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2020 News

Bucks COVID Cases Jump 45%; Hospitalizations, Positivity Rate Still Low

October 26, 2020

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

The record COVID-19 spike striking Pennsylvania and the rest of the nation hit Bucks County last week, though not as hard as much of the rest of the state.

The county’s case count increased by about 18 per day from Oct. 18 – 24 to a total of 383, an average of about 55 new cases per day. Such numbers have not been seen in Bucks since May, but they have not begun to approach the record levels seen nationwide or statewide in the past week.

On the national level, the United States had more daily COVID cases in the past week than at any time in the pandemic, including more than 83,000 reported on Friday and Saturday, both daily records.

Pennsylvania, meanwhile, posted three straight days of more than 2,000 new COVID cases last week, including a record-setting 2,219 on Friday. The positivity rate for people tested for coronavirus rose to 5 percent from 4.2 percent the week before.

Bucks County’s hospitalizations remained low last week, with 14 residents hospitalized, two in critical condition and on ventilators. Also encouraging was the county’s relatively low 3.3 percent positivity rate.

While 30 of Pennsylvania’s counties posted positivity rates that state officials labeled “concerning,” Bucks was not among them, and its rate of transmission was considered “moderate.”

One Bucks County death was reported: a 57-year-old man with a history of underlying health conditions.

Household spread and social gatherings with friends and family continued to rise last week, as it has for several weeks running, accounting for 49 percent of last week’s new cases. Infections attributed to community spread also rose, reaching 22 percent of the weekly total.

“Despite seeing case increases, deaths and serious illnesses remain low.  That’s the good news,” said Bucks County Health Department Director Dr. David Damsker. “However, people continue to attend parties and other social gatherings where masks and social distancing seem to disappear - this accounts for many of our additional cases.

“While we understand there is some COVID ‘fatigue’, let’s not forget that anyone with whom you come into contact may have the virus,” Damsker said.

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

Of the 383 cases in Bucks, 187 were traced to household contacts, 83 to community spread, 32 to out-of-state travel, and 17 to workplace infections. Eleven are residents or employees of long-term care facilities, nine are healthcare workers, and 44 were unable to be interviewed in full.

Through Saturday, Bucks County has had 9,342 residents test positive for COVID-19 during the pandemic. A total of 535 deaths have been attributed to the virus, including 416 long-term care residents, while 8,262 are confirmed to have recovered.

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, Nov. 2.

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