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Daily local coronavirus briefing - April 30, 2020


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

PA Department of Health provides update on COVID-19, 1,397 positives bring statewide total to 45,763
The Pennsylvania Department of Health today confirmed as of noon April 30, that there are 1,397 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 45,763. All 67 counties in Pennsylvania have cases of COVID-19. Today, the state is reporting a total to 2,292 deaths in Pennsylvania. Bucks County reports 2,870 cases and 205 deaths; Chester County 1,375 cases and 111 deaths; Delaware County 3,696 cases and 235 deaths; Lehigh County 2,796 cases and 74 deaths; Montgomery County 4,307 cases and 351 deaths; Northampton County 2,050 cases and 94 deaths; Philadelphia 12,297 cases and 424 deaths.

New Jersey reports 116,264 positive COVID-19 cases
The New Jersey Department of Health announced that as of April 30, there are 116,264 cases and 6,770 deaths. There are 3,937 Mercer County residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 and 231 people have died. Hunterdon County reported 583 cases and 27 deaths. Flemington Borough reported 31 cases, Frenchtown Borough five cases, Stockton Borough zero cases and Milford Borough two cases. Lambertville City counted 19 cases and the Town of Clinton counted 25 cases. Alexandria Township reported nine cases, Clinton Township 56 cases, Delaware Township 14 cases, East Amwell Township nine cases, Kingwood Township 11 cases, Raritan Township 110 cases and West Amwell Township 13 cases.

COVID-19 update shows regional trends as possible reopening approaches
This COVID-19 update by Peter Malamis of CRO Analytics adds a focus on regional and county data associated with Governor Wolf’s reopening plan. For Bucks County, while the current 14-day rolling average of new cases of 102 is significantly above the target of 22, the last three days have seen a meaningful drop of new cases to 83, 81, and 58. This does not appear to be tied to lower testing rates based on statewide testing numbers, however, I don’t have county level data on new tests. The nursing home analysis was included because of questions about the impact of nursing home cases on the overall totals. Statewide about 21% of all cases are in nursing homes and at least in the Southeast PA region this does not seem to impact the numbers disproportionately.

Other noteworthy items:

• All increase rates largely holding steady for the US, Pennsylvania, and Bucks County.
• SE-PA is the only region NOT decreasing its 7-day rolling average of new cases.
• Bucks and Chester appear to be the primary drivers behind SE-PA’s increasing numbers.
• Current Bucks County daily increase rate for new cases is 6% and will need to drop below 1%.
• Nursing home cases while potentially high relative to total number of cases, appear to be consistent on a per capita basis within SE-PA. (appendix)
• Montgomery County interactive map shows incidence detail potentially useful at a school district level.
Click HERE to read the full report. 

Illegal dumping on the rise in Pennsylvania: Report it to Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful
Since stay at home orders were issued on April 1 due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful has received 73 reports identifying illegal dumpsites in 35 different counties across the state. Fourteen percent of the sites are located on state park, state forest, or game lands.


New Hope closes some gathering spots after social distancing violations
New Hope Borough wants visitors to enjoy New Hope safely. But some small groups are making that harder to do, and the borough has been forced to close some public spaces in the interest of public health.

Borough Police have responded to numerous calls from residents concerning gatherings at public facilities, clearly violating social-distancing guidelines that protect everyone's health. As a consequence, the borough closed some gathering spots. Parking lots at the New Hope Solebury High School, the American Legion and Borough lots will now be closed on weekends. Lenape Park is now closed on weekends. And the borough will be removing benches from public streets, grounds and parks.

PA Auditor General to audit state’s handling of COVID-19 business shutdown waivers
Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said he will audit how the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) has managed the waiver process for businesses that appealed Gov. Tom Wolf’s COVID-19 shutdown order. “Some business owners complained that the department’s waiver process was too slow and not transparent enough,” DePasquale said. “My audit is intended to help make sure that the waiver process is managed more smoothly should it be necessary to use it again in the future.”

PennDOT construction projects to resume beginning May 1
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced today that in accordance with Gov. Tom Wolf’s plan for a phased-in reopening of public and private construction, PennDOT highway and bridge construction projects will resume beginning May 1.

Gov. Wolf signs House Bill 1869 into law, provides compensation to PA National Guard members impacted by COVID-19 on active duty
Gov. Tom Wolf signed House Bill 1869, now Act 17 of 2020, after its unanimous passage last week by both the Pennsylvania House and Senate. This bipartisan legislation expands the Pennsylvania Heart and Lung Act to provide 100% compensation of income for first responders who are impacted by COVID-19 and are unable to perform their duties. The final bill included an amendment that makes these same benefits available to members of the Pennsylvania National Guard who contract COVID-19 or are subject to quarantine while on state active duty. State Sen. Pam Iovino (D – Allegheny and Washington), Democratic chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, helped to draft the amendment, which was introduced by state Sen. Katie Muth (D – Berks, Chester, and Montgomery).

Wolf administration: New funding awarded to assist hospitals across Pennsylvania
Today, Gov. Tom Wolf announced that nearly $324 million in funding has been awarded to 31 hospitals across the commonwealth through the Hospital Emergency Loan Program, or HELP, which provides short-term financial relief as hospitals combat the surge of COVID-19 cases in their area. The loan package was made available to the commonwealth’s hospitals to provide immediate financial support for working capital to ensure that these facilities have sufficient personnel, equipment and personal protective equipment. The recipients include Lower Bucks Hospital (Prime Healthcare Services - Lower Bucks LLC), $5 million.


Delaware River Towns seek shoppers support on Online Small Business Saturday May 2
May 2 is Online Small Business Saturday in the Delaware River Towns. The business there ask that as area residents shop for Mother's Day, they support Delaware River Towns’ businesses because they are in need of patronage during the COVID-19 crisis. “If we lose our businesses, our river towns risk losing their unique and special identities,” said the Delaware River Towns Chamber of Commerce. For a list of participating businesses, visit Many are offering specials and gift card sales.

Eric & Christopher launches new collection; 15 percent of sales feed frontline workers
Eric & Christopher, this week, launched the new American Pride Collection just in time for Mother's Day, National Nurses Week and Teacher Appreciation Week. Fifteen percent of all Eric & Christopher sales right now, including the American Pride Collection, go to feeding frontline workers.

Unemployment claims increase for sixth week
The Center Square – For the sixth consecutive week, Pennsylvania has seen massively inflated numbers for new unemployment claims compared to the data from before the onset of the coronavirus crisis. Another 131,282 Pennsylvania residents filed for jobless benefits during the week ending April 25, according to the latest numbers released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Labor. That brings the total for the past six weeks up to about 1.6 million.

Community Support

The Fuge in Warminster offers free to-go meals and music
Due to Covid 19, The Fuge, 780 Falcon Circle, Warminster, is offering individuals and families an opportunity to order free meals for pickup between 3 and 5 p.m. Saturday May 2. There will be music playing so those in line in their cars for drive-up pickup can dance in their cars, said Fuge owner Sam Cravaro.

Fragrance company donates barrels of hand sanitizer to Hunterdon County
Hunterdon County has received a donation of two 55 gallon drums of hand sanitizer from Firmenich, a Swiss perfume and taste company with offices in Newark, N.J., for use by essential county staff and distribution to first responders and medical providers, Hunterdon County Freeholder Board Deputy Director Sue Soloway has announced.

Perkasie Borough participating in “Bells Across Pennsylvania Day”
Perkasie Borough will take part in “Bells Across Pennsylvania Day” in support of first responders, health-care workers and essential employees, and their ongoing efforts during the coronavirus pandemic. On May 3, area residents and churches are asked to ring bells at 7 p.m. for three minutes, with each minute representing one of the following principles:

Health & Wellness

Hunterdon Healthcare to close Respiratory Assessment Tent
As of 6 p.m. on Friday, May 1, Hunterdon Healthcare will close the Respiratory Assessment Tent located at Hunterdon Medical Center. Over the past two weeks, the Respiratory Assessment Tent has seen a decrease in patient volume, which is why the decision was made to close the site.

Penn Foundation offers virtual Anger Management Group
Penn Foundation is offering a virtual Anger Management Group for adults on Tuesdays from 6 to 7 p.m., beginning May 12. The group will run via Zoom for 11weeks through July 21. All insurances accepted.