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Commissioners request relaxation of restrictions

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On Monday, the Bucks County Commissioners said they sent a letter to Gov. Tom Wolf, asking him to consider relaxing some of the restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

During a virtual “town hall,” Commissioner Gene DiGirolamo said, the letter asked the governor “to give us a little flexibility” and separate the number of deaths from nursing and long-term care facilities from the rest of Bucks County’s virus deaths.

“The majority of deaths in Bucks County are coming from our nursing homes,” said DiGirolamo. “The governor has got to take that into consideration when making the decision of when to move certain counties from red to yellow,” referring to the stages the state has created to phase in reopening of the economy.

However, during the state’s daily COVID-19 briefing, Pennsylvania’s secretary of health, Dr. Rachel Levine, said that isn’t likely.

“We’ve been asked this question before and we are not going to separate nursing homes cases from other cases in the counties,” she said. “What we have learned from this global pandemic of COVID-19 is that all are interconnected. One section of the community impacts another part.”

Bucks commissioners also asked that the state consider separating the county from Philadelphia. “The Philadelphia numbers are not affecting us,” said Commissioner Diane Ellis-Marseglia.

Last week, 102 of the county’s 168 new cases were from long-term care facilities and another 14 were employees of those homes, officials said.


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