After preventative measures against the coronavirus closed five schools in the Central Bucks School District closed Friday, tests as of Saturday afternoon have come back negative. But new cases in Montgomery County mean the virus may be relatively close.
Superintendent Dr. John Kopicki made the call to close the schools late Thursday. He made the decision after Dr. David Damsker, director of the Bucks Department of Health, informed him several students and staff made contact with a coronavirus carrier.
The infected person was visiting from out of state. While they did not show any symptoms at the time, the situation later changed. As the coronavirus, or COVID-19, can be contagious even without symptoms, it was uncertain whether the students and staff had contracted the illness.
Fortunately, test results have come back negative as of Saturday evening. Even a small number of people in the group with cold-like symptoms have tested negative so far.
The county released a statement shortly thereafter.
“Provided nobody develops symptoms before their 14-day incubation period ends on Monday, all will be medically cleared, health officials said.”
However, the Pennsylvania Department of Health announced late Saturday afternoon there are four cases in Montgomery County. This brings the total number of COVID-19 cases in the Commonwealth to six.
“These two individuals, both adults, have mild symptoms and are isolated at home. They tested presumptive positive after known international exposure.”
Still, health officials are advising the best way to fight the coronavirus is prevention.
“We want people in Bucks County to be aware of the situation, but not panicked,” Damsker added. “We want our residents to continue taking all of the common-sense approaches that we take with influenza, with respect to handwashing often, not touching your face, avoiding sick people and not going to work when sick. Please perform these steps both at home and at work.”
The county reiterated the need to practice the following steps:
- Frequent hand-washing with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds
- Avoiding close contact (within six feet) with people who are sick
- Avoiding touching one’s eyes, nose and mouth
- Staying home when sick
- Covering one’s coughs or sneezes with a tissue and throwing the tissue in the trash
- Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces with household cleaning sprays or wipes
More information from the county is available here.