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Rate of new covid-19 infections in Bucks County makes quick reopening less likely

Pa. covid-19 testing site (file)

County health officials on Saturday announced 72 new positive cases, pushing the county’s total to 2,541.

“Such numbers do not bode well for Bucks County being able to reopen its economy anytime soon,” they said.

Metrics laid out this week by Gov. Tom Wolf that would allow regions to reopen certain businesses and child care once they reach designated markers require an infection rate of no more than 50 per 100,000 residents over a 14-day period. It had been unclear whether Wolf meant that as a daily total or a cumulative two-week total to be divided by 14 days.

The governor’s office on Saturday clarified that it was the latter.

Based on Bucks County’s population, the county must have no more than about 320 positive cases over a 14-day period, or an average of about 23 per day. Bucks County has been nowhere near that standard lately; in fact, positive tests have been increasing recently as more healthcare workers and staff and residents of long-term care facilities have been undergoing testing.

Wolf said that North Central and Northwest Pennsylvania, where population density is low and confirmed cases have been relatively infrequent, are the most likely to have their restrictions eased beginning May 8. He has indicated no timetable for Southeast Pennsylvania, which has been the state’s hardest-hit region.

Statewide, the total number of covid-19 infections on Saturday exceeded 40,000 for the first time. There were 1,397 new cases reported across Pennsylvania, along with a total of 1,537 deaths.

A total of 208 Bucks County coronavirus patients are hospitalized, 24 of them in critical condition and on ventilators. Five hundred seventy-one patients have been confirmed to have recovered, and have been released from isolation.

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  • What does “Essential” have to do with it. I am referring to the fact that while grocery stores, supermarkets, hardware stores, Staples, etc. allow a limited number of people INTO their stores, liquor stores have to have their customers pick up the liquor Only at curbside. Is there a problem allowing just a few people in at a time like the other stores? I don’t know what the Good Governor is drinking to continue this exclusionary policy,but it’s not my cup of tea.

  • There should be some consideration within counties as there is within the state. It’s abundantly clear that the vast majority of the infections are clustered in south bucks bordering Philadelphia. The rest of the county, of which a significant portion is tourism related, should not have to collapse because of the few. If the state can reopen by pieces, so can counties. Don’t make our current chronic pain terminal.

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