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77 More Confirmed Cases, with Two Seniors Dying Due to Coronavirus

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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.  

Image Credit:State Department of Health

State data for negative test results is made available by health officials and updated regularly.

Thirty-five Bucks County residents are hospitalized with COVID-19, Damsker said, 12 of whom are in critical condition.

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. 

Image Credit: Bucks County

 

 

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Waiving Vehicle Fees for Decorated and Injured Veterans Heads to Governor’s Desk

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 An omnibus transportation bill –HB 2301- including language from a bill introduced by state Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, to waive vehicle title and registration fees for Veterans who were captured, injured or received the Congressional Medal of Honor while serving has been sent to the governor’s desk.

The proposal had been previously introduced by Ciresi as a standalone bill (HB 105), which passed the House unanimously in April. With its inclusion in and the passage of HB 2301, it is now on its way to be signed into law.

“When veterans return home, the impact of their traumatic experiences are further compounded by financial hurdles such as relocation, finding new homes, applying for jobs and registering their vehicles,” Ciresi said. “These heroes deserve our compassion and gratitude, and that’s why I introduced this legislation to help relieve some of the pressure by waiving vehicle registration fees. By permanently removing registration fees for veterans who were injured, captured, or received our highest military decoration, we would show our permanent appreciation for their sacrifices and service.”

Currently, recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor, seriously injured veterans, and former POWs pay a $10 vehicle registration processing fee. Under the recently passed legislation, this fee will be removed, and they will no longer be subject to titling fees.

For recipients of the Purple Heart, who currently must pay titling and registration fees in full, they will no longer be subject to paying either.

The bill passed 202-0.

Credit: Submitted

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Tomlinson, Hogan Bill for Stiffer Penalties for Street Racing Passes House

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A measure authored by state Reps K.C. Tomlinson (R-Bucks) and Joe Hogan (R-Bucks) to increase penalties on those convicted of street racing passed the House Friday.

House Bill 2266 increases penalties on those convicted of street racing. According to Tomlinson and Hogan, their legislation increases the fine from $250 up to $2,000 per violation and on the second violation, the driver’s vehicle will be taken away to stop them from using it in future street races. Organizers of the street racing event would also be held accountable. This would update the current penalties outlined in Title 75.

“The safety of my constituents is always my top priority. When I learned that in my district alone we’ve had over 40 incidents in the last year and a half, I knew this was something we needed to address. Adults, children and law enforcement have been hurt or even killed at these events. By increasing the penalties for those convicted of street racing, we will keep both our streets and law enforcement safe,” Tomlinson said Friday.

Many of these illegal races include many different drivers and are usually organized on social media as “meet up” events. Those who organized the event should face penalties for creating and fostering these dangerous events. This bill will also hold the organizers accountable, the state reps said when introducing the bill last year. 

The bill now moves onto the state Senate for consideration.

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Cops, Courts & Fire -Bristol Township

Shooting Reportedly Under Investigation at Levittown Trace

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A swift and intense police presence at the Levittown Trace apartment complex on Ford Road Monday night is reportedly part of a shooting investigation by Bristol Township Police, sources are telling Lower Bucks Source Tuesday.

Police were dispatched out to the apartment complex just before 10 p.m. with a number of patrol cruisers arriving on scene. An image of an officer, guns raised pointing towards the F building spelled out last night’s dangerous drama.

Credit: Motorcycle Joe

Officers were observed speaking with several individuals adjacent to the building.

Witnesses on scene told Lower Bucks Source, police were seen picking up what appeared to be shell casings.

Credit: Submitted

Bensalem EMS was seen transporting a victim and shortly thereafter police were seen taking a man into custody after finding what appeared to be drug related paraphernalia. It’s unclear whether or not that individual is connected to the reported shooting. Online court show that a Bristol man was arraigned and jailed early this morning on criminal trespass and drug related  charges.

Credit: Motorcycle Joe

Attempts to contact Bristol Township Police for comment on Tuesday were unsuccessful.

Credit: Motorcycle Joe

 

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