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2020 News

19 New Infections Reported; Lowest Daily Total in Bucks Since March 26

May 28, 2020

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

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.

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