Newly released data shows the coronavirus spike in Bucks County continues to grow. Now deaths are increasing too.
Bucks County Health officials tallied 12 deaths attributed to the virus last week. All but two were residents of long term care facilities and over the age of 80.
Notably, the deaths occurred over a two week period from Oct. 30 to Nov. 14. This is the highest death rate since late May when health officials reported 27 deaths in a single week.
The death toll for the county now sits at 551.
Bucks County Health Department Director Dr. David Damsker called for more diligent use of masks.
“Older Bucks Countians are clearly at the highest risk of serious illness from COVID,” said Damsker. “Let’s protect them as best we can, and make sure we aren’t sick and wear our masks when we’re around them. We know how to stop the spread of this virus. Let’s work together to be smarter.”
Hospitalizations are growing as well. 22 people are in the hospital with COVID-19, up from 16 the week before.
Case totals are skyrocketing as well. Health officials reported an average of nearly 240 new confirmed positives per day last week, or 1,676 from Nov. 8 to 14.
“The numbers are much higher, and almost every case is from unmasked exposures to family, friends, and co-workers,” said Damsker.
This rate is more than double the week before. Bucks now has a total of 12,241 confirmed positives.
Most recent figures of active cases in townships are from this past Friday. The county usually provides updated maps each Tuesday and Friday, but did not do so this week.
Bensalem and Bristol Township continue to be hotspots for the virus with 219 and 167 active cases respectively. Middletown Township is not far behind with 137 active cases.
Northampton is seeing a relatively rapid increase as well. It has 128 current positives compared to less than 50 the week before.
Meantime, 9,300 people in Bucks have made full recoveries.
“We need to tighten up mask usage in all situations. We’ve seen that they work, and work very well,” Damsker said. “The transmission risk is extremely low when both the infected person and the exposed person are masked – so low that a few states don’t even consider it to be an exposure.”