DOYLESTOWN >> As Gov. Tom Wolf said he was easing restrictions in 12 more Pennsylvania counties, the increase in COVID-19 cases continued to moderate in Bucks County, with 58 new infections announced on May 15.
Eight more deaths were also announced in Bucks, all of which occurred over the past three days. All of the deceased, who ranged in age from 100 to 57, were residents of long-term care facilities and had underlying health conditions.
Nineteen of the new cases are among long-term care residents, as well as three among staff. Fourteen caught the virus from a household member, three at healthcare jobs, and two at other workplaces. Seven were attributed to pure community spread, and nine were unable to be interviewed.
“The overall decreased case count is very encouraging, and provides evidence that our actions have made a huge difference,” Health Department Director Dr. David Damsker said. “I am truly optimistic today, and hope the next several days continue the same trend.”
Wolf has given no indication yet of when Bucks County might be allowed to move from stay-at-home “red” status to “yellow” status, in which most businesses and daycare facilities would be allowed to open, albeit with strict social distancing precautions.
The counties that were announced on May 15 by the governor will be allowed to move to yellow status next Friday. Most are in the southcentral and northeast portions of the state. The counties are Adams, Beaver, Carbon, Columbia, Cumberland, Juniata, Mifflin, Perry, Susquehanna, Wyoming, Wayne and York.
Thirteen other counties in Western Pennsylvania moved to yellow status on May 15, joining 24 additional counties, mostly with sparse populations, that partially reopened two weeks ago.
That leaves Bucks and 14 other Pennsylvania counties in the same situation: closed with no word of a reopening date. Those 15 counties comprise about 60 percent of the state’s population.
A total of 182 Bucks residents remain hospitalized, with 19 in critical condition and on ventilators. Of the county’s 4,250 cases to date, 1,200 are confirmed to have recovered and 367 have died. All but 60 of the deaths have been residents of long-term care facilities who had underlying health conditions.
Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com.