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2020 News

New Cases Continue to Center on Health Workers, Care Facilities

April 24, 2020

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

The COVID-19 pandemic continues on a familiar path, with two-thirds of the county’s 148 new cases today afflicting healthcare workers or residents and staff of long-term care facilities.

Seven more deaths were announced, all among older people who lived in long-term care. The decedents included four women and three men ranging in age from 93 to 68, all with underlying health conditions. A total of 135 county residents with the coronavirus have died

Health Department Director Dr. David Damsker said community spread cases remained low, accounting for no more than 10 percent of the new infections, while the virus continues to thrive among those living or working in close quarters.

“The only possible silver lining to any of this is that by the time we start to re-open, we will have a large population of healthcare workers and older residents in long-term care who are immune to the virus,” Damsker said. “So when we do have resurgences at some point – and we will – these congregate living facilities will not be as hard-hit as they are now.”

Gov. Tom Wolf, who has said that shuttered businesses in sparsely populated areas of the state may be allowed to start re-opening May 8, has offered no timetable for southeast Pennsylvania, where COVID-19 has been most prevalent. Even after re-opening, counties and regions will be closely monitored for upticks of the virus.

More than 38,000 Pennsylvanians have been diagnosed with the disease, and 1,492 of them have died. The state has returned to listing only those deaths occurring in people who have tested positive for COVID-19, rather than including cases involving “probable” infections, a practice that stirred up much criticism.

Across Pennsylvania, as in Bucks County, well over half of the deaths have occurred among residents of long-term care facilities.

A total of 197 Bucks County coronavirus patients are hospitalized, 25 in critical condition and on ventilators, while 561 have recovered and have been released from isolation.

Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com