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2020 News

State Reports 78 COVID-19 Deaths; Largest One-Day Increase in PA

April 7, 2020

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

The Pennsylvania Department of Health today announced 78 new deaths among people with COVID-19, the largest one-day increase since the crisis began. A total of 240 Pennsylvanians had died as of this morning.

Thirty of the new deaths were from Philadelphia, and 12 from Montgomery County.

New cases also shot up by 1,579, bringing the statewide total to 14,599 across all 67 counties. Yet the 10.8 percent increase was the lowest daily percentage increase since the crisis began.

In Bucks County, which has the state’s third-highest number of fatalities, four more coronavirus-related deaths were reported, raising the county’s total to 24. Three men, ages 101, 78 and 64, and a 76-year-old woman, died.

All four had underlying health issues, said Dr. David Damsker, director of the Bucks County Health Department.

The deaths came on a day when 104 new cases were reported in Bucks, only five of which were attributed to community spread, Damsker said. Roughly three-quarters of the new cases were among healthcare workers or employees and residents of long-term care facilities and other congregate living settings.

“We have had some outbreaks at long-term care faclities, and a few deaths,” Damsker said. His words were echoed by Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine, who said that 664 healthcare workers statewide have tested positive for COVID-19, along with 674 cases reported at long-term care facilities.

Damsker continued to stress that Bucks County’s current total of 816 confirmed cases is almost certainly dwarfed by the actual number of infections in the community, judging from the number of people who are presumed to have the virus but are not being tested.

“This is a vast underrepresentation of the cases in the community,” Damsker said, “and I believe that to also be the case throughout Pennsylvania.”

Statewide, Levine said 1,665 COVID-19 patients are hospitalized, including 548 on ventilators. Despite that number, she said, more than half of Pennsylvania’s hospital beds, 40 percent of its ICU beds and 70 percent of its supply of ventilators remain available.

In Bucks County, 51 coronavirus patients are hospitalized, 11 of whom are in critical condition and on ventilators. At least 134 county residents are now confirmed to have recovered from COVID-19 and have been released from isolation.

Residents of 49 of Bucks County’s 54 municipalities have tested positive for the virus, with Bridgeton Township added today. A map showing those municipalities and charts of other coronavirus-related information is on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com/