Virus

Bucks County Health Department Direcotr Dr. David Damsker

BUCKS COUNTY (March 17) >> Two new coronavirus cases were announced on March 17 in Bucks County, both of them easily traced to the source of infection.

One is the spouse of an elderly patient who remains in serious but stable condition today at a local hospital after testing positive for coronavirus on Monday. The spouse is confined at the couple’s home with mild symptoms, said Dr. David Damsker, director of the Bucks County Health Department. 

The other case is an adult who came into contact with a person at an out-of-state gathering who later tested positive for the virus. This patient also has mild symptoms and is at home, Damsker said.

Because the causes of their cases were clearly identified, they were not the result of community spread, Damsker said.

He said that contract tracing for the hospitalized patient continues, and that this remains the only Bucks case in which the source has not yet been identified. It is also the only known coronavirus case in the county that has involved more than moderate symptoms, possibly because of the person’s age and preexisting medical issues.

Bucks County now has nine presumptively positive cases of coronavirus, with more expected in the coming days and weeks. Statewide, there have been 112 cases so far, none of them fatal.

Three new cases announced, total now at seven

DOYLESTOWN >> Bucks County received word of three new positive coronavirus cases late on Monday, March 16, bringing the county’s total to seven, said Health Department Director Dr. David Damsker.

Out-of-state or out-of country contacts have been identified as the sources of two of the cases, meaning they were not the result of community spread.

The third case is still being investigated, with tracing of that patient’s contacts still to be completed, Damsker said.

"One of the new cases involves an adult who returned recently from Spain, Damsker said. "That person has experienced mild symptoms and is confined at home."

In another of the cases, an adult recently returned from a trip out of state where the patient attended a gathering at which several people displayed symptoms, Damsker said. That person also is at home with mild symptoms.

The other case – an older adult with a number of preexisting health issues – is still being investigated for the source of the infection, Damsker said. That person is hospitalized in serious, but stable condition, he said, with contact tracing ongoing.

Bucks County’s first four presumptive positive cases all involved adults with mild symptoms. Three had traveled out of state or out of the country and came into contact with infected people there. The other came into contact with a Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia physician who had tested positive for the virus.

In each of those cases, Damsker said, the sources of the virus were readily identified and the patients’ contacts fully traced.

Damsker first revealed the three new cases on March 16 while testifying by telephone at a court hearing in Doylestown. He was called to testify during a hearing on the Bucks County Board of Election’s petition to stop a special election in Bensalem, scheduled for Tuesday, because of coronavirus concerns.

“It does concern me somewhat that a symptomatic person determined to vote could show up” at the polls, he testified, adding that it “would be a little bit of a logistical nightmare” to impose the type of social distancing recommended by government and medical officials at a polling place.

The county’s request to halt the special election was denied by Common Pleas Court Judge Jeffrey G. Trauger, who ruled that he had no authority under the law to postpone it.

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