DOYLESTOWN >> Bucks County’s confirmed total of COVID-19 cases reached 288 on Monday as 39 new cases were reported.
Twenty-four residents are hospitalized; 15 in stable condition and nine listed in critical condition in intensive care units.
Bucks County Health Department Director Dr. David Damsker cautioned the public to remember that the official count is almost certainly a small fraction of the true number of COVID-19 infections in the county. He said residents should assume that the virus is well-established in their communities – because it almost certainly is – and that they should act accordingly.
“We know that the numbers are way undercounted,” Damsker said, citing the limited testing being done and the county’s own advice that people with mild symptoms stay home, isolate themselves and forgo testing, thus saving medical resources and emergency rooms for people who are more seriously ill.
“We don’t want anybody thinking that we only have 288 cases in Bucks County,” Damsker said. “You can get infected anywhere you go in the area.”
There were no new fatalities in the county on Monday after three older adults with underlying medical issues died over the weekend.
Residents of 43 Bucks County municipalities have tested positive for the virus, with first-time cases reported on Monday in Richland and Springfield Townships, and in Quakertown and Trumbauersville Boroughs. 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.
Gov. Tom Wolf, meanwhile, extended to April 30 his stay-at-home order, which effectively shuts down 26 counties for everything but essential, “life-sustaining” businesses and activities. The list of affected counties, which includes Bucks and those that surround it, was expanded on Monday to include Carbon, Cumberland, Dauphin and Schuylkill Counties.
Wolf also announced that all Pennsylvania schools will remain closed indefinitely.
“Businesses and school closures will no longer have a set day to resume normal operations,” the governor said. “We’re going to keep our schools and businesses closed as long as we need to keep them closed to keep Pennsylvania safe.”
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, there had been 4,087 confirmed coronavirus cases statewide at the beginning of Monday, including at least 48 deaths.