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2020 News

First Bucks County COVID-19 Death Announced Among 36 New Cases

March 28, 2020

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

A man in his 60s with a history of underlying health conditions died from COVID-19 today in a Bucks County intensive care unit – the county’s first death of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We regret having to announce this sad news to our community, and we extend our sincere condolences to this man’s family and friends,” County Commissioners Chair Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia said.

The victim died less than a day after being admitted to the ICU on Friday. Testing confirmed that he had COVID-19, said Dr. David Damsker, director of the Bucks County Health Department.

“We’ve known, from the experiences elsewhere in the commonwealth, the country and in other countries that once you have community spread of coronavirus, some of our most vulnerable people may die from this disease,” Damsker said. “This is what we are seeking to limit through our social distancing measures.”

Damsker expressed his condolences to the victim’s loved ones while stressing that the vast majority of Bucks County cases so far have resulted in more moderate symptoms.

“As tragic as this death is, it is not typical of what we have been experiencing in most of the people who have tested positive,” he said. Map

Twenty Bucks County residents are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, 13 in stable condition and seven on ventilators in critical condition. Most of those in intensive care are older adults with underlying medical conditions.

The deceased man was among 36 new cases reported today to the county health department, almost all of them the result of known contacts with infected persons or out-of-state travel, Damsker said. Bucks County now has had 216 confirmed cases of COVID-19. (One negative lab result was incorrectly reported to the health department Friday as positive.)

In a briefing early this afternoon, Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said the commonwealth has 2,751 total cases, including 533 new positive results over the previous 24 hours. The statewide death toll stood at 34, she said.

Gov. Tom Wolf announced that he is extending his stay-at-home order to Beaver, Centre and Washington Counties. “We’re starting to see the virus rear its ugly head in every corner of the commonwealth,” Wolf said, urging residents to continue to stay at home except for life-sustaining purposes.

Residents of 22 counties, including Bucks and all of its surrounding Pennsylvania counties, are now under Wolf’s stay-at-home directive. 

Residents of 36 Bucks County municipalities have tested positive for the virus, with first-time cases reported today in Bristol Borough and West Rockhill Township. 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.