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Daily Coronavirus Briefing - May 7, 2020

Bucks County Coronavirus Summary
Welcome to the Bucks County 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-2019) summary. This page has the latest information on coronavirus in the county, updated daily.

PA Department of Health provides update on COVID-19, 1,070 new positives bring statewide total to 52,915
The Pennsylvania Department of Health today confirmed as of noon May 7, that there are 1,070 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 52,915. All 67 counties in Pennsylvania have cases of COVID-19. Today, the state is reporting 310 new deaths and a total to 3,416 deaths in Pennsylvania. Bucks County reports 3,613 cases and 320 deaths; Chester County 1,673 cases and 167 deaths; Delaware County 4,497 cases and 376 deaths; Lehigh County 3,102 cases and 111 deaths; Montgomery County 4,915 cases and 506 deaths; Northampton County 2,355 cases and 152 deaths; Philadelphia 14,006 cases and 698 deaths.

New Jersey reports 131,890 positive COVID-19 cases
The New Jersey Department of Health announced that as of May 7, there are 131,890 cases and 8,549 deaths. There are 4,860 Mercer County residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 and 298 people have died. On May 6, Hunterdon County reported 682 cases and 39 deaths.

Second bridge commission employee testing positive for COVID-19
The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission today announced that a bridge monitor assigned to safeguarding two of the agency’s weight-restricted truss bridges (known as the free bridges) has tested positive for COVID-19. The employee was assigned night shifts – 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. – and worked at the Centre Bridge-Stockton Toll-Supported Bridge between Bucks County and Hunterdon County April 24, 25, 29 and 30; and worked at the Washington Crossing Toll-Supported Bridge between Bucks County and Mercer County April 26. The commission is recommending pedestrians who crossed the two bridges during the respective times and dates listed above and did not socially distance themselves from a commission employee they might have encountered to monitor their symptoms and contact a health care provider if they are feeling ill.


Department of Aging receives $3 million to support Aging and Disability Resource Centers during pandemic
The Pennsylvania Department of Aging’s Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRC) Office has been awarded $3 million from the Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Community Living to support efforts to mitigate and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gov. Wolf outlines plans to create Commonwealth Civilian Coronavirus Corps
As Pennsylvania plans to safely reopen the economy and recover from COVID-19, Gov. Tom Wolf announced the creation of the Commonwealth Civilian Coronavirus Corps,a public service initiative that will support efforts this fall to increase testing and contact tracing and provide critical new job opportunities in the public health sector.

Gov. Wolf signs executive order to provide civil immunity for health care providers
Gov. Tom Wolf signed an executive order to afford health care practitioners protection against liability for good faith actions taken in response to the call to supplement the health care provider workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic.

HHS awards $16,797,397 to expand COVID-19 testing in Pennsylvania
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), today awarded $16,797,397 to 43 health centers in Pennsylvania, to expand COVID-19 testing. Across the nation, nearly $583 million was awarded to 1,385 HRSA-funded health centers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and eight U.S. territories to support their testing capacity. Nearly 88 percent of HRSA-funded health centers report testing patients, with more than 65 percent offering walk-up or drive-up testing. Health centers are currently providing more than 100,000 weekly COVID-19 tests in their local communities.

Toomey and Casey: How we can reduce nursing home deaths
U.S. Sens. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Bob Casey (D-Pa.) wrote in an op-ed in the Morning Call today about how to better protect nursing home workers and residents from COVID-19.


Arkema Inc. donates hand sanitizer to help four States fight COVID-19
Arkema Inc. repurposed a production line at its plant in Geneseo, N.Y., to manufacture 10,000 gallons – enough to fill 110,000 12 oz. bottles – of hand sanitizer solution. This solution, made with the company’s own hydrogen peroxide, was donated to New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas, states in which the company has key operations. Brenntag and ExxonMobil helped make this possible. “The hand sanitizer solution donated by Arkema will no doubt be put to good use in our state,” said Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf. “With materials like this currently difficult to purchase, we welcome this fresh supply to support our efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. We are grateful that Pennsylvania-based companies such as Arkema are stepping up to help us stop the spread.”

Paycheck Protection Program Funds still available
Billions of dollars in potentially forgivable Payroll Protection Program capital remains available to small businesses and nonprofits to help provide eight weeks of payroll and certain overhead to keep workers employed. PPP, laid out by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, is responsible for infusing billions of dollars of capital into small businesses nationwide and saving jobs.

QNB Corp. to hold virtual annual shareholders meeting due to COVID-19
QNB Corp. (OTCBB: QNBC), parent Company of QNB Bank announced that, due to the continuing public health concerns relating to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and to protect the health and well-being of its shareholders, employees, and other stakeholders, the company's 2020 annual shareholder meeting will now be held virtually. A proxy statement supplement will be filed today with the Securities Exchange Commission with additional information concerning the virtual meeting, which we urge shareholders to read in its entirety.

Community Support

Getting through a pandemic, one purr at a time: Tabby’s Place brings hope, peace
In a time of vast uncertainty, you can count on one thing: pets bring peace. Tabby’s Place is delivering the unique charm and calming comfort of its cats to the public. Through a number of free programs, the Ringoes, N.J., cat sanctuary is spreading love and joy to anyone in need of (virtual) cat cuddles.

Fred Beans launches 500,000 Meals Challenge on #GivingTuesdayNow, pledges $25,000 a month to fight hunger
Drawing from his Quaker roots, Fred Beans has instilled in his family business the philosophy of “doing well by doing good.” At 81, he finds new inspiration in those words to continue his commitment to “doing good” despite the uncertain timeline for “business as usual” in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, on #GivingTuesdayNow, the Fred Beans Automotive Group launched a 500,000 Meals Challenge. The company will donate $25,000 a month through the end of the year, divided across area organizations that fight hunger.

Bucks Area Agency on Aging offers telephone assurance services for seniors
Feeling isolated? The Bucks County Area Agency on Aging is offering a telephone assurance service to any Bucks County senior (60+) who is feeling isolated and would welcome a chance to connect with one of our volunteers. Staying socially connected is essential to good health and has been especially challenging since the onset of social distancing practices. This program allows Bucks County residents to connect with someone new, get to know one another, and share their experience through the course of this pandemic. To join this program, call 267-880-5700 and ask to be registered for the telephone assurance program.

Bucks County COVID-19 Recovery Fund provides $25,000 for hunger relief
Bucks County COVID-19 Recovery Fund, established in March by United Way of Bucks County with additional funding from Penn Community Bank, is continuing to support residents in need in Bucks County through local nonprofits. In the seventh round of grant funding, Bucks County Opportunity Council was awarded $25,000 to help aid local food pantries that are struggling to keep up with the increased demand for food assistance. Grant funds will be distributed to 12 food pantries county-wide, with each pantry receiving $2,000 in flexible funding for the purchase of food.

Arts & Culture

Virtual Lehigh Valley Auto Show to air online and on TV
The Greater Lehigh Valley Auto Dealers 2020 Virtual Auto Show will premier this Saturday, May 9, at 6:30 p.m. on WFMZ-TV. The show will also be broadcast on WFMZ-TV on Saturday, May 16, at 6:30 p.m. and on Monday, May 18, at 7 p.m. It will run at various times during the month of May on the MeTV Network, the Heroes and Icons Network and on Retro TV Networks.

Riverside Symphonia cancels Concert Under the Stars
Riverside Symphonia has, after careful consideration with government and health professionals, decided to cancel its annual June 27 Concert Under the Stars fireworks event. The Symphonia previously canceled its April 19 Gershwin Spectacular concert, and postponed its May 3 Caprio Young Artists Competition, as well as its May 9, 30th Birthday Party Gala, to the fall. The possibility might exist for the Concert Under the Stars to be held at a later date this summer or fall and the Symphonia will explore a new date should social distancing guidelines allow the concert to take place.

Education, Courses & Online Learning

U.S. Rep. Fitzpatrick, state officials lend an ear to students in Teen Town Hall
Fresh off the heels of the Bensalem School Board unanimously passing a resolution urging the Pennsylvania General Assembly to maintain its level of public school funding, despite the state’s budget problems due to the pandemic, U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick and State legislators from Bucks County will participate in the first Public Citizens for Children and Youth Teen Town Hall Meeting on Friday, May 8 at 10:30 a.m. via Zoom Webinar, streaming live via Facebook.

Delaware Valley University announces plans to open campus for fall semester
Delaware Valley University today announced today that the school is creating plans to hold classes on campus for the fall 2020 semester. “We will follow the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania regarding how we open campus,” said DelVal President Dr. Maria Gallo. “There is no question that our students, faculty and staff want to be together as a community again.”

Health & Wellness

HMC discharges COVID-19 patient to recover at home
Bob Kovacs of Flemington, N.J., considers himself lucky. Three months ago, he had just completed a Polar Bear Plunge and was exercising four times a week, and on April 4 that all changed.

Bob Kovacs was discharged from Hunterdon Medical Center on May 5 after spending 30 days in the hospital with COVID-19. At 3:30 p.m., Hunterdon Medical Center staff gathered to wish Kovacs a fond farewell.