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Daily Coronavirus Briefing - May 19, 2020

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Bucks County Coronavirus Summary
Welcome to the Bucks County 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-2019) guide. This page has the latest information on coronavirus in the county, updated daily.
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PA Department of Health provides update on COVID-19, 610 new positives bring statewide total to 63,666
The Pennsylvania Department of Health today confirmed as of noon May 19, that there are 610 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 63,666. All 67 counties in Pennsylvania have cases of COVID-19. Today, the state is reporting 119 new deaths and a total to 4,624 total deaths in Pennsylvania. Bucks County reports 4,573 cases and a total of 426 deaths; Chester County 2199 cases and 230 deaths; Delaware County 5,754 cases and 451 deaths; Lehigh County 3,513 cases and 182 deaths; Montgomery County 6,063 cases and 575 deaths; Northampton County 2,758 cases and 176 deaths; Philadelphia 16,487 cases and 1,109 deaths. There are 286,034 patients in the state who have tested negative to date.


New Jersey reports 149,013 positive COVID-19 cases
The New Jersey Department of Health announced that as of May 19, there are 149,013 cases of COVID-19 cases and 10,586 deaths. There are 6,018 Mercer County residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 and 422 people have died. Hunterdon County reported 885 cases and 53 deaths.


Wolf administration releases data on COVID-19 cases by long-term care facility
The Wolf administration today released data on the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths at long-term care facilities in Pennsylvania. The data provides the number of cases, number of employee cases and number of deaths that have occurred at each facility. For facilities with less than five in any of these data points, the information is redacted.
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Events

Middletown Grange Fair, scheduled for August, is canceled
“It is with great sadness that we must announce the cancellation of the 2020 Middletown Grange Fair,” said Debbie Gregory. “This was a devastating decision based on many factors, but primarily on community safety and fiscal responsibility. Without clear guidance from the government, we simply do not have the resources to continue to prepare for an event that may not safely or legally be permitted. We are incredibly grateful for the continued support of our patrons, volunteers, exhibitors, and members, and we look forward to seeing our community next year from Aug. 18-22, 2021.” The countywide show is usually held at the Grange Fairgrounds in Penns Park.


New Hope Borough slates roundtable on supporting restaurants
The greatest challenge in gradually reopening New Hope's businesses is faced by the hospitality industry. New Hope Borough Council and the New Hope Chamber of Commerce are convening a virtual roundtable for bar and restaurant managers and owners to start planning for their best possible future. The meeting, for New Hope restaurateurs only, will be held via Zoom at 1 p.m. on Thursday, May 21, When the Pennsylvania Department of Health moves Bucks County from "red" to "yellow" on its phased reopening plan, restaurants will still be limited to take-out, curbside pickup, and delivery. And the final "green" phase will adhere to social-distancing guidelines, which will fundamentally change the dining rooms and business models of this critical industry. New Hope Borough restaurant and bar owners and managers interested in attending the May 21 Zoom event should email Laura Kent at the Borough, laura@newhopeborough.org, by 3 p.m Wednesday, May 20.
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Government

Gov. Wolf announces real estate industry may conduct limited business transactions statewide
Gov. Tom Wolf today announced that starting today, businesses and employees in the real estate industry may conduct limited business-related activities statewide and provided guidance for this industry to operate in red phase and yellow phase counties. “We continue to review our policies and the scientific data to determine the safest approach for all activities in the commonwealth,” Governor Wolf said. “While at this point more than two-thirds of the state will be in the yellow phase of the state’s reopening plan by Friday, May 22, we are still evaluating how industries may be able to conduct business appropriately in red phase counties, including the real estate industry.
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Gov. Wolf Vetoes SB 327, HB 2388 and HB 2412
Gov. Tom Wolf today vetoed three bills related to the state’s response to COVID-19 that he said, violate the separation of powers and make other changes that go against the administration’s measured plan for reopening the state safely. Senate Bill 327 would authorize counties to develop and implement their own mitigation plans and decide when businesses within their county can reopen and includes a provision that prohibits commonwealth agencies from performing an essential governmental operation, the promulgation of regulations, until 90 days after the COVID-19 disaster emergency declaration is terminated unless the legislature grants permission for a regulation to advance. House Bill 2388 and House Bill 2412 would allow various industries to reopen in red phase counties.
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CDC teams to assist in Pennsylvania COVID-19 response
Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine yesterday announced that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has sent three teams to Pennsylvania to assist with the COVID-19 response. “We are so pleased to have this level of collaboration and assistance from the CDC to help our teams working in the field in Pennsylvania,” Levine said. “COVID-19 is a particularly challenging situation for congregate settings, including large workplaces, food industries and long-term care facilities. These teams are assisting us in our response in these hardest-hit areas as we work to protect the public health and safety of Pennsylvanians.”
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DCNR announces opening of ATV trails in state forests
All-terrain vehicle (ATV) trails in Pennsylvania state forests opened today, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn announced. Dunn noted that ATV trails are opening several days before the start of the normal season – typically the Friday before the Memorial Day holiday – to reduce opening weekend crowding and provide more opportunities for social distancing.
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HHS delivers $301,036,685 to expand testing capacity in Pennsylvania
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is delivering $301,036,685 in new funding to Pennsylvania to support testing for COVID-19. In total, $10.25 billion in funding is being provided by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to states, territories, and local jurisdictions through CDC’s existing Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity for Prevention and Control of Emerging Infectious Diseases (ELC) cooperative agreement. This funding is part of the Trump Administration’s broader effort to ensure that states, territories, and tribes have the resources necessary to meet their testing goals as they begin to reopen.
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Bucks County Housing Group receives $210,872 in fourth wave of relief funds
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Joe DeFelice announced $2.3 million in a fourth wave of CARES Act funding to 22 local public housing authorities in Pennsylvania, including $210,872 to the Bucks County Housing Group in Doylestown.
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DCNR announces plans to reopen more state park, forest facilities
Today, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn announced a phased reopening of more state park and forest facilities in keeping with Gov. Tom Wolf’s direction to ensure Pennsylvanians have opportunities to safely enjoy outdoor recreation and help maintain positive physical and mental health.
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Community Support

TruMark expresses gratitude with food for the front line
In a world of social distancing, wearing masks and stay-at-home orders, first responders and essential employees have become everyday heroes. Police officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, doctors and nurses are working around the clock to keep the community safe.
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Photo Caption: TruMark Financial Credit Union expressed its gratitude to the Bensalem Rescue Squad with lunch from Jack’s Cold Cuts.


 
Foundations Community Partnership board aids Bucks nonprofits stricken by pandemic
Nonprofit organizations have been especially hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic as community need is greater than ever. In an effort to quickly respond to the crises, Foundations Community Partnership (FCP) created the COVID-19 Response Grant program to provide a source of funding to organizations serving Bucks County children, youth and families in need. Following a $10,000 emergency donation to the Bucks County United Way in March, this week FCP’s board of directors approved $230,000 in COVID-19 response grant funding to be distributed to 51 nonprofits throughout the county.
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