COVID-19 Cases Continue Dropping, Bucks Kickstarts Vaccine Clinics

A medical worker prepares a COVID-19 vaccine dose. Photo via Bucks County.

Signs are still indicating Bucks County is headed in a positive direction as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

Cases counts are down overall again to a seven-day rolling average of 174 as of Tuesday, February 16. This is down from about 200 the same time the week before.

Bucks now has about 39,400 confirmed and 4,000 probable cases.

Hospitalizations are holding relatively steady. From 96 last week, there are 93 Bucks Countians in the hospital with COVID-19. Slightly less of those are in the ICU, though more are on ventilators.

Deaths tallied after President’s Day weekend show an increase. Despite decreasing cases, state health officials counted 29 COVID related deaths last week.

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

Meantime, county-run vaccine clinics opened Tuesday. And it’s off to a rough start.

Bucks County officials remain frustrated with a low supply of vaccine. The county received 6,725 doses last week, down about 30 percent.

This has put a damper on plans to ramp up distribution by the end of this month. Health Department Director Dr. David Damsker does not expect this to change until next month, according to a county release.

The county clinics are open at all three Bucks County Community College campuses. They are currently distributing about 200 doses each per day.

Health officials are sending email invitations for vaccines to those who have registered on the Bucks COVID-19 portal. These emails include links to schedule appointments.

However, it seems some people engaged in “link sharing.” The sign-up link made its way around social media.

This allowed people who did not receive an invitation to sign up and cut the line. Bucks officials say this has since been cleaned up, for the most part.

An additional error from the county’s IT service resulted in more invitations going out than vaccines available. Those affected by this glitch should have been notified and rescheduled for another time, possibly more than a week later.