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2020 News

Weekly Death Total in Bucks Hits 61; State Infections Top 40,000

April 25, 2020

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

Bucks County’s COVID-19 death rate continued to accelerate over the past week as 61 people who had tested positive for the virus have died since last Saturday.

The county health department today reported six more deaths, all of them elderly residents of long-term care facilities who had underlying health conditions. Almost all of the deaths that have occurred over the past week have been older people from congregate living facilities.

The deaths announced today included three men and three women ranging in age from 91 to 78. The average age of those with COVID-19 who have died in Bucks County is 84.

The week’s fatality total exceeded  by 16 the previous week’s total of 45 deaths, which had been the highest weekly death toll. .

County health officials also announced 72 new positive cases today, pushing the county’s total to 2,541. Such numbers do not bode well for Bucks County being able to re-open its economy anytime soon, based on metrics laid out this week by Gov. Tom Wolf and clarified today.

Wolf’s plan, which would allow regions to re-open certain businesses and child care once they reach certain markers, requires an infection rate of no more than 50 per 100,000 residents over a 14-day period. Until today, it was unclear whether Wolf meant that as a daily total or a cumulative two-week total to be divided by 14 days.

The governor’s office today clarified that it was the latter.

Based on Bucks County’s population, the county must have no more than about 320 positive cases over a 14-day period, or an average of about 23 per day. Bucks County has been nowhere near that standard lately; in fact, positive tests have been increasing recently as more healthcare workers and staff and residents of long-term care facilities have been undergoing testing.

Wolf said that North Central and Northwest Pennsylvania, where population density is low and confirmed cases have been relatively infrequent, are the most likely to have their restrictions eased beginning May 8. He has indicated no timetable for Southeast Pennsylvania, which has been the state’s hardest-hit region.

Statewide, the total number of COVID-19 infections exceeded 40,000 today for the first time. There were 1,397 new cases reported across Pennsylvania, along with a total of 1,537 deaths.

A total of 208 Bucks County coronavirus patients are hospitalized, 24 of them in critical condition and on ventilators. Five hundred seventy-one patients have been confirmed to 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