Bucks Hospitalizations Continue To Drop, County Hires “COVID-19 Investigators”

Bucks County Director of Health Dr. David Damsker speaks at a coronavirus press conference.

Bucks County averaged 32 new coronavirus cases per day Tuesday through Thursday. But despite this modest increase, hospitalizations are down.

Only twelve people are currently in the hospital with COVID-19 in Bucks County. Health Department Director Dr. David Damsker says the hospitalization rate is more important than the rate of new cases.

“At one point we had 265 to 270 people in the hospital and dozens of people ventilated – 30 or 35 – and now we’re down to two,” Damsker said. “Our overall hospitalization rate is as low as it has been since mid-March. That’s probably the most important indicator.”

A total of 6,898 have tested positive for coronavirus in Bucks. As of Thursday, 6,014 have made full recoveries.

Meantime, the county commissioners have approved a $885,000 request from the county health department for new COVID-19 investigators. The funds come entirely in the form of federal pandemic relief dollars.

These investigators will act as contact tracers with added responsibilities. They will try to figure out where each person contracted the virus and when patients began experiencing symptoms.

Bringing on the eight to ten new staff will help prevent burnout, according to Damsker.

“It’s difficult to keep the fire lit when you’re working for six months straight without a break,” Damsker said. “Additional staff will help us as we continue managing the pandemic in Bucks County and allow us to plan for future initiatives, including the distribution of an eventual COVID-19 vaccine – all without continuing to neglect our regular duties.”

The new temporary staff come from a contract with Council of Spanish Speaking Organizations (“Concilio”). While the agency is from Philadelphia, Damkser says they will be trained “the Bucks County way.”