Over the weekend state and county officials remained cautiously “hopeful” social distancing and mitigation efforts were having positive effects on flattening the curve of coronavirus cases The optimism was despite deaths of three elderly persons living in health facilities continuing to increase daily.
Healthcare workers and residents of congregate living facilities continue to be leading victims of the coronavirus, which has been detected in 30 such facilities across the county, Dr. David Damsker, director of the Bucks County Health Department, said.
The county death toll now stands at 38 with yesterday’s reported deaths and a total of number of 507 lives have been lost due to the outbreak statewide.
Eight-six county residents are hospitalized for treatment of COVID-19, 24 of them in critical condition and on ventilators. A total of 191 people have been confirmed to have recovered from the virus to date.
Bucks Officials pointed to the decreasing number of new cases reported over the last few days as trend for optimism.
“This is working,” Damsker said of the social distancing measures in effect across the state with characterizing the small sample size as “encouraging” by county officials.
State Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said today that the state has “been able to bend the curve” of new COVID-19 cases, but cautioned that it is too early to start considering lifting the social distancing measures that appear to be helping to slow the virus.
Levine pointed to previous trending in which the number of new cases confirmed daily.
“We were seeing a doubling of new cases approximately every two to three days. It was going up in almost like a straight line.”
Now, Levine said, we’re not seeing as many new cases as we had before. The tentative conclusion is that we have been able to bend that curve.
State officials have been warned of a so called expected “surge” of new cases but said said in comparison “it won’t be a tidal wave that will completely overwhelm our healthcare system,” Levine said.
Levine said she expected the new surge of cases “the next week or more” in eastern Pennsylvania followed by other parts of the commonwealth thereafter.
Levine said discussion for a progressive, region-by-region opening of the state are ongoing, but “now is not the time. We have been successful in flattening the curve, but we still have significant new numbers of COVID-19 and we have to protect the public’s health and save lives.”
Statewide just under 23,000 people have tested positive for the virus, with just over 102,000 testing negative for the illness.
Center for Disease and Control Prevention reports 525,704 with 20,486 in the United States and its territories as of Monday morning.