DOYLESTOWN >> On the eve of Gov. Tom Wolf’s announcement of the next counties to be allowed to reopen, Bucks County reported 51 new COVID-19 infections and six deaths.
The leading cause of the new cases was transmission between people who share a household.
Sixteen cases came from household contacts, 15 are among residents of long-term care facilities, four are healthcare workers, two are long-term care employees and three were attributed to pure community spread, the Bucks County Department of Health reported. Twelve were unable to be interviewed today.
The six reported deaths, one of which occurred in April and another two weeks ago, all involved people with underlying health conditions. They ranged in age from 74 to 96, and all but one lived in long-term care facilities.
At an afternoon news conference on May 21, the county commissioners expressed hope that Wolf would allow Bucks to move soon into the yellow phase of his reopening plan, enabling many closed businesses and daycares to reopen. They cited the county’s unique collection of data as part of the reason.
“I’m still praying for yellow coming tomorrow,” Commissioners Chair Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia said.
“We feel that there needs to be a different look at some of the metrics established by the state early on,” Commissioner Bob Harvie said. He praised residents for being compliant so far with Wolf’s stay-at-home orders, and credited the health department with gathering better data than other counties through its long-running program of contact tracing and case investigation.
“I think the data is really moving in the right direction,” Harvie said. “I’m really hopeful that we’re going to be recognized for all that hard work.”
Commissioner Gene DiGirolamo said he remains “hopeful and optimistic that we’re going to be included in whatever group is going to be moving to yellow tomorrow….I absolutely believe that we are ready to move to yellow, and do it safely.”
A total of 126 patients are hospitalized, 23 of whom are in critical condition and on ventilators.
Since the pandemic began, Bucks has had 4,536 residents infected with COVID-19, 411 of whom have died and 1,366 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.