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Health - Bensalem Township

Damsker: No COVID-19 Increases Due to Large Community Gatherings in Bucks

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Bucks County’s COVID 19 case count number counts continue to hoover between 10 to 20 cases reported daily despite recent large community gatherings with no case spikes over the last three weeks. 

Health Director Dr David Damsker said in response to reporters questions there hasn’t been a case spike three weeks after several community rallies where hundreds attended if not thousands shared the same spaces in outdoors in county communities. 

We go on peoples word when it comes to the contact tracing protocols he said.  

Commissioner Bob Harvie with wife Christine at Bristol Peace Wall
Credit: Jeff Bohen, Lower Bucks Source.

The peace walks in Lower Bucks and elsewhere were criticized heavily by proponents who believe continuing, at that time, to have a shuttered economy, but hundreds, and in some cases, thousands in the street was seemingly absurd in light of the potential risk of contracting the virus.

Damsker said he there hasn’t been a spike in the  case numbers due in part to the coronavirus spreading more due droplet  spread than it being airborne 

“I think that being outside there is definitely a big advantage to that. This makes me feel more comfortable it is a droplet spread virus.  Those droplets are going down. he said ” if it was airborne, like measles, chicken pox , maybe we would have seen a few more cases because not everyone was masked” he said.

Even going back to the data from China, they were having trouble finding data from outdoor exposures, he said when offering his reasoning why a spike or increase did not occur in the area. 

Our 14 -day case count numbers are still down. We have hit sort of a plateau where we don’t believe it’ll go much lower  than 10 to 20 cases a day because there is still virus in the community.” he said. 

Commissioner Bob Harvie, who attended the Bristol Borough peace walk with his family, said even though people were in close proximity to each other, most everyone was wearing masks with little to no physical contact.

You saw very little contact between and among people there. People were very much aware and conscious of the virus was  while exercising their right to free speech, said Harvie.

“They (attendees) were conscious of themselves and others” the commissioner said. 

Damsker did voice concerns about what was occurring  in other states with spikes reported in Florida, Texas and Arizona, states that opened their economies and lifted mask restrictions. 

Damsker said there has been at least one reported county case from interstate travel to Arizona, reiterating the need here at home to continue observing wearing personal protective equipment. 

“Green doesn’t equal gone,” he said, “Its still out there.” he  said. 

To date there have been 5342 confirmed cases, 3393, recoveries, with 504 deaths reported county wide according to health department data.  

 

 

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Health - Bensalem Township

THE Giant Co. & Customers Raise More Than $400,000 For Healing Our Planet Initiatives

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Through its Healing Our Planet initiative, The GIANT Company today announced it raised $403,360 in partnership with its customers to support Planet Bee Foundation™ and Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful™. During the month of May, customers at GIANT, MARTIN’S and GIANT Heirloom Market stores were invited to round up their grocery purchases to the nearest dollar to support each organization.

“Action inspires action and small changes such as tree plantings and pollinator awareness can make a big difference when it comes to helping our planet, so thank you to our customers who rounded up at the register to support these green initiatives,” said Courtney Hopcraft, manager of charitable giving and community relations, The GIANT Company. “Over the four years of our Healing the Planet campaign, more than $6 million has been raised to grow health and sustainability initiatives centric to creating healthier communities and a more sustainable future.”

Announced earlier this month, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful in partnership with The GIANT Company announced it will award Healing the Planet grants later this summer to local community organizations for tree plantings across Pennsylvania. Additional funding from The GIANT Company will support Pick Up Pennsylvania and local clean up, recycling and greening events.

“Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful is grateful to The GIANT Company for their support of native tree planting in their operating areas in Pennsylvania. Funding will also support our Pick Up Pennsylvania program, so we can continue to meet the needs of families, friends, neighbors, civic groups, nonprofits and municipalities working towards a clean and beautiful Pennsylvania,” said Shannon Reiter, president, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful. “Cleaning and beautifying communities tends to reduce littering and other illegal behaviors, making it a better place for all residents and providing a foundation for community and economic development.”

Credit: Submitted

Planet Bee Foundation drives awareness for pollinators and the importance of bees as a pathway to STEM, conservation, and innovations in agriculture. Funding raised by The GIANT Company will support local beekeepers, research programs, and school and community programs.

“On behalf of Planet Bee Foundation, I wish to extend our deepest gratitude to The GIANT Company for their donation, which has educated and impacted over 109,000 youth. Their generosity has sponsored STEM and Agriculture Education programs in schools, provided supplies to teachers, offered grants to local beekeepers, provided education at public events, and maintained beehives in community gardens, exemplifying their commitment to local communities,” said Debra Tomaszewski, founder and executive director, Planet Bee Foundation. “We are humbled and inspired by The GIANT Company’s commitment to sustainability, the health of our planet, and the well-being of the families they serve.”

For more information on The GIANT Company’s Healing Our Planet initiative, click here please.

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Health - Bensalem Township

“Laughter is the Best Medicine” Says President of Ezra’s Hope

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Cindy Ritter, president of Ezra’s Hope was on her cell phone early Friday morning teaching herself an array of foreign languages. When she answered. which was not expected since it was just past 7 a.m., an approximately hour-long conversation ensued.

The conversation was about the dual sponsored – Laughs for Recovery and Raymour & Flanigan – afternoon sit-down comedy benefit coming up this Saturday, June 22, to support the nonprofit that assists families looking the pain of addiction square in the face.

What better way to raise funds  then with the antidote for pain, which is laughter, right?, she said.

No arguing with that sentiment.

Ezra’s Hope helps families that have been affected by addiction in a variety of ways, including food and clothing donations and financial assistance. In past efforts, the nonprofit has provided care packages and gift cards, food, clothing, furniture, and other necessities, and has helped families pay utility bills. “By helping families pick up the pieces from this terrible disease in a positive light, we hope to prevent the same behavior from continuing,” Ritter said.

According to the CDC, more than 110,000 people across the United States lost their lives to drug overdoses in 2023. Of that number, 4,823 were in Pennsylvania.

Ritter said that a lack of manpower and resources in recent years has prevented the nonprofit from hosting any fundraising events.

Ezra’s Hope is holding their first fundraiser since the pandemic. The small volunteer organization is teaming up with two well-known organizations, Laughs For Recovery and Raymour and Flanigan, to host a three-hour comedy show for charity. The nonprofit hopes the event will bring smiles and laughter to the community while also raising awareness to a topic, that’s no laughing matter, addiction.

“Help has been pretty hard to find. The last time Ezra’s Hope held a fundraiser was in September 2019 before Covid-19 shut the world down. Since then, we have been unable to organize any events to help raise the funds necessary to help families in need,” Ritter said.

 

The sit-down comedy show will take place from 2 p.m.to 5 p.m. pm at Raymour and Flannigan’s Oxford Valley location 9 Cabot Blvd East, Langhorne and will feature performances by a number of local comedians.

Several prominent businesses are also showing their support for Ezra’s Hope. The Iron Pigs. Crayola. Longwood Gardens and Chipotle have all made substantial donations to be used for raffles and giveaways during the event, giving some lucky guests a chance to go home with an unforgettable prize.

Master of Ceremonies and Laughs for Recovery founder Eric Todd of Levittown is hoping the surrounding community comes out in a big way, he said. Todd’s been putting on comedy shows for about three years now.

Laughs for Recovery Outdoor Festival 2023

 

Ezra’s Hope was founded in 2017 as an outlet to offer support and education to families that have experienced the loss of a loved one to addiction. The organization is dedicated to raising awareness through education about addiction and making a difference in the lives of those who have felt the impact of its devastating effects. There is Hope for the future!

Click here to purchase tickets for this event.

For more information about Ezra’s Hope, contact Cindy Ritter ezrashope@gmail.com

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Laughs for Recovery Comic performing Summer of 2023
Credit: Lower Bucks Source

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Health - Bensalem Township

Bucks County Cooling Centers while Excessive Heat Warning in Effect

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An Excessive Heat Warning will be in effect in Bucks County from 10 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday evening.

With an extended stretch of days with temperatures forecast in the 90s, cooling centers in Upper, Central and Lower Bucks will be open for the duration of the advisory to seniors and people experiencing homelessness who are seeking refuge from the heat.

The following cooling centers will operate from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. each day unless otherwise noted:

Bensalem Senior Citizens Association
1850 Byberry Road
Bensalem, PA 19020
215-638-7720
*CLOSED SATURDAYS*

Bristol Borough Senior Center
301 Wood Street
Bristol, PA 19007
215-788-9238

Morrisville Senior Service Center
31 E. Cleveland Avenue
Morrisville, PA 19067
215-295-0567
*CLOSED WEDNESDAY 6/19 AND SATURDAY 6/22*

Palisades Middle School, Library
4710 Durham Road
Kintnersville, PA 18930
HOURS 10 A.M. –  5 P.M.
*CLOSED SATURDAYS*

Quakertown Masonic Lodge
501 W. Broad Street
Quakertown, PA 18951
267-450-5191

Riegelsville Borough Hall
615 Easton Road
Riegelsville, PA 18077
610-749-2726

YMCA of Bucks County – Warminster Branch
624 York Road
Warminster, PA 18974
267-387-9622
*CLOSES AT 5 P.M. SATURDAYS*

YMCA of Bucks County – Fairless Hills Branch
601 S. Oxford Valley Road
Fairless Hills, PA 19030
215-949-3400
*CLOSES AT 5 P.M. SATURDAYS*

Senior centers throughout Bucks County are also open and available daily to residents 55 and over. Check with your local senior center for hours of operation and details.

The county generally issues an Excessive Heat Warning when the National Weather Service forecasts daytime temperatures will reach 95 degrees by 11 a.m. on two or more consecutive days, or when heat indexes will reach 100 degrees on any given day.

Municipalities or nonprofit agencies interested in participating in this program in the future should contact Bucks County Emergency Services at 215-340-8700.

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