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.