Bucks County’s confirmed total of COVID-19 cases reached 288 Monday as 39 new cases were reported and Governor Tom Wolf shutdown four more counties extending his stay at home order now til at least April 30 closing schools indefinitely as of Monday.
Residents of 43 Bucks County municipalities have now tested positive for the virus, with first-time cases reported Monday in Richland and Springfield Townships, and in Quakertown and Trumbauersville Boroughs, Bucks County officials said.
Meanwhile, Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine revised their “Stay at Home” orders extending through April 30. All Pennsylvania schools will remain closed until further notice. Non-life-sustaining business closures remain in effect, state officials said at their news briefing Monday.
Locally, Bucks County Health Department Director Dr. David Damsker cautioned the public to remember that the official count is almost certainly a small fraction of the true number of COVID-19 infections in the county.
“We don’t want anybody thinking that we only have 288 cases in Bucks County,” Damsker said. “You can get infected anywhere you go in the area.”
“We know that the numbers are way undercounted,” Damsker said, citing the limited testing being done and the county’s own advice that people with mild symptoms stay home, isolate themselves and forgo testing, thus saving medical resources and emergency rooms for people who are more seriously ill.
Wolf said of about state schools, the Department of Education will be providing updated guidance and resources on the continuity of education for students in the coming days.
“Businesses and school closures will no longer have a set day to resume normal operations,” he said. “We’re going to keep our schools and businesses closed as long as we need to keep them closed to keep Pennsylvania safe.”
Bucks County now has 24 residents hospitalized; 15 in stable condition and nine listed in critical condition in intensive care units, officials said. Statewide, there had been 4,087 confirmed coronavirus cases as of Monday 1:15 p.m. including at least 48 deaths, with approximately 33,780 tests coming back negative and 386 persons hospitalized statewide.
There were no new deaths reported in Bucks County on Monday.
Today (Tuesday) Damsker, the Bucks County Commissioners and Emergency Services Director Scott T. Forster will provide a news briefing via videoconference at 12:30 p.m to provide local updates on the COVID-19 crisis. The county said it plans to stream the briefing live on its Facebook page.