BUCKS COUNTY, PA — The number of new coronavirus cases in Bucks County jumped 45 percent last week, as the fall surge hitting Pennsylvania and much of the nation became local.
Last week, Bucks County averaged about 55 new cases per day, an increase of about 18 a day from the week before, according to the county health department. Those are the biggest numbers the county has seen since the outbreak's peak in May, but still trail much of Pennsylvania and the rest of the nation.
One new death was attributed to the coronavirus in Bucks County last week — a 57-year-old man who had underlying health issues.
"While we understand there is some COVID fatigue, let’s not forget that anyone with whom you come into contact may have the virus," said Bucks County Health Department Director Dr. David Damsker.
Damsker said that, at least so far, most cases reported in Bucks County have been relatively mild.
"Despite seeing case increases, deaths and serious illnesses remain low. That’s the good news,” he said. "However, people continue to attend parties and other social gatherings where masks and social distancing seem to disappear — this accounts for many of our additional cases."
Pennsylvania posted three straight days of more than 2,000 new cases last week, including a record-setting 2,219 case on Friday. The positivity rate for Pennsylvanians tested for coronavirus rose to a troubling 5 percent, up from 4.2 percent the previous week.
Meanwhile, the United States had more new COVID-19 cases last week than at any time in the pandemic, including more than 83,000 cases reported on both Friday and Saturday. Both of those were daily records.
In Bucks County, 14 people were hospitalized with the coronavirus last week, with two of them in critical condition and on ventilators. The county's positivity rate remained a relatively low 3.3 percent.
That kept Bucks off of a list of 30 Pennsylvania counties where state officials labeled positivity rates as "concerning."
Household spread and social gatherings were the leading causes of the spread in Bucks County last week, according to the health department. The two accounted for 49 percent of last week's new cases, with pure community spread also on the rise, hitting 22 percent.
Through Saturday, Bucks County has had 9,342 patients test positive for the coronavirus since the pandemic began. A total of 535 deaths have been attributed to the virus, while 8,262 people are confirmed to have recovered.
The median age of those infected in Bucks has been 49, while the median age of death has been 84.