Mask Up, Bucks

DOYLESTOWN >> The number of Bucks County residents hospitalized for COVID-19 dropped to three on September 7, unaffected by a 53 percent spike in new infections last week.

The hospitalization number is the lowest the county has seen since March 16, when there also were three infections, said Bucks County Health Department Director Dr. David Damsker. Of those who are hospitalized, two are in critical condition and on ventilators.

Last week’s total of 244 new cases increased the county’s daily average to 35 new cases per day, compared to 23 the week before.

Damsker attributed much of the increase to college students and social gatherings.

“College students, their friends, and related family member cases have caused our numbers to go up somewhat over the past week or so. The infections weren’t from classroom exposures, but from the social gatherings on and off campus,” he said. “Friends and family members can and do have COVID, so take the additional precautions even with familiar people.”

If college students from Bucks County are infected elsewhere and return home to convalesce, the numbers are added to Bucks County’s total, Damsker said. If they attend school outside the county and stay there while recovering, they are not included in the county’s numbers.

“Our hospitalizations have continued to fall to almost zero,” Damsker said. “While we must continue to practice good hygiene, wear our masks and be additionally cautious around our vulnerable populations, people should be very optimistic about where we are right now.

“The majority of our hospitals have no COVID patients, and almost all cases are very mild. That is by far the most important metric in Bucks right now, regardless of some who prefer to focus solely on case counts.”

Over the past four days, 132 new infections have been reported, for a daily average of 33. One death was reported during that period: a 91-year-old woman who lived in a long-term care facility and had underlying health conditions.

Of the 132 new cases from Friday through today, six were delayed reports no longer considered infectious. More than half – 69 cases – were the result of infections spread among members of the same households. Fifteen were attributed to community spread, 11 were infected out of state, four are residents of long-term care facilities, three are healthcare workers, three were infected at other workplaces and 27 were unable to complete a full interview immediately.

Bucks County now has had 7,591 residents test positive for COVID-19 during the pandemic. A total of 522 deaths have been attributed to the virus, including 413 long-term care residents, while 6,650 are confirmed to have recovered.

The median age of those who have been infected in Bucks is 51, 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.

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