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2020 News

Three Bucks Residents Die of COVID-19, Doubling County’s Death Toll

March 31, 2020

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

Three more Bucks County residents who had COVID-19 died today, raising the county’s number of deaths from the virus to six.

All three were older with chronic, underlying health issues. Two were men, one in his 90s, the other in his 80s; the third was a woman in her 60s.

Two were not known to have had the coronavirus until after they died.

Thirty-one more county residents tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the county’s total cases to 319. Twenty-nine are hospitalized, nine in critical condition. 

“We continue to express our sympathies to the families in these cases,” Dr. David Damsker, director of the county’s health department, said of today’s fatalities. He said the deaths have followed the predicted trend that older people with chronic health issues are the most susceptible to severe symptoms from the virus, and therefore need the most protection.

Damsker said the new cases continued to demonstrate little community spread, meaning that cases whose source of infection was not known were people required to work in essential jobs or who had traveled out of the area.

“I do think that the social distancing is beginning to work,” he said.

Statewide, 4,963 Pennsylvanians have tested positive for COVID-19, with 37,645 negative results. At least 63 people have died.

Residents of 44 Bucks County municipalities have tested positive for the virus, with Morrisville Borough added to the list today. 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. More detailed reporting of cases is expected to be added in the coming days.

Gov. Tom Wolf announced that he was extending his stay-at-home orders to include seven more counties: Cameron, Crawford, Forest, Franklin, Lawrence, Lebanon and Somerset. Almost half of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties – 33 – are now under the stay-at-home orders until April 30.

Wolf also announced President Trump’s approval of part of his request for a major disaster declaration, which would make funds available to reimburse state, county and local government expenses from the COVID-19 response.

Those governments, along with eligible private non-profits, can be reimbursed for up to 75 percent of eligible expenses, including overtime pay, materials and equipment purchases. The declaration also provides federal materials and supplies to support state and local response efforts.