DOYLESTOWN >> Since Friday, May 22 when Gov. Tom Wolf announced that Bucks County would be allowed to start reopening on June 5, the county has posted its lowest four-day total of new COVID-19 cases in two months.
The Bucks County Health Department reported 30 new infections on Saturday, May 23; 22 on Sunday, May 24; 24 on Monday, May 25 and 27 on May 26. The four-day total of 103 was the lowest since March 23-26, when the county had 87 new cases reported.
“We’re seeing the true payoff of the difficult sacrifices our residents and businesses have made to stop COVID-19,” said Health Department Director Dr. David Damsker. “If we all keep doing the little things like masking, hand sanitizing and social distancing, we will be able to keep the case numbers down. That’s how we will get to ‘green’ in the next several weeks.”
Eighteen deaths were reported over the same four-day period, all with underlying health conditions and all but four living in long-term care facilities. Sixteen were over age 70, one was 52 and one was 32.
Wolf announced on May 22 that all counties still under his stay-at-home shutdown orders by June 4 are expected to move into the so-called “yellow” phase of his reopening plan the next day. That means most businesses that now are closed will be allowed to reopen with certain safety restrictions.
Several counties that have been in the yellow phase for several weeks are expected to move into the “green” phase of few restrictions later this week.
Bucks County’s drop in new cases mirrored the trend across Pennsylvania in recent days. May 25's new-case count of 473 was the lowest statewide number in two months. In the May 26 announcement, the number of new cases dropped to 451.
Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine called the numbers “very good news,” for a state in which there have been 68,637 infections reported since the pandemic began.
“This is especially encouraging, considering that we have increased our testing capabilities,” Levine said.
According to Gov. Wolf, testing has increased from 50,000 in the last week of April to almost 80,000 in the last week.
Of the 103 new Bucks County cases since May 22, 26 are long-term care residents, 18 were infected by household members, 17 were attributed to pure community spread, 10 were associated with healthcare workplaces, eight were infected working other jobs, three were long-term care workers and 21 were not able to be interviewed immediately.
A total of 105 patients are hospitalized, 23 of whom are in critical condition and on ventilators.
Since the pandemic began, Bucks has had 4,672 residents infected with COVID-19, 436 of whom have died and 1,473 of whom are confirmed to have recovered.
Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com. An interactive Bucks County map showing numbers of active infections by municipality can be found here.