Two Bucks County seniors with COVID-19 died Thursday as the county’s coronavirus death count rose to eight.
The victims, a 79-year-old man and an 82-year-old woman, both had underlying health issues, said county Health Director Dr. David Damsker.
Seventy-seven new COVID-19 cases were reported Thursday, Damsker said, more than half of which came from a private testing company that submitted multiple days of results. The onset of symptoms in some of those cases dated back as far as three weeks, he said.
The daily trend lately has been ranging from 35 to 55 new cases, Damsker said, adding that he did not see today’s high total as a true deviation because of the large dump of results from one testing company.
The new reports brought the county’s total to 450 positive tests. Sixty-seven of those have recovered fully and have been released from isolation. officials said.
In response to LBS questions about the total number of individuals testing negative, Damsker said he did not have those numbers available as he is focused on confirmed case numbers.
State data for negative test results is made available by health officials and updated regularly.
While no one knows when COVID-19 will peak in Pennsylvania, Damsker said at the briefing, “I do think it’s reasonable to say that, given the social distancing that is in place, we will start to see it fairly soon.”
Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said that Southeast and Northeast Pennsylvania are her main areas of concern for possible patient surges that could stretch the capacities of hospitals.
Damsker said that hospital capacity is not yet an issue in Bucks County as of the moment.
Emergency Services Director Scott T. Forster said the county is evaluating closed medical facilities in Upper and Lower Bucks as possibilities for accommodating a surge. Such planning, along with a large shipment of protective equipment that arrived this week for first responders, medical professionals and others, is “putting the citizens of Bucks County in a good position to receive care while our public safety professionals and our healthcare workers are protecting themselves from becoming ill or bringing it home to their families,” Forster said.
Statewide, 7,016 Pennsylvanians in 62 counties have tested positive for COVID-19, with 90 deaths reported as of Thrusday.
Residents of 48 of Bucks County’s 54 municipalities have tested positive for the virus, with East Rockland Township and New Britain, New Hope and Silverdale Boroughs added Thursday. A map showing those municipalities is on the county’s data portal
The portal was updated Thursday to reflect the distribution of positive cases by age range and gender, to show the gender breakdown of hospitalized patients, and to chart the rise in the number of overall cases, county officials said.
The distribution of cases is highest for the 50 to 59 and 20 to 29 age range in the county with the children age group (10 and under) reporting the least number of cases.