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Daily local coronavirus briefing - April 23, 2020


PA Department of Health reports 1,369 new positive cases of COVID-19, brings statewide total to 37,053
The Pennsylvania Department of Health today confirmed that as of noon April 23, there are 1,369 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 37,053. All 67 counties in Pennsylvania have cases of COVID-19. Today, the state is reporting 1,394 confirmed deaths in Pennsylvania. All people are either in isolation at home or being treated at the hospital. The number of confirmed positive cases per county in the region is: Bucks, 2,131 and 116 deaths; Chester, 989 and 64 deaths; Delaware, 2,902 and 119 deaths; Lehigh, 2,418 and 43 deaths; Montgomery, 3,395 and 204 deaths; Northampton, 1,656 and 45 deaths; and Philadelphia, 10,090 and 271 deaths.

New Jersey positive COVID-19 cases are close to 100,000
The New Jersey Department of Health announced that as of April 23, there are 99,989 cases in the state, with 5,368 deaths. A total of 2,991 Mercer County residents have tested positive for COVID-19 and 163 people have died. Hunterdon County reports 464 cases and 22 deaths. Contact tracing continues. As more testing sites open around the county, we expect to see an increase in the number of positive cases. To view statistics by municipality, please visit the Mercer County COVID-19 dashboard at


Bucks Emergency Management director issues call for surgical gown donations
As the fight against the coronavirus pandemic rages on, personal protective equipment (PPE) – particularly surgical gowns – are becoming increasingly harder to find, Bucks County Emergency Management/Services Director Scott Forster said on Thursday. This week, 13,000 N95 masks, face shields and other types of PPE supplies were distributed to emergency services, municipalities and long-term care facilities, Forster reported in a virtual county news briefing.

Gov. Wolf: Online portal for donations of critical medical supplies launches
The Wolf administration today announced the launch of an online portal for individuals, corporations or community organizations to inform the commonwealth of critical medical supplies available for donation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Guidance provided to keep food supply chain moving
Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding outlined progress made in Pennsylvania to secure the stability of the food supply, increase market opportunities, protect the workforce, and ensure food is plentiful and accessible for all Pennsylvanians as the commonwealth works to mitigate against COVID-19.

Gov. Wolf: Reopening targeted for May 8 in North-Central, Northwest
Gov. Tom Wolf presented his detailed plan for reopening the commonwealth with a targeted May 8 start. The administration will categorize reopening into three phases: red, yellow, green. Phases will be assigned based on conditions in a county, counties or region. The administration will first study conditions in the north-central and northwest regions with a target of moving from red to yellow on May 8. Additional monitoring will take place and direction will be provided in the next week. To decide when to move to a new phase, the administration will use Department of Health metrics and a data tool developed by Carnegie Mellon University. The full plan is available here.


The Giant Company plans to hire 3,000 to meet surging demand for groceries
The GIANT Company announced today it intends to hire an additional 3,000 team members, nearly 10% of its total workforce, to meet the surging demand for groceries as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Over the past month, Giant has hired approximately 4,000 temporary and part-time team members across its family of brands which includes Giant, Martin’s, Giant Direct, Martin’s Direct and Giant Heirloom Market.

The company is hiring for multiple in-store positions plus fulfillment center selectors and drivers to support Giant Direct, its online grocery service that offers pickup and delivery.

Visit Bucks County offers alternative to Restaurant Week, #EatInBucksCo!
To support the Bucks County restaurant community during the current mandated closure period, Visit Bucks County (VBC) will transition Visit Bucks County Restaurant Week into a week of amplified promotion of restaurant takeout and delivery options. In lieu of the annual Visit Bucks County Restaurant Week scheduled to take place April 26 through May 2, VBC is encouraging locals to order takeout and delivery to support the local hospitality industry as the community focuses on staying safe, healthy and at home. Locals can find an abundance of special offers to choose from online at

St. Luke’s helps local companies protect workers – and global supply chain
As the global supply chain has come under increasing strain during the COVID-19 pandemic, large, local manufacturers and essential businesses in the region, from grocery packing facilities to bottled water manufacturers, aren’t taking chances when it comes to protecting their employees and their ability to provide essential goods and services. These businesses are working with St. Luke’s Occupational Medicine to provide COVID-19 screening services to protect the health and well-being of their workers and to mitigate the spread of the disease.

Community Support

Community members salute St. Mary workers
Approximately 25 cars participated in a salute to St. Mary Medical Center workers on Thursday morning. Neighbors at Regency at Northampton, an active adult living community in Bucks County, drove around the flagpole in front of St. Mary Medical Center with signs of appreciation and support for St. Mary staff working on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Community residents salute St. Mary Medical Center workers.


Cooking for a cause: BCB Baking Challenge supports COVID-19 relief

During these unprecedented times, BucksCountyBites, a food Instagram and blog seeking to inform the local community about trendy places to eat, is hosting a baking challenge to raise funds for No Kid Hungry. Step 1: The BCB Baking Challenge invites participants to donate $2 to @bcbchallenge on Venmo or through the fundraising link (in bio). Step 2: Bake something sweet and post a picture of your treat. Step 3: Tag @buckscountybites in your photo and nominate three friends to bake and donate. Optional Step 4: Send BucksCountyBites your recipe and BCB will repost it.  
American Heritage delivers 50,000 PPE masks to local hospitals
American Heritage Credit Union yesterday donated 50,000 personal protective equipment facemasks to local hospitals throughout the region. On April 22, American Heritage employees completed the sorting, packing and delivery of PPE facemasks to 14 local hospitals in its Workplace Partner Program.

CEO Bruce Foulke and associates of American Heritage Credit Union donate thousands of masks to nurses, practitioners and administrators at Grand View Hospital on April 22.

Mask Makers of Doylestown sew 10,000 masks and counting
Over 10,000 masks have been created and distributed thanks to a Facebook community of sewers in Bucks County. For the last four weeks, the Mask Makers of Doylestown have been making face masks for health care professionals. “One of the organizers has turned her porch into a supply center for individuals to get the materials needed to make the masks, like fabric, elastic, thread, bobbins, needles and more,” explained Lynne Goldman, a member of the group. “Everyone contributes whatever they can, and after making the masks, brings them back to the porch where they are distributed to health care organizations who have requested masks. Some people can sew, others who can’t, cut fabric, etc. Everyone pitches in.” For information, visit the Mask Makers’ Facebook page at

Pennsylvania American Water announces $100,000 in statewide COVID-19 relief funding
Pennsylvania American Water said it has selected the following organizations to receive financial contributions for their support of COVID-19 relief efforts in Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties. These donations are part of the company’s pledge to donate $100,000 to COVID-19 relief efforts across the Commonwealth through the company and its charitable arm, the American Water Charitable Foundation.

Education, Courses & Online Learning

DelVal to freeze undergraduate tuition at current levels for 2020-21 academic year
Delaware Valley University announced today that it will freeze undergraduate tuition and fees at current levels for the 2020 to 2021 academic year.


Bucks County Senior Games canceled
Due to state mandates and social gathering recommendations surrounding COVID-19, the 2020 Bucks County Senior Games and its kickoff event have been canceled. For those who have already registered, they will be reimbursed by the same method that they paid. The planned dates for the 2021 Senior Games are June 7 to 14. For information, visit

Arts & Culture

Del Val High School’s Diamond Jubilee Jamboree postponed
Delaware Valley Regional High School’s Diamond Jubilee Jamboree is being rescheduled. Originally set for May 16, this celebration of the Frenchtown, N.J., school’s 60th anniversary school year is being postponed to the fall. That goes for the induction of the Del Val Hall of Fame for the Arts, too. It had been set for earlier the same day. For information on the Jamboree, visit