As indoor dining, health clubs, casinos and other indoor entertainment venues reopen across Pennsylvania, Bucks County’s new COVID-19 infections increased slightly last week. The state Department of Health reported 2,429 new cases in Bucks from Dec. 27 through Jan. 2 – a daily average of 327 cases and a 5 percent increase from the previous week.
That number, however, was still 28 percent lower than the record level of cases posted in mid-December, when Gov. Tom Wolf imposed additional restrictions on businesses and gathering sizes through Jan. 4.
The governor announced on Wednesday that the restrictions he initiated on Dec. 12 had flattened the curve of the post-Thanksgiving spike, and that his time-limited measures would expire at 8 a.m. today.
“Our mitigation efforts over the past several weeks are working, and I thank everyone who abided by the restrictions put in place to protect us,” Wolf said. “Every time we make a small decision to avoid risk – or take steps to make our actions a little bit less risky – we are helping to stop the spread of COVID-19 and save lives.”
Bucks County’s test positivity rate also increased slightly last week, rising to 15.4 percent from 15.1 percent. Statewide, the positivity rate dropped slightly, from 15.1 percent to 15.0 percent.
The state Department of Health reported 33 Bucks County COVID deaths last week, down from 38 the week before. All but one – a 47-year-old woman with several contributing medical conditions – were over the age of 60. A total of 909 deaths have been reported in Bucks County during the pandemic, 187 of them in December. Statewide, 16,294 had died through Saturday.
Bucks County’s case total for the pandemic stands at 31,468; the statewide total is 661,871.
Pennsylvania’s vaccine rollout began mid-December with 132,612 partial vaccinations administered to date, 6,011 of them in Bucks County. The county’s total doses administered is fourth-highest in the state, behind Allegheny, Montgomery and Lehigh Counties. More information and statistics about the vaccine program are available on the state’s vaccine information portal.
The number of patients hospitalized in Bucks County with COVID decreased last week from 167 to 145, 24 of them on a ventilator. Hospital capacity for treating them and other patients remains good, with 41 percent of adult ICU beds and 39 percent of medical surgical beds available.
The county commissioners continue to urge the public to download the free COVID Alert PA app, which uses Bluetooth technology to let a person know that they have been exposed to COVID-19 without compromising the identity or location of either the person using the app, or of the person to whom they may have been exposed.
Click here for more information on COVID-19 in Bucks County.