DOYLESTOWN >> During a span in which new COVID-19 cases rose precipitously across both Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Bucks County managed to hold the line last week on new infections, showing almost no increase over the previous seven days.
The county’s new case numbers for Oct. 4-10 totaled 229, an average of almost 33 per day and one more than the previous week’s total of 228.
Infections spread within households and as a result of gatherings with family and friends continued to rise, accounting for 47 percent of last week’s new infections.
Hospitalizations remained low, with seven county residents hospitalized with coronavirus as of Saturday, one of whom was in critical condition and on a ventilator. The county’s seven-day positivity rate dropped to 2.8 percent of those tested compared to 3.7 percent the previous week.
Bucks County’s new case totals stood in contrast to statewide trends in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Through Oct. 8, Pennsylvania’s average number of new daily cases had increased by 16 percent over the previous week, and New Jersey’s increased by 21 percent, according to a data analysis published by The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Pennsylvania reported 1,742 new cases on Saturday, the state’s highest one-day total since Apri1 11, and the third-highest one-day total since the pandemic began. However, more than twice as many COVID tests are being done daily today than in April.
Gov. Tom Wolf said last week he was “very concerned” about the increasing state numbers, which health officials blamed largely on infections among people ages 18 to 22.
Because of the relatively young age of those accounting for the latest spike, hospitalizations remain low statewide, though they are rising.
“Younger people have mild courses of illness, and medical care has improved for those at higher risk of COVID complications,” said Bucks County Health Department Director Dr. David Damsker. “Things will likely remain this way for the foreseeable future. We must continue to protect the vulnerable while using common sense to keep moving forward as a society.”
The county did report five COVID deaths last week, although three of the deaths occurred in September. The decedents ranged in age from 84 to 97, all had underlying health conditions and three resided in long-term care facilities.
Eighteen of last week’s Bucks County cases were delayed reports no longer considered to be infectious, the health department reported.
Of the 229 cases in Bucks last week, 108 were traced to household contacts and 46 to community spread. Twenty resulted from infections at non-healthcare workplaces, 15 were infected during out-of-state travel, 12 are residents or workers at long-term care facilities, six are healthcare workers, one occurred at the county prison and 21 were unable to complete a full interview immediately.
Through Saturday, Bucks County has had 8,690 residents test positive for COVID-19 during the pandemic. A total of 532 deaths have been attributed to the virus, including 416 long-term care residents, while 7,751 are confirmed to have recovered.
The county’s death total was adjusted downward slightly this week after a review of the death data found several errors, such as duplicate reports.
The median age of those who have been infected in Bucks is 49, while the median age of death is 84.
Statistics, charts and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com.