DOYLESTOWN >> Hospitalizations in Bucks County due to COVID-19 dropped by nearly half in the first three days of September, falling to their lowest point since the early days of the pandemic.
Seven Bucks County residents were in the hospital with the novel coronavirus as of Thursday, Sept. 3 down from 12 earlier in the week. Of the seven cases, two patients are in critical condition and on ventilators.
Hospitalizations were last this low March 25 – roughly two weeks after the county confirmed its first two cases on March 10 – when Bucks County had just six hospitalized patients.
“It’s very encouraging that our hospitalization numbers continue to drop. That, to me, is the real factor to watch," said Health Department Director Dr. David Damsker. "Case counts will continue to fluctuate up and down for a long time to come, but they start to matter less and less if people aren’t getting seriously ill.”
But as hospitalizations fell, a bump of 57 new confirmed cases Thursday, Sept. 3 inflated the three-day average to its highest level in weeks.
Since Tuesday, Sept. 1 the county averaged 37 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus per day with a total of 111 new cases recorded since the start of the month. Four of those case were delayed reports and are no longer believed to be infectious.
Household spread as well as new infections among residents and staff of long-term care facilities drove much of the increase, with 37 reports of the former and 22 of the latter coming over the last three days. Eight healthcare employees also tested positive while seven workers were infected as a result of contact at other workplaces.
"We need the long term care facilities to continue keeping their guard up, as we have had some cases in those locations recently, in both staff and residents. The illnesses have luckily been mild or asymptomatic thus far, but those are the patients with the highest risk," Damsker said.
Community spread remained minimal, contributing only 10 cases to the latest count. Out of state contacts also were low, accounting for just nine new cases. Eighteen patients were unable to be interviewed immediately.
Bucks County to date has had 7,457 COVID-19 cases and 6,579 recoveries. A total of 519 deaths have been attributed to the virus.
The median age of those who have been infected in Bucks is 51. 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.