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Covid-19 cases on the rise in New Hope, Solebury

The number of covid-19 cases in New Hope and Solebury has been moving up in recent days, according to the Bucks County Health Department.

New Hope had 10 active cases as of Tuesday, up two from a day earlier, and Solebury Township was at 15 active cases, an increase of five over Monday.

Rumors of teens attending local graduation parties and gatherings in Vermont, Connecticut and at the Jersey shore have been rampant this week, just as many area parents are deciding between sending their children back to school in September or keeping them home to continue their education remotely.

County health officials would not discuss whether they are tracking cases or awaiting test results among New Hope or Solebury party-going teens, saying that disclosing such information might discourage citizens from reporting cases or cooperating with contact tracing efforts. While acknowledging that an uptick in county-wide cases had been anticipated due to “July 4 barbecues and the beach,” health officials said that they are not seeing a big spike in the caseload for New Hope and Solebury.

“We do not have any indication of any large outbreaks in New Hope and Solebury, and there are no numbers to indicate any outbreak in the making,” said a Bucks County Health Department spokesperson.

New Hope and Solebury parents are being asked by the school district to decide by Aug. 6 between virtual and brick-and mortar learning options, and school officials are keeping a close eye on local infection numbers.

“We have been and will continue to work very closely with the Bucks County Department of Health to monitor infections in the region and to assist in making a determination about the decision of whether or not to close schools,” said New Hope-Solebury School District Superintendent Charles Lentz. “As we did in the spring, our decisions are made with the health and safety of our students, staff and community as our foremost concern and we use the most current data to make a determination as to whether we can safely open or keep open our schools.

“I would strongly advise our community to remain in compliance with the health and safety guidelines outlined by the health agencies so that we will be in a position to be able to safety bring our students back to school in the fall,” he added.

A total of 257 infections was reported by the Bucks County Health Department for the week ending July 25, an average of about 37 per day.

That level remains more than double the total cases reported during the third week of June, when the number of infections began to climb again, health officials said.

Nearly one-third of the most recent positive cases reported in Bucks can be attributed to people infecting others in their households.

Evidence has been growing in recent weeks that young people are becoming infected at work or in bars and restaurants in areas of the United States that relaxed restrictions, and are in turn infecting older family members.

About the author

Charlie Sahner

“Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy." - Einstein


  • Responding to PATTY’S comment that she feels that the school system has failed to teach history, civics and even math.The fault for this lies with the state legislature and the governor for when the fish stinks it stinks from the head down. The state through its education committees sends its standards to the school districts and in less than 20 seconds washes its hands of the matter in terms of holding the districts accountable. Would you believe that last year- 2019-2020 was the first year in which the Pa. districts in high school were required to teach civics. And even here there was no requirement to teach it as a separate subject. This means you were allowed to integrate it with other subjects which simply means that it gets second billing or to put it bluntly, bury it. Check out the U tube video, New Hope Solebury School District uses Outdated American History Textbooks. One high school text is 19 years old.

    • Thanks Melvin so they are actually teaching about the Founding Father,Sons of Liberty the struggle that went on for almost 25 years to create a Government never seen on this planet and the ability and freedom to allow free speech FOR ALL not the loud 5%ers who wish to stop that right(I am a female so I understand the PC Squad may get me about GENDER).Look a Chicago and example of Chaos and what we should fear the most.Washington,Monroe,Adams,Franklin Jefferson must be rolling over in their graves.When this starts happening in our tiny area of beauty what will people do throw up their hands and say I surrender???? Please no one say do you mean FIGHT I mean vote a large group of the Congress out in November as our Founding fathers wanted and died for.Be civil and use that right that 2 thirds of this planet does not have.Wake up people NOT WOKE UP.

      • I can’t decipher the majority of these run-on sentences with all of the random capitalization and punctuation, but I believe part of it is about our need to vote and change Congress this November.

        I completely agree.

        It’s going to be great to watch Susan Collins, Cory Gardner, Martha McSally, Thom Tillis, Steve Daines, and Joni Ernst lose their seats, returning control of the Senate to Democrats.

        The latest polls even have Lindsay Graham vulnerable in a 44%/44% tie with his Democratic challenger – we certainly don’t need his seat to gain control, but it would be a sweet bonus!

  • Looks like Cuomo has seen the light and reopening schools. Sorry Teachers Union your plans don’t appeal to common sense thinkers. Sorry long vacation over I no longer wish to pay for this extended time off. The attempt to stop Charter, Private and Religious Schools from opening will fail also. Please help the working Mom’s and Dad’s to get back to a somewhat normal schedule. Start really thinking of the pain your inflicting on millions because of your hatred of one Man.Now if Wolf can finally do something rather than get paid for sitting on his hands.

  • I have 2 teenage kids in New Hope. About a dozen kids and some parents positive in the last week. Of course it’s troubling but we still let them out to see friends, work their summer jobs, etc. We worry about Covid of course, but honestly I’m FAR more worried every time they get in a car with themselves or a friend behind the wheel, go to the beach and swim in the ocean, hang out at the wing dam or the rope swing on the Delaware, go to a party with alcohol at college or home.

    • We all understand that the overall risk of death to kids under 20 is very low; the issue is that this behavior is now (and even more once school starts) contributing to spread in the wider community.

      The teens get it at house parties, it spreads to parents (who are at greater risk), or grandparents (at high risk), or an asymptomatic parent gets sloppy and spreads it at a store downtown, etc.

      New Hope/Solebury has done very well up until the last few weeks – now that people are “bored” I just hope we don’t see some kids without a mom or dad by Christmas.

    • The new scare tactics so Teachers Unions who’s taxes we pay to pay them can have an extended vacations.No Teacher or State,County or Government worker has suffered one bit during this pandemic while the people that pay their salaries do.The disruption of a daily parent schedule for regular workers has been upended and or has caused mental anguish.Please don’t cry “Think of the Children” time for vouchers,school choice before the complete dumbing down of children locked in a Public school system that has failed to teach history,civics and even math.I maybe alone in this opinion BUT i doubt it.

      • “No Teacher or State,County or Government worker has suffered one bit during this pandemic while the people that pay their salaries do.”

        The vindictiveness on display here is so saddening. Instead of trying to inflict more pain on your target to alleviate your own, we should be moving to alleviate the current suffering.

        Countries like South Korea band together to provide for wage relief during lockdown, and send care packages full of food and essential items to any citizens that need to quarantine. As a result they’ve got 301 deaths as of this minute according to Johns Hopkins.

        Meanwhile we pit citizen against citizen in a cage fight to make sure each group suffers as much as the next.

        No wonder there’s no end in sight here while much of the world moves on…

        • Let the Catholic Charter and Private Schools show the way Teachers Unions want no competition so they make all suffer. Yes it is the Teachers Union not vindictiveness just cold facts. Get them back to work it can be safely done.

  • To Fred Oster who says that he will listen to the scientists and CDC. And what do these two entities say? They say keep at least 6 feet apart and wear masks. As soon as an athlete gets a positive return on his test, the whole team and the whole league ( according to the PIAA Guideleines) has to be informed. In other words, Game Over!

    • Mel I was talking about the near unanimous opinion of experts that kids need to be in live schools, not about sports. But on the subject of sports Mel I know you’re a NH sports fan…why are you of all people advocating a shut down of sports? Forget about what the unions say…what do you think?

    • Taylor is actually my middle name…so no relation. But of course he remained on my radar for as long as I can remember as a result, and the coincidence opened my eyes to a world of music I might have otherwise not known much about!

  • Charlie –

    Today’s numbers on the Bucks County arcgis Covid map don’t add up for the first time with regards to total cases/active cases/recoveries.

    Before today, the number of active cases + the number of recoveries always = total cases.

    Today, active cases + recoveries = 1 less than total cases, with “deaths – redacted”.

    Any news on if Solebury has lost it’s first resident to Covid? Really, really hoping for some good news and another explanation…

  • I wonder what will happen with team sports especially football? Imagine this. Even if the kids are 6 feet not three feet away from each other in class and are wearing masks and now even goggles ( the virus can enter through the eyes}, ALL of this is for naught because in a football game there will not be any masks( maybe goggles, BUT BUT BUT there will be contact, heavy contact at times which is called piling on. And yet at the end of the game the players will line up and touch elbows after the damage is done as if this will stop the spread which will be brought into the classroom in both schools.

    • It’s unfeasible. Look at MLB right now. Ultra-wealthy teams, owners, players, coaches that have every advantage available to them. Testing constantly. Protocols in place, the best money can buy.

      One week into the season, it’s already completely falling apart.

      • I don’t think it’s unfeasible. I personally know most of the New Hope kids that got the bug recently, 1 of them had flu symptoms for a couple days. Kids have a much bigger chance of drowning this summer than dying of Covid. I’m also familiar with the football program. Yes football involves close contact, but Covid is not dangerous for the kids in comparison to the actual flu and other things that involve risk (I.e., living their lives). They practice distancing with coaches, who are masked. If a kid does get Covid, then they quarantine for the CDC prescribed 10 days. I hope fall sports don’t fall victim to group think and media Team Apocalypse. We must focus more on the LIVING Of the many over obsessing on death of the few. One man’s opinion.

        • We’re on pace to have roughly 300,000 deaths in the US by the end of the year, and the official numbers we tally are undercounted so in reality it’s much more –

          That would be over the course of 10 months; flu deaths are typically 20k-80k over 12 months, so we’re talking something like 4-12x more from covid. I don’t know that I would say we’re “obsessing on the death of the few”.

          That said, being quick to dismiss something we don’t know enough about is dangerous. For example, recent studies are showing possible long term heart damage in roughly 70% of recovered patients –

          In addition to lesions in the lungs, “blank spots” on brain scans, etc.

          “Not dying” is wonderful, but it’s irresponsible to let a generation end up with lifelong heart/lung/brain problems because we couldn’t take 12 months off from some of our hobbies.

          • Teacher’s Union talking points.We see thru this ploy.Go back to work I am paying you to teach not to be on a extended vacation at the Jersey Shore.In the 1880’s to the 1960’s Teachers had a much more difficult time they had a true calling to REALLY teach now it is about how I can use this to my advantage.Zoom does not teach when Game Boy is on the other screen.Human interaction.

          • No shortage of sources from Media Team Apocalypse. Sciencemag? Statnews? 300k I doubt it…but A triple flu season is not worth this. I want Trump out too but this is not worth it

          • Replying to Phil Katrilski –

            Did you really just dismiss Science (sciencemag) as “Media Team Apocalypse”, as if it’s not a source to be trusted?

            Science is one of the most important peer-reviewed academic journals on the planet, and has been since the 1800’s…


            Foolish to dismiss something just because you’re personally unaware of it…

  • Well when it comes to what’s best for kids we can listen to the CDC or the gullible coronabros Mel and Cece. I think I’ll listen to the scientists and common sense.

    • Which CDC guidelines would you like to go with? The ones that the CDC originally wrote and were retracted?

      Or the current ones that were released only after Trump intervened, because he deemed the real ones were “too tough and expensive”?

      You mean the same CDC that screwed this country during the first six weeks of the pandemic by manufacturing millions of defective tests that ended up in a dump?

      Since you want to listen to scientists (I absolutely do too), let’s quote Dr. Fauci on what to expect for students and teachers –

      “”In many respects, unfortunately, though this may sound a little scary and harsh—I don’t mean it to be that way—is that you’re going to actually be part of the experiment of the learning curve of what we need to know. ”

      If you’re a teacher, that’s great – make your own decision to be part of the experiment. If you have children, feel free to sign them up for the experiment.

      If you’re not a teacher, or you don’t have school aged children, do us all a favor and stop volunteering others to take the bullet for you, brave guy.

      • Like you, Everybody picks the “scientists” that agree with them Cecil. Dr Fauci is a doctor, not a policy maker. Doctors actually take an oath to “first do no harm”. That’s the LAST thing you want to drive policy in the Covid world. His job, and that of other medical experts (it’s not just the infallible Fauci), is to advise policy makers who have the hard job of making wise decisions in the context of the Big Picture of societal health. Just me talking but I think schools need to open. There is a pediatrician in my family who has never written as many antidepressants to young adults (15-18 years old) as in the last 3 months

        • I disagree with you, but you make valid arguments and of course your opinion is welcome.

          I’d just say there’s no reason for the quotation marks in your first sentence – I’m not sure if it’s your intention, but along with the sarcastic use of “infallible”, it makes it seem like an eye roll at the entire concept.

          Fauci is an easy go to as a name everyone recognizes, so I used it. But he’s far from the only source I rely on to stay informed.

          Whether it’s the boogeyman Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal –

          – or keeping informed of the latest studies in pre-print or after peer review via the NIH –

          – it would be helpful for all of us to spend a little more time sifting through primary sources like Litcovid or experts outside of our own hyper-politicized country so we can make decisions that aren’t distorted by the opinions of garbage cable news outlets (doesn’t matter to me if it’s MSNBC, Fox, or CNN) or personal anecdotes.

  • New Hope’s tourist and weekend traffic shows that people are no longer taking Covid seriously. I am constantly amazed at the throngs of people meandering through New Hope, shoulder to shoulder, without a mask or any sense of social distancing. It’s only a matter of time before we get “locked down” again and locked out of our favorite establishments. Look to Florida and see our future if we don’t step up, take precautions and follow common sense protocols.

  • In the school district where I used to live, a poll was taken of all parents with school-aged children. 83% want their children back in school with temperature-taking, distancing & enhanced disinfecting. A separate poll was taken of staff. 70% wanted a return with the same stipulations as parents. Has a poll been conducted of NewHope/Solebury parents & staff?

    • I can’t speak for the NHSSD specifically, I don’t believe that poll has been done – or at least I’m not aware of one if it has.

      On a national level though, the Kaiser Foundation just released one –

      Overall, the results are fairly opposite of the numbers your old district posted.

      “With the new school year quickly approaching, the issue of whether and how to reopen schools looms large for both parents and policymakers. On balance, most parents with kids in school (60%) say it is better to open schools later to minimize infection risk, even if students miss out on academics and social services and some parents will not be able to work, while about half as many (34%) say it’s better to open schools sooner so parents can work and kids can get services, even if there’s some risk of infection. A majority (71%) of the public overall say that public schools in their area need more resources to reopen safely, and 66% of parents say the same about their own child’s school. Parents of color are more likely than White parents to say it is better for schools to open later to minimize infection risk, and to say that their own child’s school lacks the resources it needs to reopen safely.”

  • If you read the article very carefully as I always do especially when it deals with education, you will not see a single word from any teacher, school worker, administrator except for Supt. Lentz.
    What is the teacher union leadership’s take on the situation? Shouldn’t the parents and community want to know how many teachers of the 145 jn the district would prefer virtual learning over classroom learning?
    I wrote to the district administrators and also to the teacher union leadership for feedback. Nothing so far nor am I optimistic to get a response.
    This is a school district where the teacher and administration culture is very clear- shut your mouths; don’t speak about controversial topics; do you your job, don’t make waves; just ride the waves.

    • Wholeheartedly agree with this.

      I would love to hear the opinions of the actual teachers – the ones that will be sent into the classrooms with the young people that are now silently spreading the virus in our own town and all of their siblings.

      I think it’s becoming more obvious by the day that there will be NO in-person classes in September, and the administration privately knows that’s the reality.

      It would cause a small uproar with some people if they announced it in July though – there’s a “How can you make that decision already when we don’t know what things will look like by fall?” crowd, even though it’s only five weeks away.

      Waiting to announce online-only not only delays that headache for them, but it allows both the district and the county more time to let Governor Wolf make the decision for them. Then the district can simply say “we wanted to open our doors to in person teaching as much as anyone, but it is not our choice – please direct your questions and comments to Harrisburg”.

    • Melvin there was a NYT headline yesterday that teachers unions were threatening to strike against reopening schools AND remote learning. At least they’re being honest and saying they want to get paid for not working. So I disagree with your point about asking what teachers “prefer”. I would prefer to work 2 hours a day 3 days/week and get paid a full time salary but I’d be crazy to expect that. If you’re a teacher you need to teach. If it’s in person, mask up, be hygienic, stay behind the partition, and don’t get close to kids…it’s not going to be fun but it’s got to be done. Call me a murderer. Some teachers will die with Covid. So will a lot of grocery store clerks, cops, nurses. Its the world we live in but let’s not forget about the LIVES of kids as we obsess about deaths.

  • The 20th century philosopher F. Gump said it best – “Stupid is as stupid does”.

    I really hope that this selfish behavior doesn’t lead to any tragedies in our community. Lots of vulnerable older people around here, and lots of houses with 2-3 generations under one roof.

    Stay safe everyone, and tip your delivery people well. It’s going to be a long second half of the year.

    • Wow. Someone just quoted Forest Gump. In a statement about not wanting schools to reopen. Let that set in. I rest my case.

      • Do all of your thoughts stay only on the surface, resulting in shallow zingers and no rebuttals?

        “Someone” used a tiny joke with regards to the stupidity of people believing graduation parties and house parties are a good idea right now, using a quote that was NOT actually written by the fictional character Forest Gump, but by the real life author Winston Groom.

        Mr. Groom’s famous line is a comical way of saying “one’s wisdom, or lack thereof, can be judged by their actions”.

        I’m sorry that went over your head and you went with “Forest Gump, hurr durr”.

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