Bucks County will remain under a stay-at-home order through June 4, 2020. Governor Wolf announced the extension Thursday at 8 p.m., just four hours before the stay-at-home order was set to expire.
The decision despite a bipartisan effort within the county. Eight Republican Bucks County state legislators sent a letter to Wolf in support of a request made by the Democratic majority Bucks County Commissioners.
Commissioners Diane Ellis Marseglia, Bob Harvie, and Gene DiGirolamo sent their letter last week.
They argued relying on a “goal of an average of less than 50 cases per 100,000 individuals over the course of 14 days will have a detrimental effect on our effort to maintain Bucks County’s infrastructure of business, tourism and community support.”
Bucks Director of Health Dr. David Damsker believes the county is much closer to being safe to reopen than the numbers indicate.
Bucks would need about 23 new cases per day in order to meet Wolf’s requirements. Yet increased testing capacity would result in more positive cases, but not necessarily mean a new surge.
“What’s really important to look at is who gets sick and why,” Damsker said. “And so the number of 50 per 100,000 is arbitrary.”
The eight Republican legislators echoes this sentiment. State Sen. Tommy Tomlinson and Bob Mensch, along with Reps. Frank Farry, Wendi Thomas, K.C. Tomlinson, Meghan Schroeder, Todd Polinchock, and Craig Staats signed the letter.
“With the acknowledgment that we have very little community spread and a significant amount of our cases are from long-term facilities, we hope that the state Department of Health could work with our County Health Department to determine when Bucks County can safely phase in reopening.”
Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine informally denied this request at a press conference earlier this week.
Meantime, 300 Bucks County residents have in total died due to COVID-19 as of Thursday evening. Of the twelve deaths reported, only two were not residents of long term care facilities.
One victim was just 42 years old, but an overwhelming majority were over the age of 75.
Positives at nursing homes continue to make up the majority of new cases. 106 new positives brings the total to above 37 hundred, but only seven were the result of community spread.
Bucks Director of Health Dr. David Damskers says 77 residents at Neshaminy Manor have tested positive throughout the outbreak, and many are recovering.
986 patients who tested positive for coronavirus have made full recoveries, about one fourth of total confirmed cases.