing of new cases, has reduced community spread to no more than 10 percent of those cases in recent weeks, and urged Wolf  “to see and analyze the kinds of positives we are getting, more so than simply the numbers themselves.”

The full letter can be viewed here: https://tinyurl.com/y9y5lbqn

The Bucks County Health Department announced today the deaths of 20 more people who had tested positive for COVID-19. That equaled the total of 20 fatalities on April 29, which until today had been the county’s single-highest daily death report.

All of the decedents had underlying health issues, and all but two were residents of long-term care facilities. Sixteen were over age 70, one was a 64-year-old woman, and three were men under 60 – ages 58, 50 and 42.

The county also reported 110 new positive cases today. Forty-seven were residents or workers at long-term care facilities, while 12 were attributed to community spread.

On Saturday, the county had reported 100 new cases and two deaths, while Sunday’s totals were 50 new cases and five deaths. All of the deceased were residents of long-term care facilities.

Last week was the county’s deadliest of the pandemic, with 92 deaths reported, up from 61 the week before.

Elderly residents of long-term care facilities continue to suffer disproportionately from COVID-19. Of the county’s 258 deaths, 81 percent have been residents of long-term care facilities. The median age of those who have died is 82.

Forty-one percent of the county’s 3,429 confirmed coronavirus cases have occurred among residents or staff at long-term care facilities, compared to 15 percent community spread since the pandemic’s inception.

During this morning’s virtual town hall, which was streamed on Facebook live, Marseglia said that while nursing homes should not be blamed for the high death rate in their facilities, she would like to see their statistics separated from those of the general population so that the county might be able to reopen sooner.

But she rejected the suggestion that poor care or conditions in the county’s long-term care facilities are responsible for their high infection and death numbers.

“Our nursing home staffs, all of the nursing homes, are doing everything they can do at a time when the virus is just out of control, and in the nursing homes it is just a breeding ground because people are so vulnerable there,” Marseglia said. “We are hoping to separate out the numbers so that we can open sooner, but it is not the nursing homes’ fault.”

At an afternoon news briefing, Levine again rejected the idea of separating a county’s nursing home COVID-19 statistics from the rest of the county’s numbers.

“We’re not going to separate nursing home cases from other cases in a county,” Levine said. “We are all interconnected. One section of a community, such as a nursing home, or personal care home, impacts the general community. And the community impacts that facility. The staff go back and forth….It’s very important to include those type of facilities, among other congregate settings, in the total counts for a county.”

Two hundred fifty-three COVID-19 patients are hospitalized in Bucks County, 28 of them in critical condition on ventilators, while 882 patients have recovered and have been released from isolation.

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com.  An interactive Bucks County map showing numbers of infections by municipality can be found here.

April 30, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Larry R. King, 215-348-6413lrking@buckscounty.org

On the eve of Gov. Wolf’s expected announcement that he will ease the coronavirus shutdown in some areas of Pennsylvania, Bucks County endured another grim day on the COVID-19 front, reporting 19 new deaths and 168 new positive cases.

All of the new victims had underlying health issues, and all but two resided in long-term care facilities. The decedents, 12 women and seven men, ranged in age from 96 to 62, with more than half in their 80s and 90s.

“We care about every single one,” said Dr. David Damsker, director of the Bucks County Health Department. “It’s upsetting to hear about the deaths; they’re not just numbers to the county.”

At a news conference this afternoon, Damsker said that as unsettling as the number of nursing home deaths has been, he believes it should factor little into state officials’ calculations when considering whether to start easing the shutdown in Bucks County.

“Our numbers of community cases and deaths are very low,” he said. “I do think we should separate the long-term care deaths and look to the other deaths, which are very few, with regard to re-opening.”

Wolf plans to make an announcement on Friday about loosening restrictions in certain areas of Pennsylvania where COVID-19 infections are less pervasive than in Southeast Pennsylvania, the state’s current epicenter of the pandemic. Northwest and North Central Pennsylvania have been mentioned as likely candidates to move from “red” to “yellow” status under Wolf’s three-tiered, red-to-green re-opening strategy.

“The deaths that we are seeing, we are not seeing them in normal community spread,” Damsker said. “While these numbers are horrific, they are very concentrated in certain facilities. Those cases aside, we are getting closer to opening society. But at the same time, we need to continue to do social distancing. That’s what we’re going to have to do on a long-term basis.”

Bucks County’s elderly population also figured prominently in the 168 new cases announced today. Of those, 102 cases were among residents of long-term care facilities and 14 were employees of those homes, some of which have begun to conduct mass testing.

Bucks County officials announced at the news briefing, which was held remotely via Zoom, that mass testing has begun at the county-owned Neshaminy Manor Nursing Home, where at least 20 of the county’s 217 COVID-related deaths have occurred.

Damsker said the county has conducted more than 11,000 coronavirus tests, with slightly less than 25 percent resulting in positive results. About half of those cases have been in healthcare workers, long-term care residents and long-term care workers.

He said a decision on whether to conduct mass testing at the Bucks County Correctional Facility, where 53 inmates and 22 staff members have tested positive, has not been made. For now, Damsker said, all new arrivals are being tested, along with workers and inmates involved in food service and other duties that bring them into frequent contact with others.

The county commissioners announced that county government, which has continued to function with many workers performing their jobs from home, will start opening to the public on a limited basis by May 18. Many workers will return to their offices, where masks will be required and staggered work hours encouraged to keep people as distant as possible from each other.

Public visits to government buildings will be made by appointment initially. “We think we can do it very safely and securely,” said Commissioner Gene DiGirolamo.

Commissioner Bob Harvie said that the county will launch an Economic Recovery Task Force next week to help outline steps the county can take to help local businesses recover from the shutdown. With members including business owners, people with finance and labor backgrounds, and Chambers of Commerce representatives, the group will seek ways of lowering initial predictions that as many as 30 percent of small businesses might not survive.

Among the group’s goals, Harvie said, will be forming a mechanism for determining how much CARES Act money might be available to small businesses, along with designing an application, evaluation and distribution system for any available funding.

County Commissioners’ Chair Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia said the pandemic is not expected to derail the June 2 primary election, but that polling places will be equipped with precautions such as Plexiglas shields, disposable pens, hand sanitizer and personal protective equipment for poll workers.

Despite such measures, she encouraged voters to consider requesting mail-in ballots and casting their votes by mail. “We will be prepared to have a safe election, but we really do hope you’ll try the mail-in vote option,” she said.

Marseglia, whose mother lives at Neshaminy Manor, urged others with loved ones in nursing homes not to equate COVID-19 infections at a facility with poor conditions or shoddy care.

“This virus is getting into virtually everywhere,” she said. “It’s really important that we don’t … shame any long-term care facility for this. We are all in this together, but unfortunately it is with our most vulnerable population right now.”

A total of  226 patients are hospitalized in Bucks County, 23 of them in critical condition on ventilators. Seven hundred forty-four have recovered and been removed from isolation.

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com.  An interactive Bucks County map showing numbers of infections by municipality can be found here.

April 29, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Larry R. King, 215-348-6413lrking@buckscounty.org

Twenty more elderly people with COVID-19 have died, the Bucks County Health Department announced today, the highest number to date in the coronavirus pandemic that continues to kill primarily older adults living in long-term care facilities.

Each of the fatalities announced today had been a resident of a long-term care facility, said Health Director Dr. David Damsker. The decedents were 11 women and nine men. Nineteen ranged in age from 95 to 78, while one was 69.

The health department also announced 132 new positive cases today. Thirty were residents of long-term care facilities, and 27 were employees of those facilities.

A large number of others were family members or other known contacts of confirmed cases, while there were only 10 instances of community spread, Damsker said.

Statewide, Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine announced 1,102 new cases in Pennsylvania, for a total of 43,802.

A total of 198 adults with COVID-19 have now died in Bucks County, while 219 are hospitalized, 25 of them in critical condition on ventilators. Seven hundred thirteen have recovered and been removed from isolation.

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com.  An interactive Bucks County map showing numbers of infections by municipality can be found here.

April 28, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Larry R. King, 215-348-6413lrking@buckscounty.org

Ten more elderly adults with COVID-19 have died, the Bucks County Health Department reported today, raising the county’s total fatalities to 178.

Nine of the 10 decedents were residents of long-term care facilities, and all had underlying health conditions. Those who died included six men ages 98, 92, 91, 74, 72 and 71; and four women ages 95, 94, 89 and 85.

The health department also announced that 103 more people had tested positive for COVID-19, increasing the county’s pandemic total to 2,776.

As has been true during much of the recent past, residents and employees of long-term care facilities composed the bulk of the new positive cases – about 60 percent of today’s total, said Health Department Director Dr. David Damsker. Forty-nine of the new cases were among residents of those facilities.

As has also been the case in recent weeks, there was very little evidence of community spread, Damsker said – just three of the 103 new cases.

Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine today announced 1,214 new cases, pushing the state total to 43,264. At least 1,716 Pennsylvanians with coronavirus have died, she said.

Although neither Levine nor Gov. Tom Wolf has speculated on when Southeast Pennsylvania might begin to reopen, Levine said today that the region’s rate of infections may have begun to slow.

“I think that it is past the peak,” Levine said. “We’ll see, and the virus determines the timetable.”

Asked whether the disproportionate number of long-term care resident cases would be included in the calculus to determine when counties and regions can re-open, Levine said the commonwealth’s thinking hasn’t changed.

“Those long-term care living facilities…will be included in the counts for counties and regions,” Levine said. “They do reside there, their staff reside there, and they will be included in the counties’ numbers.”

A total of 207 Bucks County coronavirus patients are hospitalized, 25 of them in critical condition and on ventilators. In addition, 675 patients have been confirmed to have recovered, and have been released from isolation.

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com.  A new, interactive Bucks County map showing numbers of infections by municipality can be found here.

April 27, 2020
View Online

Governor Announces May 1 Statewide Reopening of Limited Outdoor Recreational Activities to Help Pennsylvanians Maintain Positive Physical, Mental Health

Harrisburg, PA – To ensure that Pennsylvanians have opportunities to safely enjoy outdoor recreation as a way to maintain positive physical and mental health, and in keeping with the commonwealth’s stay-at-home orders to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, Governor Tom Wolf today announced that the Wolf Administration is lifting some restrictions on businesses related to certain outdoor activities.

Starting Friday, May 1, golf courses, marinas, guided fishing trips and privately owned campgrounds may reopen statewide and are required to follow updated life-sustaining business guidance and FAQ issued by the Wolf Administration to include specifics for how these outdoor recreational industries can resume activities while prioritizing public health and safety. Campgrounds in state parks will remain closed through Thursday, May 14.

“Pennsylvanians have remained resilient throughout this COVID-19 crisis, and as we successfully continue to flatten the curve to protect our physical health, it is critical that we also focus on our physical and mental health during these extraordinary times. As the weather warms and daylight lengthens, enjoying time outdoors is an important way to manage stress,” Wolf said. “As we start to take measured, limited steps to reopen our commonwealth, reopening these industries will help to rebuild our economy and strengthen our mental health.”

According to a recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, nearly half (45 percent) of adults in the United States reported that their mental health has been negatively impacted due to worry and stress over COVID-19 with the burden likely to continue even as the pandemic’s threat diminishes.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued guidance on visiting parks and recreational facilities. These guidelines must be followed statewide by businesses and when engaging in outdoor activity while the state disaster declaration remains in effect. The guidelines will ensure the safety of individuals and families engaging in outdoor activities and adherence will help slow the spread of COVID-19.

  • Stay close to home: Pennsylvanians are encouraged to enjoy permitted outdoor recreational activities within their community and avoid crowding popular destinations.
  • Practice social distancing: Maintain the recommended minimum 6 feet apart from fellow recreationists. Pennsylvanians are also encouraged to wear a mask or protective garment that covers the nose and mouth any time they go outside. If a parking lot at a park is full or there are too many people on the same trail, find an alternate place to recreate. Cross the street to avoid running directly past another runner or wait longer at a golf hole for a fellow golfer to move forward.
  • Minimize risk to others: Individuals should only go out if they feel healthy and have not been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Practice good hygiene: Wash hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol. Avoid surfaces that are touched often, such as doorknobs and handrails.
  • Have a plan: Create a safety plan before heading outdoors. Explain to children the need to keep their distance from others, even if they happen to see a friend while outside. Discuss with partners, social distancing while on the golf course. Think through how to avoid other runners when waiting to safely cross a street at the same time.

“Practicing social distancing takes a little planning and patience but it is necessary if we want to continue to flatten the curve while ensuring that Pennsylvanians have opportunities to de-stress and get exercise,” Wolf said. “Finding the balance between enjoying the outdoors and staying safe is only possible when all Pennsylvanians are abiding by the same precautions. It’s critical that all Pennsylvanians adhere to the safety guidelines to allow for these outdoor activities to remain available to the public.”

For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, visit on.pa.gov/coronavirus.

April 27, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Larry R. King, 215-348-6413lrking@buckscounty.org

COVID-19 shows no sign of subsiding among Bucks County’s elderly residents, as the health department reported 28 more deaths of those who tested positive for the virus.

Ten of the deaths were reported on Sunday and 18 more today. Most were residents of long-term care facilities and had underlying health conditions. Nine were in their 90s, 10 in their 80s, five in their 70s, three in their 60s, and one was 57.

More than two-thirds of Bucks County’s COVID-19-related deaths have been among residents of nursing homes or personal care facilities. The average age of death is 84.

Among the hard-hit facilities has been the county-owned Neshaminy Manor Nursing Home, where 15 residents with COVID-19 have died during the pandemic. Another eight residents and 41 staff members have tested positive for the virus; of whom four residents and 19 workers have recovered.

“There is honestly nothing I can say to those families that will take away the pain that you must feel, other than my thoughts are with you, my thoughts and prayers, as are the rest of the staff’s,” said Neshaminy Manor Administrator Marjorie Ziegler. “We loved [them] very dearly, and our prayers are with you.”

One hundred thirty-six new positive cases over the past two days pushed the county’s total to 2,675. Despite the preponderance of long-term care resident cases here and elsewhere in Southeast Pennsylvania, state Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said they would not be separated from counties’ overall numbers when state officials weigh when the area might begin to re-open.

In her daily briefing, however, Levine did say that she expected some flexibility in that process; that a region’s number of infections would not be the only determining factor and that counties could be released individually from the shutdown, rather than be tied to a region where other counties were less ready to re-open.

Bucks County President Judge Wallace H. Bateman Jr. today signed an order extending the county’s period of judicial emergency through May 31. All civil and criminal jury trials, as well as arbitrations, are continued generally and will be rescheduled. No jury trials will be held until at least Aug. 3.

Gov. Tom Wolf, having already committed to allowing construction work to resume statewide on Friday, today added golf courses, marinas, private campgrounds and guided fishing trips to that May 1 list, saying “enjoying time outdoors is an important way to manage stress.

“As we start to take measured, limited steps to reopen our commonwealth, reopening these industries will help to rebuild our economy and strengthen our mental health,” Wolf said.

Statewide, the death toll reached 1,597 today, with 42,050 total cases.

A total of 210 Bucks County coronavirus patients are hospitalized, 25 of them in critical condition and on ventilators. Six hundred forty-one patients have been confirmed to have recovered, and have been released from isolation.

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com.  A new, interactive Bucks County map showing numbers of infections by municipality can be found here.

April 25, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Larry R. King, 215-348-6413lrking@buckscounty.org

Bucks County’s COVID-19 death rate continued to accelerate over the past week as 61 people who had tested positive for the virus have died since last Saturday.

The county health department today reported six more deaths, all of them elderly residents of long-term care facilities who had underlying health conditions. Almost all of the deaths that have occurred over the past week have been older people from congregate living facilities.

The deaths announced today included three men and three women ranging in age from 91 to 78. The average age of those with COVID-19 who have died in Bucks County is 84.

The week’s fatality total exceeded  by 16 the previous week’s total of 45 deaths, which had been the highest weekly death toll. .

County health officials also announced 72 new positive cases today, pushing the county’s total to 2,541. Such numbers do not bode well for Bucks County being able to re-open its economy anytime soon, based on metrics laid out this week by Gov. Tom Wolf and clarified today.

Wolf’s plan, which would allow regions to re-open certain businesses and child care once they reach certain markers, requires an infection rate of no more than 50 per 100,000 residents over a 14-day period. Until today, it was unclear whether Wolf meant that as a daily total or a cumulative two-week total to be divided by 14 days.

The governor’s office today clarified that it was the latter.

Based on Bucks County’s population, the county must have no more than about 320 positive cases over a 14-day period, or an average of about 23 per day. Bucks County has been nowhere near that standard lately; in fact, positive tests have been increasing recently as more healthcare workers and staff and residents of long-term care facilities have been undergoing testing.

Wolf said that North Central and Northwest Pennsylvania, where population density is low and confirmed cases have been relatively infrequent, are the most likely to have their restrictions eased beginning May 8. He has indicated no timetable for Southeast Pennsylvania, which has been the state’s hardest-hit region.

Statewide, the total number of COVID-19 infections exceeded 40,000 today for the first time. There were 1,397 new cases reported across Pennsylvania, along with a total of 1,537 deaths.

A total of 208 Bucks County coronavirus patients are hospitalized, 24 of them in critical condition and on ventilators. Five hundred seventy-one patients have been confirmed to have recovered, and have been released from isolation.

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com

 

April 24, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Larry R. King, 215-348-6413lrking@buckscounty.org

The COVID-19 pandemic continues on a familiar path, with two-thirds of the county’s 148 new cases today afflicting healthcare workers or residents and staff of long-term care facilities.

Seven more deaths were announced, all among older people who lived in long-term care. The decedents included four women and three men ranging in age from 93 to 68, all with underlying health conditions. A total of 135 county residents with the coronavirus have died

Health Department Director Dr. David Damsker said community spread cases remained low, accounting for no more than 10 percent of the new infections, while the virus continues to thrive among those living or working in close quarters.

“The only possible silver lining to any of this is that by the time we start to re-open, we will have a large population of healthcare workers and older residents in long-term care who are immune to the virus,” Damsker said. “So when we do have resurgences at some point – and we will – these congregate living facilities will not be as hard-hit as they are now.”

Gov. Tom Wolf, who has said that shuttered businesses in sparsely populated areas of the state may be allowed to start re-opening May 8, has offered no timetable for southeast Pennsylvania, where COVID-19 has been most prevalent. Even after re-opening, counties and regions will be closely monitored for upticks of the virus.

More than 38,000 Pennsylvanians have been diagnosed with the disease, and 1,492 of them have died. The state has returned to listing only those deaths occurring in people who have tested positive for COVID-19, rather than including cases involving “probable” infections, a practice that stirred up much criticism.

Across Pennsylvania, as in Bucks County, well over half of the deaths have occurred among residents of long-term care facilities.

A total of 197 Bucks County coronavirus patients are hospitalized, 25 in critical condition and on ventilators, while 561 have recovered and have been released from isolation.

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com

April 23, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Larry R. King, 215-348-6413lrking@buckscounty.org

Ten new COVID-19-related deaths were announced today by the Bucks County Health Department, all of them among elderly residents of long-term care facilities.

Coupled with 130 new cases, the majority from the same population, officials said ongoing outbreaks in nursing homes and personal care facilities pose the biggest obstacle to the county’s ability to gradually re-open.

“If we weren’t in the situation we’re in with the nursing home facilities, I’d say we would be much closer” to re-opening certain businesses and activities, said Health Director Dr. David Damsker during an online news conference. “That’s sort of the hang-up right now as to why our cases are still higher than we’d like.”

Gov. Tom Wolf announced Wednesday that he was prepared to start gradually allowing regions to re-open once they met certain criteria, including a relatively low level of new cases. Northwest and North Central Pennsylvania were considered the most likely to start that process on May 8.

Exactly what that level that needs to be in Bucks County remained unclear Thursday, as regional officials struggled to fully understand the governor’s metrics and whether they applied to entire regions or individual counties.

“I would not like to see us lumped together with Philadelphia and the surrounding counties and be in any way forced to do something that might not be in the best interests of Bucks County,” County Commissioner Gene DiGirolamo said during the news conference. “While I think the plan is reasonable, I think Bucks County still needs the flexibility to do what’s best for our citizens.”

Commissioners’ Chair Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia agreed that Wolf’s plan requires further study, but said that whatever the bottom line turns out to be, “the likelihood of getting there is definitely increased by the amount of social distancing that is being done.”

Emergency Services Director Scott T. Forster said that as the pandemic wears on, personal protective equipment for healthcare workers, first responders and others is becoming increasingly harder to obtain.

Disposable surgical gowns, in particular, “are almost nonexistent,” Forster said, prompting him to issue a call for any businesses having surgical or plastic gowns to consider donating them to the county’s Emergency Management Office. Anyone able to contribute can call 215-340-8700.

“It’s hard to buy them, it’s hard to acquire them from the Strategic National Stockpile,” Forster said. He said his workers “would be very happy to accept” any donations “and distribute them to our nursing homes, our personal care homes and our healthcare workers.”

Commissioner Bob Harvie said it’s not unusual for hospitals to go through 1,000 or more gowns per day. The demand for them, he said, has driven prices that once were as low as 30 cents per gown to as high as $12. And while protective masks can be cleaned and re-used if necessary, “you can’t do that with plastic gowns,” Harvie said.

A total of 128 Bucks County residents with COVID-19 have now died among the county’s 2,321 confirmed positive cases.

Another 196 patients remain hospitalized, 23 in critical condition, while 526 people are confirmed to have recovered and have been released from isolation.

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com

April 22, 2020

Responding to COVID-19 in Pennsylvania

The 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new virus that causes respiratory illness in people and can spread from person-to-person. This virus was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.

All Pennsylvanians have an important role to play in stopping the spread of COVID-19 and saving lives. Here are resources to help individuals, families, and businesses do their part.

Keep checking back. This guide will be kept up to date as resources and information change.

You can find up-to-date information about cases in Pennsylvania at on.pa.gov/coronavirus.

April 21, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Larry R. King, 215-348-6413lrking@buckscounty.org

Eleven deaths of long-term care residents were reported today, raising Bucks County’s death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic to 110.

Four of the deaths had occurred earlier this month, said Health Department Director Dr. David Damsker, but were not reported to the department until today.

The state’s number of coronavirus-related deaths also increased sharply, with 360 new fatalities reported for a statewide total of 1,564. It was not a one-day increase, however, as the state has changed its procedures for reporting coronavirus-related deaths.

According to state Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine, both confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases are now being included in the totals.

Levine defined confirmed cases as those involving a positive coronavirus test result. Probable cases, she said, are people who did not have a positive test result for COVID-19, but whose death certificates list COVID-19 as a cause or contributing cause of death.

Of the 1,564 deaths in Pennsylvania, Levine said, 300 are listed as probable. More than half of the statewide deaths have been among residents of long-term care facilities.

Bucks County reported 92 new positive cases of COVID-19 today, raising the overall total to 2,067. Damsker said community spread remains low, and that up to three-quarters of all new cases are among healthcare workers and people who live in long-term care facilities.

Positive cases at the Bucks County prisons have also increased in recent days. Damsker said 19 employees and 33 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19. Staff members, some of whom have recovered and returned to duty, have been isolated at home with mild symptoms, while inmates have been isolated, almost all with mild symptoms.

Since March 11, the county prisons have reduced the inmate population by almost one-third to make it easier to isolate those who have coronavirus and those showing possible symptoms of illness.

At least 459 of those who have had the virus in Bucks County have recovered and have been released from isolation. There are 169 patients hospitalized, 26 of them in critical condition and on ventilators.

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com

April 20, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Larry R. King, 215-348-6413, lrking@buckscounty.org

As coronavirus-related deaths among nursing home residents continued to increase in Bucks County and elsewhere, the federal government today announced new transparency rules requiring facilities to tell residents and their families of new COVID-19 cases in their midst.

The requirements, issued by the Department of Human Services’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, direct nursing homes to inform facility residents and their representatives within 12 hours of a single confirmed case of COVID-19. They must also disclose it when three or more residents or staff experience new onset of respiratory symptoms within a 72-hour period.

“Nursing homes have been ground zero for COVID-19. Today’s action supports CMS’ longstanding commitment to providing transparent and timely information to residents and their families,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma.

The notifications must include information about what steps the nursing home is taking to prevent or reduce the spread of the virus. Failure to meet the requirements could result in enforcement actions taken against the nursing home. A memo describing the order can be viewed here: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/qso-20-26-nh.pdf

The Bucks County Health Department today reported 11 more deaths among residents who have tested positive for COVID-19: five women ages 93, 93, 90, 89 and 72; and six men ages 94, 90, 90, 66, 66 and 65. Almost all were residents of long-term care facilities.

“To those of you who have lost anyone to this virus, please know that my thoughts are with you,” said County Commissioners’ Chair Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia during a virtual town hall conducted this morning by the commissioners on Facebook. “And to those of you with family members in long-term care facilities, which is where this virus seems to be hitting the hardest, I want you to know that we are thinking of you, too.”

Marseglia said her mother, whose birthday is today, is a resident at Neshaminy Manor and cannot communicate with her. “So the way I’m going to celebrate her birthday is to send prayers and positive energy to everyone – the people and the workers in our long-term care facilities,” she said. “This is a difficult time; they are the front line right now.”

Gov. Tom Wolf, meanwhile, announced that he is extending the statewide stay-at-home order issued April 1 by at least one week, to Friday, May 8. The order had been set to expire on April 30.

“It is clear that our early and aggressive efforts to mitigate the spread of this highly contagious and deadly virus are working,” Wolf said. “While we begin to seek ways to move forward, it’s imperative that we continue to take strong precautions to protect Pennsylvanians and ensure that our healthcare system is not overwhelmed.”

At the same time, Wolf signaled that a gradual reopening of the economy could ensue in areas not severely affected by the outbreak. He signed an online-notary bill that will help enable online vehicle sales and said that limited construction work may resume on May 8, adding that opening other industry sectors is also possible.

“We are taking small steps toward regaining a degree of normalcy in Pennsylvania,” Wolf said as an anti-shutdown rally drew protesters to the state capitol grounds in Harrisburg.

The state Department of Health reported 948 new COVID-19 cases today, the first time that daily number has dipped below 1,000 since April 1. A total of 33,232 Pennsylvanians have tested positive for coronavirus and 1,204 have died, well over half of them residents of nursing or personal care facilities.

“As we start to see the number of new COVID-19 cases decrease across the state, that does not mean we can stop practicing social distancing,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “We must continue to stay home to protect ourselves, our families and our community.”

Bucks County’s new cases increased by 92, for a total of 1,977. Of those, 162 patients are hospitalized, 26 of them in critical condition and on ventilators, and 373 have recovered.

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com

April 19, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Larry R. King, 215-348-6413lrking@buckscounty.org

Eight deaths of Bucks County residents with COVID-19 were reported today, all of them residents of long-term care facilities or medical rehabilitation centers. All had underlying health conditions.

The county health department also reported 94 new positive cases, bringing the county total to 1,886.

Those who died included four men ages 97, 88, 79 and 50; and four women ages 98, 88, 84 and 70. To date, 88 Bucks County residents with COVID-19 have died during the pandemic, more than half of them from long-term care facilities.

Currently there are 147 people with coronavirus hospitalized in Bucks County, 25 of them in critical condition and on ventilators. A total of 379 are confirmed to have recovered and been released from isolation.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health reported 1,215 new positive cases of COVID-19 today, bringing the statewide total to 32,284.

The state also reported 276 additional deaths, but Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said the increase was largely due to reconciling state data with other sources, including county and municipal health departments. The statewide total is now 1,112.

“This work takes time and so the increase in deaths today reflects the culmination of that effort,” Levine said today. “The majority of these deaths did not occur overnight.”

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com

April 18, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Larry R. King, 215-348-6413lrking@buckscounty.org

Three more elderly Bucks County residents with COVID-19 have died, the county health department announced today, bringing the death toll here to 80.

All three of those who died – a 92-year-old woman and two men ages 84 and 67 – resided at long-term care facilities. Of Bucks County’s coronavirus-related fatalities, 40 – exactly half of the total – have resided in such facilities.

The new deaths added to what has been by far Bucks County’s deadliest week of the pandemic. Forty-five COVID-19-related deaths were reported this week, or 56 percent of the county’s total.

“This is the first full week where we are seeing the consequences of the coronavirus moving into the places where we did not want it to go, and that is the nursing homes,” said Bucks County Health Director Dr. David Damsker: “These are our most vulnerable people, and sadly it has taken a severe toll on them.”

The average age of those infected in Bucks is 53; the average age of those who have died is 80.

The county reported 109 new positive cases today, pushing the total to 1,797. It was the second straight day the county has reported more than 100 new cases.

Damsker said the higher numbers are more a reflection of higher percentages of positive results than of a greater number of tests being administered.

“The number of people who are getting tested is not greater, but the positive rate is higher because we are focusing the testing on the people who have the highest risk,” Damsker said, adding that up to 75 percent of those now testing positive are healthcare providers or residents of long-term care facilities.

Statewide, 462 of Pennsylvania’s 836 coronavirus-related deaths, or 55 percent, have been among residents of nursing homes or personal care facilities, Health Secretary Rachel Levine said today.

The state’s total of COVID-19 cases rose to 31,069 with 1,628 new cases reported today. There were 80 new deaths reported today in Pennsylvania.

“We know that testing is critical to our efforts to determine how many Pennsylvanians have COVID-19,” Levine said. “And we know, as I’ve stated before, that our daily data is an undercount of our positivity rate.”

Bucks County has 148 people hospitalized with COVID-19. Of those, 26 are in critical condition and on ventilators. A total of 373 are known to have recovered and have been released from isolation.

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com

April 16, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Larry R. King, 215-348-6413lrking@buckscounty.org

Despite signs that the spread of COVID-19 among the general public is starting to decline, the Bucks County Commissioners today stressed the importance of continuing the stringent social distancing measures laid out by Gov. Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine.

“We feel like there has been a little bit of a plateau in terms of the cases that we have been seeing, so we are seeing a glimmer of hope,” Commissioner Bob Harvie said during a virtual news conference this morning, streamed live on the county’s Facebook page. “We’re only probably at halftime right now; it’s not the end of the game … So let’s all be very conscious of the fact that we have to keep social distancing.”Harvie zoom

Commissioners’ Chair Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia urged the public to “hold tight” despite rumblings from people who are growing impatient with the restrictions.

And Commissioner Gene DiGirolamo said that “staying home and not going out unless you absolutely have to … is the most important thing we can do right now.”

The commissioners also expressed dismay over the rising number of deaths among elderly people, especially those in long-term care facilities, where close to half of Bucks County’s COVID-19 victims have resided.

“They are certainly our most vulnerable population, and their families have experienced great anxiety and grief as well,” Marseglia said, adding that her mother has lived at the county’s Neshaminy Manor nursing home for several years and can no longer communicate with her.

“So I can’t console my mother, and I know that it is probably difficult for many of you who can speak to your loved one; they are feeling anxiety and you can’t be there to console them,” she said. “I’m sorry you have to go through that … but I know in my heart that my mother is being cared for, as are your loved ones.”Marseglia zoom

The Bucks County Department of Health today reported the deaths of seven more residents who had COVID-19. Six were elderly, ranging in age from 94 to 70, five of whom lived at long-term care facilities. The seventh was a 51-year-old man with underlying health conditions.

A total of 67 Bucks County residents with COVID-19 have died.

County Health Director Dr. David Damsker reported 96 new cases of coronavirus today, bringing the total to 1,546. Seventy of the new cases were from long-term care facilities, where testing has been increased in recent days.

While the overall number of cases detected outside of nursing home continues to drop, Damsker said, the death rate will likely continue to rise significantly over the next few days because of the large number of cases in long-term care facilities.

“These are the most fragile patients you can have in our society,” Damsker said. “Once it’s in these facilities, it’s difficult to stop it. We’re doing our best … but there will continue to be deaths because of the population.”

The continuing decline of new cases among the general public, Damsker said, shows the effectiveness of social distancing measures, and the fact that people are taking them to heart.

“I don’t think people are getting complacent,” he said in response to a reporter’s question. “I think people are getting used to the idea of social distancing and wearing masks in public. I think people are taking it very seriously, more so than a month ago, and I think we want to continue to encourage those things.”

Harvie said that officials in the five-county Philadelphia region have talked daily about forming a plan for reopening the region once the threat recedes sufficiently. He said officials in Philadelphia have begun drawing up an outline for what he called “a regional approach to opening up Southeast Pennsylvania,” but that there is no set date for having a plan in place.Zoom conf

In the meantime, Bucks County officials are helping to coordinate the delivery of 10,000 meals per day to needy children, elderly residents, adults living in poverty and those who are out of work during the coronavirus crisis, said Emergency Services Director Scott T. Forster.

Civilian volunteers have been enlisted to help retrieve food supplies from Philadelphia and bring it to distribution points in Bucks, where volunteers help package, box and deliver the meals.

DiGirolamo and Marseglia encouraged people with alcohol or drug addictions to continue to seek treatment during the COVID-19 crisis. DiGirolamo said people who are struggling with detoxing or other issues can call the Bucks County Drug and Alcohol Commission, Inc., at 215-444-2700 for help and advice.

The commissioners also announced that county park trails and parking lots would reopen for public use on Monday, but that facilities at the parks – restrooms, pavilions, playgrounds, boat rentals and other amenities – would remain closed. Marseglia urged people who have yards or other venues for exercise to avoid the parks to help prevent crowding.

Statewide, 60 more Pennsylvania deaths were reported today, bringing the statewide total to 707. A total of 27,735 COVID-19 cases have occurred across the state, including 1,245 new cases announced today.

More than half of the state’s deaths – 365 – have been among residents of nursing homes or personal care facilities: https://tinyurl.com/rnj5vot

A total of 122 Bucks County coronavirus patients are hospitalized, 24 of them in critical condition and on ventilators. Three hundred seventeen are confirmed to have recovered.

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com/

April 14, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Larry R. King, 215-348-6413lrking@buckscounty.org
The Bucks County Health Department today reported 11 new deaths of patients with COVID-19.

Ten of the decedents were older residents ranging in age from 95 to 73; the other was a 31-year-old man with disabilities who lived at a congregate living facility.

Statistically, it was the county’s highest one-day increase of the pandemic. But while all 11 deaths were reported to his office today, Dr. David Damsker, director of the Bucks County Health Department, said that six had occurred on Sunday or Monday.

“We all connect with the families as they face these losses,” said Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia, chair of the Bucks County Commissioners, speaking on behalf of her fellow commissioners.

The many older people who have died “represent our parents and grandparents, whom we hold close in our hearts,” Marseglia said. “In these losses lie much of the history and wisdom of Bucks County.”

The county has now lost 52 residents who tested positive for COVID-19. In Pennsylvania, only Philadelphia and Montgomery County – which listed 18 new deaths today – have reported more.

Statewide figures also showed a spike in deaths. Through midnight today, 584 Pennsylvanians with COVID-19 had died, an increase of 60 over Monday’s totals. Pennsylvania’s death toll stands at 584 deaths.

State Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine attributed part of the increase to a lag in reporting of deaths over the holiday weekend.

After several days of declining numbers, the county’s new cases showed a substantial increase with 128 new positive tests, bringing the county’s total to 1,399.

Damsker attributed much of the spike to a number of nursing homes that chose to test all of their residents for COVID-19. “Many of these were the results of mass screenings in longterm care facilities,” he said

Bucks County currently has positive cases in 34 congregate living facilities. “When all of this is said and done, I don’t think there will be any congregate care facility that won’t have at least one positive case, either among a resident or someone working there,” Damsker said.

Damsker said because of the short-term increases brought on by facility-wide testings, he expects the higher numbers to decrease soon.  At the same time, he said he also expects the numbers of deaths among the elderly to continue to climb steadily.

“I suspect that, for the immediate short-term, we may have multiple deaths most days of the week,” he said. “The average age of the people who have died is around 80, and while it doesn’t lessen the impact on their families, it should help to know that these are not people who have become infected from being out in public. We luckily also have not had a death of anybody who did not have underlying medical conditions.”

A total of 103 Bucks County coronavirus patients are hospitalized, 24 of them in critical condition and on ventilators. Two hundred sixty-four Bucks County patients are confirmed to have recovered.

Levine today announced 1,146 additional coronavirus cases in Pennsylvania, for a statewide total of 25,345. She said hospital capacity remains good, with 42 percent of regular beds, 37 percent of intensive care unit beds and 70 percent of ventilators still available.

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com/

April 13, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Larry R. King, 215-348-6413lrking@buckscounty.org

The death toll from coronavirus remains on a steady rise in Bucks County, even as the number of new cases continues to show signs of flattening out.

Three more deaths among people with COVID-19 were reported: a 63-year-old man, a 78-year-old woman and an 86-year-old woman, pushing the county’s total dead to 41.

New cases continued to moderate, however, with 46 positive tests for the virus reported today for a countywide total of 1,273. Of those, 264 people have been released from isolation after their recovery from the virus was confirmed.

Among the new cases were four inmates at the Bucks County Correctional Facility, all of whom had already been isolated. As a precaution, prison officials have imposed a 72-hour lockdown within the prison to prevent or minimize spread of COVID-19 there, said Dr. David Damsker, director of the Bucks County Health Department.

A total of 101 Bucks County coronavirus patients remain in the hospital, 26 of whom are in critical condition and on ventilators. Damsker said the virus continues to take the greatest toll on the elderly and frail, noting that 80 is the average age of those who have died in Bucks County with COVID-19.

State officials today announced 1,366 additional positive cases in Pennsylvania, for a statewide total of 24,199. Seventeen more deaths were announced, bringing the statewide total to 524.

The state Department of Health said that 55 percent of Pennsylvania’s hospital beds, 60 percent of its intensive care unit beds and 70 percent of its ventilators remain available, but Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine continued to warn against talk of lifting Gov. Wolf’s stay-at-home orders soon.

“Social distancing works and the closures are saving lives in Pennsylvania…,” Levine said. “To do any kind of mass opening now would be a big mistake.”

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com/

April 12, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Larry R. King, 215-348-6413lrking@buckscounty.org

Three more coronavirus-related deaths were reported today in Bucks County, bringing the county’s total lives lost to 38.

The decedents were a 72-year-old woman, a 72-year-old man and a 90-year-old man, all with underlying health conditions. Across Pennsylvania, 507 people have died, an increase of 13 from Saturday.

Both the county and state today reported decreased numbers of new cases from past days. Bucks County reported 59 new positive test results today for a total of 1,220. Pennsylvania reported 1,178 new cases for a total of 22,833.

Eight-six county residents are hospitalized for treatment of COVID-19, 24 of them in critical condition and on ventilators. A total of 191 people have been confirmed to have recovered from the virus to date.

Dr. David Damsker, director of the Bucks County Health Department, said that healthcare workers and residents of congregate living facilities continue to be leading victims of the coronavirus, which has been detected in 30 such facilities across the county.

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related  information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com/

April 11, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Larry R. King, 215-348-6413lrking@buckscounty.org

Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said today that the state has “been able to bend the curve” of new COVID-19 cases, but cautioned that it is too early to start considering lifting the social distancing measures that appear to be helping to slow the virus.

“Previously, we were seeing an exponential rise of COVID-19,” Levine said. “We were seeing a doubling of new cases approximately every two to three days. It was going up in almost like a straight line.” Levine hopeful

Now, Levine said, there are still large numbers of new cases daily, “but we’re not seeing as many new cases as we had before. The tentative conclusion is that we have been able to bend that curve.”

That, in turn, means that as Pennsylvania approaches the so-called “surge” of coronavirus cases, “it will be a wave of new cases that will go up and down, but it won’t be a tidal wave that will completely overwhelm our healthcare system,” Levine said.

She voiced that optimism on a day that saw 1,676 new COVID-19 cases across Pennsylvania, bringing the statewide total to 21,655. Seventy-eight new deaths were also reported, for a statewide total of 494.

Asked when the surge would hit Pennsylvania, Levine said it could come within “the next week or more” in eastern Pennsylvania, and later in other parts of the state. She said that 46 percent of Pennsylvania hospital beds, 38 percent of ICU beds and 70 percent of the state’s supply of ventilators remain available.

In Philadelphia and surrounding areas such as Bucks County, “we have enough regular beds and we have enough ICU beds and we have enough ventilators,” Levine said, “but we are watching that data very closely.”

As for when the state might relax its restrictions and allow parts of the economy to reopen, Levine said plans are being discussed for a progressive, region-by-region opening, but “now is not the time. We have been successful in flattening the curve, but we still have significant new numbers of COVID-19 and we have to protect the public’s health and save lives.”

Numbers in Bucks County today were also encouraging, as the 68 new cases reported were a decrease from previous days and showed virtually no community spread, said Health Department Director Dr. David Damsker. The new cases remain heavily concentrated in healthcare workers and residents of congregate care facilities, he said.

“This is working,” Damsker said of the social distancing measures in effect across the state.

The county had three additional coronavirus-related deaths reported today, bringing the countywide total to 35. The decedents were an 89-year-old man, a 73-year-old woman and a 64-year-old man, all with underlying health conditions.

Today’s new cases raised the Bucks County total to 1,170. Eighty-three COVID-19 patients are hospitalized, 23 of them on ventilators and in critical condition. One hundred seventy-nine patients have been confirmed to be recovered.

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related  information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com/

April 9, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Larry R. King, 215-348-6413lrking@buckscounty.org

More than 1,000 Bucks County residents have now tested positive for COVID-19 as three more fatalities brought the death total to 28.

Ninety-seven new cases were reported today, bringing the county’s total to 1,022.

Among the recently confirmed cases are four officers at the Bucks County Correctional Facility and two inmates. All six have been isolated and have mild symptoms, said Dr. David Damsker, director of the Bucks County Health Department.

Three additional corrections officers and one other inmate tested positive for the virus last weekend. The county prisons have instituted no-visitation policies and other preventive measures, and have reduced the inmate population by nearly 20 percent since March 11 in an effort to create more distancing and to free up space for isolating infected persons.

Since March 11, the total population of the county’s prisons has been cut from 909 to 734. At the Bucks County Correctional Facility alone, the population has been reduced from 711 to 584 through midnight Wednesday.

Seventy county residents are hospitalized, Damsker said, 18 of them in critical condition and on ventilators.

The three new fatalities were all older women, ages 93, 88 and 72. Damsker’s staff has confirmed that 170 of the county’s COVID-19 patients have now recovered and have been removed from isolation.

Pennsylvania health officials today reported 1,989 new cases today, bringing the statewide total to 18,228. The Pennsylvania death total reached 338 with the deaths of 29 more people.

Residents of 50 of Bucks County’s 54 municipalities have tested positive for the virus. A map showing those municipalities and charts of other coronavirus-related information is on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com/

April 8, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Larry R. King, 215-348-6413lrking@buckscounty.org

Bucks County officials and Newtown Athletic Club owner Jim Worthington today announced the creation of an 80- to 100-bed medical care facility at the NAC as a backup to area hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The county’s confirmed cases of coronavirus continued to climb, with reports of 116 more people testing positive for the virus. Hospitals here are not yet threatened with being overrun with COVID-19 patients, Emergency Services Director Scott T. Forster said, but the county is not willing to take any chances. IMG_3048

“We don’t know that we will need this facility,” Forster said. “But the time when we know that we need it is not the time to get ready for it. The time to get ready is now.”

Throughout the week, county and NAC workers have been moving green-mattressed beds and medical supplies into the sprawling sports training center, which Forster said would be divided into quadrants to treat COVID-19 patients as well as those not infected.

Patients at the site would not be the critically ill. Rather, they would typically be people in need of a few more days of hospitalization before being well enough to go home, or COVID-19 patients whose conditions are not serious enough to require a ventilator.

A combination of volunteer medical workers – both retired and active doctors and nurses – would be needed to help to staff the facility, Forster said, and its daily operations would be supervised by an experienced medical professional.IMG_4413

County Commissioners Diane Ellis-Marseglia and Bob Harvie praised Worthington for offering the use of his facility to serve county residents.

Worthington “has been such a good neighbor and friend to all of us,” Marseglia said. “He called me a month ago and offered the use of the building, and has waited patiently to decide if we needed it – and in fact we have reached the point where we believe we need it.

“So we are really grateful to Jim, and grateful to all of the people who are going to turn this into a convalescent place where people can get healthy again,” Marseglia said. IMG_4352

Harvie said Worthington’s gesture was in keeping with a national wave of volunteerism that is helping to meet some challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This will eventually be staffed by people … many of them retired nurses and doctors who have medical training,” Harvie said. “What Mr. Worthington is doing is obviously another level of volunteerism, and it is not the first time he has been this generous. But we certainly thank him for everything he has done.”

An emotional Worthington said donating the use of his facility was a thank-you to the community that has supported the NAC for more than 40 years.

“It’s the least we can do. The NAC has always been about helping the community and making a difference and making lives better,” he said. “I can’t think of a better way to chip in and help our community than to work with Diane Marseglia and her team here….We’re proud to step up, just like the community has stepped up for us over the last 42 years.”

County officials had identified two unused medical facilities in Lower and Upper Bucks as potential hospital overflow sites, both of which had been evaluated by the Army Corps of Engineers. The Lower Bucks site was ruled out, Forster said, while the Upper Bucks site remains on what he called a “short list” for possible approval.

“But the county commissioners and I believe that we should be proactive, and we should do what we think is needed for the residents and not wait for someone else to make decisions for us,” Forster said. If the Upper Bucks site is eventually approved, “the county will assist in getting that one ready, too, but at this point we think that we need to continue moving forward to ensure that we have the capability to take care of our residents.”

Forty-four county residents with COVID-19 are hospitalized, 14 of them in critical condition and on ventilators or other life-supporting equipment. One death was reported today – a 91-year-old woman – bringing to county’s death toll to 25. A total of 931 residents have tested positive for the virus, 134 of whom are confirmed to have recovered.

Pennsylvania health officials today reported 1,680 new cases, bringing the statewide total to 16,239. Seventy more people with COVID-19 died in Pennsylvania, pushing the statewide total to 310.

Of the 116 new Bucks County cases reported today, only four or five are attributed to community spread, said county Health Director Dr. David Damsker.

“The vast majority of our new cases are in healthcare workers,” Damsker said.

So far, Damsker said, COVID-19 cases have been confirmed at 18 different Bucks County congregate living facilities, which include but are not limited to nursing homes and long-term care facilities. Each facility has had at least one staff member or resident test positive, or both.

“We are working with these 18 facilities and are continuing to give guidance to make sure we can minimize the effects of this situation,” Damsker said.

In addition to healthcare workers, people who fill essential jobs that bring them into close contact with others are those who continue to get sick in significant numbers, Damsker said.

“Unless we stop these essential services, we are going to continue to have cases in the people who work these jobs,” he said.

Residents of 50 of Bucks County’s 54 municipalities have tested positive for the virus, with Hulmeville Borough added today. A map showing those municipalities and charts of other coronavirus-related information is on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com/

April 7, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Larry R. King, 215-348-6413lrking@buckscounty.org

The Pennsylvania Department of Health today announced 78 new deaths among people with COVID-19, the largest one-day increase since the crisis began. A total of 240 Pennsylvanians had died as of this morning.

Thirty of the new deaths were from Philadelphia, and 12 from Montgomery County.

New cases also shot up by 1,579, bringing the statewide total to 14,599 across all 67 counties. Yet the 10.8 percent increase was the lowest daily percentage increase since the crisis began.

In Bucks County, which has the state’s third-highest number of fatalities, four more coronavirus-related deaths were reported, raising the county’s total to 24. Three men, ages 101, 78 and 64, and a 76-year-old woman, died.

All four had underlying health issues, said Dr. David Damsker, director of the Bucks County Health Department.

The deaths came on a day when 104 new cases were reported in Bucks, only five of which were attributed to community spread, Damsker said. Roughly three-quarters of the new cases were among healthcare workers or employees and residents of long-term care facilities and other congregate living settings.

“We have had some outbreaks at long-term care faclities, and a few deaths,” Damsker said. His words were echoed by Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine, who said that 664 healthcare workers statewide have tested positive for COVID-19, along with 674 cases reported at long-term care facilities.

Damsker continued to stress that Bucks County’s current total of 816 confirmed cases is almost certainly dwarfed by the actual number of infections in the community, judging from the number of people who are presumed to have the virus but are not being tested.

“This is a vast underrepresentation of the cases in the community,” Damsker said, “and I believe that to also be the case throughout Pennsylvania.”

Statewide, Levine said 1,665 COVID-19 patients are hospitalized, including 548 on ventilators. Despite that number, she said, more than half of Pennsylvania’s hospital beds, 40 percent of its ICU beds and 70 percent of its supply of ventilators remain available.

In Bucks County, 51 coronavirus patients are hospitalized, 11 of whom are in critical condition and on ventilators. At least 134 county residents are now confirmed to have recovered from COVID-19 and have been released from isolation.

Residents of 49 of Bucks County’s 54 municipalities have tested positive for the virus, with Bridgeton Township added today. A map showing those municipalities and charts of other coronavirus-related information is on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com/

April 6, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Larry R. King, 215-348-6413lrking@buckscounty.org

Eighty new COVID-19 cases pushed the county’s total to 713 today, while three more residents with coronavirus died.

The large number of new cases is not a sign of a surge taking hold, said Bucks County Health Department Director Dr. David Damsker.  More than half of the new cases came from a single private laboratory that was reporting multiple days of results, he said.

“We are definitely seeing a larger chunk of cases happening among healthcare providers,” Damsker said, along with others who have jobs requiring them to work in close proximity to fellow workers and members of the public.

“Everybody wants to talk about the surge,” Damsker said, but he said it has not been seen among the general population that has been self-isolating at home. “If we have a surge, it’s going to be in the healthcare providers, workers and residents in congregate settings, and the people who have to be out there working essential jobs that bring them into contact with a lot of people. However, given the new masking recommendations, we hope that will help reduce the risk of these outbreaks over the next two weeks.”

While Bucks County’s cases have risen steadily, an increasing number of patients also are recovering. Approximately 110 people are confirmed to have recovered and have been removed from isolation.

Today’s three deaths once again were among elderly people with underlying health issues: a man in his early 90s, a woman in her late 80s and a second man in his late 80s. Twenty county residents with coronavirus have now died.

Thirty-six patients are hospitalized, 12 of them in critical condition on ventilators.

Pennsylvania’s death toll stood at 162 at the beginning of the day as the statewide case total reached almost 13,000 across all but two of the commonwealth’s 67 counties.

Residents of 48 of Bucks County’s 54 municipalities have tested positive for the virus. A map showing those municipalities and charts of other coronavirus-related information is on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com/

UPDATE : April 2, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Larry R. King, 215-348-6413, lrking@buckscounty.org

Two elderly Bucks County residents with COVID-19 died today as the county’s coronavirus death toll rose to eight.

The victims, a 79-year-old man and an 82-year-old woman, both had underlying health conditions, said county Health Director Dr. David Damsker.

Seventy-seven new COVID-19 cases were reported today, Damsker said, more than half of which came from a private testing company that submitted multiple days of results. The onset of symptoms in some of those cases dated back as far as three weeks, he said.

The daily trend lately has been for between 35 and 55 new cases, Damsker said, adding that he did not see today’s high total as a true deviation because of the large dump of results from the one company.

The new reports brought the county’s total to 450 positive tests. Sixty-seven of those have recovered fully and have been released from isolation.

Thirty-five Bucks County residents are hospitalized with COVID-19, Damsker said, 12 of whom are in critical condition.Map

While no one knows when COVID-19 will peak in Pennsylvania, Damsker said at a news briefing earlier in the day, “I do think it’s reasonable to say that, given the social distancing that is in place, we will start to see it fairly soon.”

Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said that Southeast and Northeast Pennsylvania are her main areas of concern for possible patient surges that could stretch the capacities of hospitals.

Damsker said that hospital capacity is not yet an issue in Bucks County – “They’re very busy, but I don’t think they’re overwhelmed yet,” he said – but all have plans to increase their capacities if necessary.

Emergency Services Director Scott T. Forster added that the county is evaluating closed medical facilities in Upper and Lower Bucks County that could help accommodate a surge. Such planning, along with a large shipment of protective equipment that arrived this week for first responders, medical professionals and others, is “putting the citizens of Bucks County in a good position to receive care while our public safety professionals and our healthcare workers are protecting themselves from becoming ill or bringing it home to their families,” Forster said.

Statewide, more than 7,000 Pennsylvanians in 62 counties have tested positive for COVID-19, with more than 90 deaths reported.

Residents of 48 of Bucks County’s 54 municipalities have tested positive for the virus, with East Rockland Township and New Britain, New Hope and Silverdale Boroughs added today. A map showing those municipalities is on the county’s data portal https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com/

The portal was updated today to reflect the distribution of positive cases by age range and gender, to show the gender breakdown of hospitalized patients, and to chart the rise in the number of overall cases.

UPDATE : April 1. 2020

April 1, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Larry R. King, 215-348-6413, lrking@buckscounty.org

After many days of combing public and private sources for personal protective equipment for first responders, medical workers and others enmeshed in the COVID-19 crisis, Bucks County today received large shipments of several items from a number of suppliers.

Emergency Services Director Scott T. Forster announced that about 21,000 N-95 masks, 21,000 surgical masks, 1,700 face shields, 1,600 surgical gowns and thousands of protective gloves had arrived at the Emergency Operations Center in Ivyland. IMG_0052 (3)

While Forster conducted a mid-afternoon news briefing outside a loading bay of the EOC, county workers worked inside the bay to sort and prepare the shipments for delivery to police departments, emergency medical services, hospitals, longterm care facilities and others.

“By the end of this week, these supplies will be in their hands,” Forster said.

Within the next few days, he added, another 10,000 N-95 masks, 2,800 face shields, 8,000 gowns and hundreds of cases of gloves are expected to arrive, followed next week by 10,000 more N-95 masks and additional cleaning supplies.

“These are materials that are very hard to get, and were obtained only after calling dozens of vendors,” as well as the state and federal governments, Forster said. “And little by little, everyone has come through to provide us with the equipment that our folks need to be sure that they’re safe while they take care of our residents.” IMG_0076 (2)

All of the N-95 masks received today came from the federal government’s Strategic National Stockpile, as did about half of the surgical masks. The rest were purchased with county funds, about 75 percent of which Forster said should be eligible for federal COVID-19 reimbursement.

Forster said the new shipments should ensure that workers needing PPE in Bucks County are well-supplied for now. “Unfortunately, in the coming weeks we are going to see an increase in our cases and the number of people we have to take care of,” he added.

The county has also been evaluating two unused medical facilities in Upper and Lower Bucks County to serve as medical surge facilities if needed. “We had an assessment done yesterday by the Army Corps of Engineers, and we are awaiting the results of that assessment to see if we will be able to partner with the owners of those facilities, as well as the state, to open (them) so that we can use them for patient overflow” if it is needed, Forster said. IMG_0041 (2)

The deliveries came as welcome news on a day that 55 new COVID-19 cases were identified in the county, raising the total to 373. There were no new deaths, but 32 patients are hospitalized, including 10 in critical condition, said Dr. David Damsker, director of the Bucks County Department of Health.


UPDATE : March 31, 2020

March 30, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Larry R. King, 215-348-6413, lrking@buckscounty.org

Bucks County’s confirmed total of COVID-19 cases reached 288 today as 39 new cases were reported.

Twenty-four residents are hospitalized; 15 in stable condition and nine listed in critical condition in intensive care units.

Bucks County Health Department Director Dr. David Damsker cautioned the public to remember that the official count is almost certainly a small fraction of the true number of COVID-19 infections in the county. He said residents should assume that the virus is well-established in their communities – because it almost certainly is – and that they should act accordingly.

“We know that the numbers are way undercounted,” Damsker said, citing the limited testing being done and the county’s own advice that people with mild symptoms stay home, isolate themselves and forgo testing, thus saving medical resources and emergency rooms for people who are more seriously ill.

“We don’t want anybody thinking that we only have 288 cases in Bucks County,” Damsker said. “You can get infected anywhere you go in the area.”

There were no new fatalities in the county today after three older adults with underlying medical issues died over the weekend.

Residents of 43 Bucks County municipalities have tested positive for the virus, with first-time cases reported today in Richland and Springfield Townships, and in Quakertown and Trumbauersville Boroughs. A map showing those municipalities on the county’s data portal https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com/ will continue to be updated as new cases arise.

Gov. Tom Wolf, meanwhile, extended to April 30 his stay-at-home order, which effectively shuts down 26 counties for everything but essential, “life-sustaining” businesses and activities. The list of affected counties, which includes Bucks and those that surround it, was expanded today to include Carbon, Cumberland, Dauphin and Schuylkill Counties.

Wolf also announced that all Pennsylvania schools will remain closed indefinitely.

“Businesses and school closures will no longer have a set day to resume normal operations,” the governor said. “We’re going to keep our schools and businesses closed as long as we need to keep them closed to keep Pennsylvania safe.”

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, there had been 4,087 confirmed coronavirus cases statewide at the beginning of today, including at least 48 deaths.

Damsker, the Bucks County Commissioners and Emergency Services Director Scott T. Forster will provide a news briefing via videoconference at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday to provide local updates on the COVID-19 crisis. The county plans to stream the briefing live on its Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/BucksCountyGovt/


UPDATE : March 30, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Larry R. King, 215-348-6413lrking@buckscounty.org

Two more Bucks County residents died today from COVID-19, bringing the county’s death toll to three – all in the past two days.

Both of today’s deaths were elderly people in fragile health before catching the virus. One, a woman in her 90s, had severe and longstanding pulmonary issues. The other, a man in his 80s, also had chronic underlying conditions. Both died in hospital intensive care units.

On Saturday, a man in his 60s became the county’s first coronavirus fatality. He, too, suffered from underlying health conditions.

Eighteen county residents remain hospitalized for treatment of COVID-19, said Dr. David Damsker, director of the Bucks County Health Department. Eleven are in stable condition and seven are on ventilators in critical condition.

Thirty-two more residents have tested positive for the virus since Saturday, Damsker said. The county’s case total now stands officially at 249, he said, a number that he considers a gross underestimation of the number of residents who actually have the virus.

He continued to urge anyone who experiences the milder common symptoms of COVID-19 – runny nose, cough, fever, and especially loss of taste and smell – to “assume you have it, stay at home, and treat your family members accordingly” by keeping them at home and isolated from any family members with underlying health conditions.

Damsker said there is no immediate need for anyone not employed in an essential job who experiences only mild symptoms to get tested, given the ongoing shortage of available testing and busy emergency rooms.

Despite the rising number of cases, Damsker said he continues to be encouraged by the apparent lack of community spread in most of them. Only one or two of the new cases could not be traced to a likely source of infection, such as travel to New York or contact with someone known to be infected already.

Statewide, almost 4,000 Pennsylvanians have tested positive for COVID-19, Health Secretary Rachel Levine said, including 38 deaths. She said more than 316 people had been hospitalized, 110 of whom who required ICU treatment.

And the Wolf administration, in response to the deepening financial fallout from the virus, laid off about 2,500 part-time employees, seasonal workers and interns on Friday, placing them on “leave without pay” with no timeline for calling them back to work.

Residents of 39 Bucks County municipalities have tested positive for the virus, with first-time cases reported today in Tinicum Township and Dublin and Langhorne Manor Boroughs. A map showing those municipalities on the county’s data portal https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com/ will continue to be updated as new cases arise.


UPDATE : March 20, 2020

March 20, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Doylestown Township continues to update its response to the ongoing and dynamic COVID-19 public health emergency.

On March 17, 2020, the Doylestown Township Supervisors issued a Declaration of Disaster Emergency.

First, Doylestown Township is maintaining ALL essential services. The Police, Fire, and Emergency Medical Services continue normal operations. Township officials are coordinating planning and response measures with the input and guidance from the Bucks County Health Department, Bucks County Emergency Management, and the CDC protocols.

The Doylestown Township Municipal Authority that provides our residents with public water is operating normally.

Township Administrative Offices will be closed March 23, 2020 through April 3, 2020 the offices will remain closed through April 3, 2020 at which time the Supervisors will reassess the situation.

The Township will not be conducting inspections or reviewing permit applications through this time. This includes all residential and commercial construction. All work on Township issued permits must cease immediately per Governor Wolf’s March 19th Order mandating the closure of all businesses that aren’t “life sustaining”.

The Board of Supervisors is cancelling its regularly scheduled meeting for April 7, 2020. The Board will hold its regularly scheduled meeting on April 21, 2020.

All Township trails, and open space remain open and available for use. All other Park System amenities (including the Dog Park, Kids Castle, all Playground equipment, Sensory Trail, restrooms, courts, and pavilions in our Township parks are CLOSED. All Township fields are CLOSED to groups.

All parks and recreation programs, activities and events scheduled are canceled until further notice.

The Township reminds everyone that the Covid-19 Coronavirus situation is rapidly evolving and that things are changing quickly. Please visit the Bucks County Health Department, Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the PA Department of Health websites for the latest bulletins and updates. Doylestown Township will continue to post any local changes for residents on our website at www.doylestownpa.org or on social media.


UPDATE : March 14, 2020

Bucks Health Officials Urge Compliance with State COVID-19 Precautions

March 14, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Larry R. King, 215-348-6413lrking@buckscounty.org

The Bucks County Health Department today urged all county residents to follow the recommendations issued this week by Gov. Tom Wolf and Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Rachel Levine to help limit the spread of coronavirus.

“I strongly encourage the statewide suspension of large gatherings, events, conferences of 250 individuals or more and discourage people from traveling to recreational activities such as gyms, movie theaters and shopping malls,” Wolf said. “And while people are free to travel, I ask that everyone refrain from non-essential travel.

“We all need to do our part to help stop the spread of the coronavirus,” the governor said. “The time to do this is now. We cannot wait.”

To read the fill article, CLICK HERE.


  • Doylestown Township will close park amenities including athletic fields, Kids Castle, Central Park bathrooms and the Dog Park. The Township will also suspend any Park & Recreation programs and activities. In addition, the Township has cancelled all public events and meetings through April 30, 2020 to insure the health, safety and well being of our community until April 30, 2020.
    *The Park and Recreation Department will contact those who has already paid for programs and activities to discuss credit options
  • The Environmental Advisory Councils ’10 Days for Trees’ events that were scheduled to be held April 16 through April 25 have been cancelled and will be rescheduled for a later date. The Arbor Day tree planting event that was scheduled for Saturday, April 25 has also been cancelled and will be suspended until the fall.
  • The Leaf and Yard Waste Recycling event scheduled for Saturday, March 21 is cancelled and will not be open for operation.

Though the administrative offices remain open at this time, there are opportunities to conduct Township business via email, fax, over the phone and online.

info@doylestownpa.org  | TEL: (215) 348-9915  |  FAX: (215) 348-8729  |  425 Wells Road Doylestown, PA 18901  |  www.doylestownpa.org


Updated 4/2/2020 8:00 AM 

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