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2020 News

Two More Bucks County COVID-19 Deaths Announced; Toll Now at 3

March 29, 2020

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