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Local coronavirus briefing - March 14, 2020

Department of Health Provides Update on COVID-19, Four New Presumptive Positives, Bringing Statewide Total to 45
The Pennsylvania Department of Health this morning confirmed four additional presumptive positive cases of COVID-19, two adults from Montgomery County, one adult from Philadelphia County and one adult from Chester County. All are either in isolation at home or being treated at the hospital. This brings the statewide total to 45 cases; 39 of the cases are presumptive positive and six cases, one in Delaware County, one in Wayne County and four in Montgomery County have been confirmed by the CDC.

Bucks County Commissioners slate briefing today
The Bucks County Commissioners, Health Department Director David Damsker, Emergency Services Director Scott T. Forster and other county officials will hold a news briefing at 3:30 p.m. today to provide an update on recent coronavirus-related developments and preparations being made by the county and its partners. It will take place at the Bucks County Emergency Operations Center, 911 Freedom Way, Ivyland. Included in the briefing will be information about a new landing page being constructed on the county’s GIS Data/Maps Portal that will serve as a comprehensive resource for residents, businesses and the media to find the latest information and advisories about COVID-19, as well as any breaking developments happening today. It will also provide an opportunity for you to get answers to any remaining questions you may have about yesterday’s significant events and announcements.

Bucks County Free Library Coronavirus Action Plan
For the most up-to-date information on BCFL’s status during this time, visit

All Bucks County Free Library branches will be CLOSED beginning Saturday, March 14, through Sunday, March 22. At that time, we will evaluate whether we can reopen. In the interim, due dates will be adjusted accordingly and fine accrual will be suspended. In addition, all library-sponsored programs and meeting room bookings are canceled through Saturday, April 4. This includes group events and individual technology help appointments. Any group that cancels a meeting room booking will be fully refunded. In the meantime, there are a myriad of ways that you can access the library from home:

Use our e-library to borrow ebooks, e-audiobooks, and e-magazines and stream music and videos.
Keep up with the news by reading The New York Times or use NewsBank to access news from publications around the world.
Learn something new, sharpen your skills, or get tips on working from home with online courses from (LinkedIn Learning).
Take advantage of our other online educational resources: Brainfuse (study help and live online tutoring) and LearningExpress (test prep and tutorials).

Pennsylvania Horticultural Society cancels programs
In an effort to limit the transmission of the coronavirus (COVID-19) across Philadelphia and the surrounding communities, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society is cancelling all PHS programs and events, effective today through Friday, March 27. Please contact partners directly regarding programs taking place at off-site locations (Mt. Cuba Center, Ambler Arboretum of Temple University, and Jenkins Arboretum).

Michener Art Museum closed until March 30
The Michener Art Museum is closed to the public beginning today, March 13 at 4:30 p.m., through Monday, March 30th at 4:30 p.m.. All classes, lectures, tours, and public programs have been postponed or cancelled during this time period. The museum will be closely monitoring the situation and will evaluate the reopening currently scheduled for Tuesday, March 31, as this date is subject to change based on conditions.

Arts & Culture Council cancels events
The Arts & Cultural Council of Bucks County has taken measures to minimize exposure by postponing upcoming events. The Art of Marketing educational seminar scheduled for March 19 and the Legal Protection of your Art educational seminar scheduled for April 16 will be rescheduled for September and October of 2020. Bucks County Reimagine, Explore, Discover (BC R.E.D.), the annual members’ reception and two-day art exhibition and sale, is currently scheduled for June 6 and 7. The council will monitor the situation and make future determinations based upon the guidelines of the CDC and other health organizations.

AWP postpones 25th Anniversary Chocolate Lovers’ Fantasy fundraiser
A Woman’s Place (AWP) has postponed its 25th anniversary Chocolate Lovers’ Fantasy until Friday, Nov. 6.

“This is a tough decision to make. This event is a key element of AWP’s fundraising strategy, raising vital funds to support accomplishing the vision of a society where all individuals are safe and can flourish,” AWP said in a prepared statement.

“What we know for certain is that with or without Chocolate Lovers’ Fantasy and with or without COVID-19, individuals will continue to be victimized, will continue to reach out for help, and we will continue to serve them.

“What we also know is that, as a social change organization rooted in Courage, Creativity, Equality, Integrity, Respect, and Social Justice, we must do our part to slow down the spread of COVID-19.

“Understanding that canceling our signature event supports the practice of social distancing which buys time and saves lives, there really is no other decision to be made. You and this community support us in our lifesaving work. This is the least AWP can do to support the community in its own lifesaving work.

“Violence will not stop for COVID-19. Neither will AWP. AWP will continue to answer calls, respond to cries for help, and open its doors to provide emergency shelter. AWP’s work will carry on and we thank you, in advance, for continuing to support it.

“We wish you clean hands, safe spaces, and brave choices.”

Artsbridge cancels meeting, speaker Gary Saretzky
Due to the COVID19 virus, Artsbridge has been forced to cancel its March 19 meeting and is closing its show this weekend as well.

PARX Racing cancels live racing for two weeks
Parx Racing in Bensalem will stop live racing for the next two weeks and close the racetrack in response to recommendations by the Pennsylvania government to cancel or postpone large events in connection with the COVID-19 epidemic. "We will continue to monitor recommendations made, and comply with any instructions and directions provided by government agencies," Parx said. Check for updates.

Lambertville Screening Room is closed
As March 13, the Screening Room will be closed through March 22 in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Updates will be sent as they occur. If you have purchased tickets for this weekend, they can be exchanged for a future film, Patrons will be contacted by the theater manager.

Perkasie government offices are closed
Perkasie Borough Hall and Perkasie Borough Police Department will be temporarily closing to members of the public, effective immediately.

Pearl S. Buck International closes gift shop and offices
In an effort to help contain the spread of the Corona virus, the Pearl S. Buck House, International Gift Shop, Cultural Center, and Welcome Center are closed to the public effective Friday, March 13 through March 31. Although there have been no confirmed cases of the virus associated with Pearl S. Buck International, the health and safety of our patrons, volunteers, staff, and local community is our number one concern. The nonprofit will continue to closely monitor developments associated with the virus and will keep the public informed of plans moving forward beyond March 31.

Heritage Conservancy cancels outreach and events
Heritage Conservancy, considering the need for social distancing at this time, is canceling all outreach and volunteer events through April 1. If you are already registered for a program, the Conservancy will contact you separately with additional information. This includes the following: All Aldie Mansion docent training tours and community guided tours; Garden Cleanup Days – 3/16 and 3/24; Fridays in the Forest - 3/20 and 3/27 (4/3 is TBD); Swamp Tromp – 3/28; • Preserving History with the Bucks County Recorder of Deeds - 4/1; Aldie Mansion Green Thumb Group Information Session - 4/1. The staff will be working remotely until March 29. While you may experience a slight delay in response time, all calls and emails will be answered, and postal mail will be checked daily.

Riverside Symphonia cancels Gershwin concert
The Riverside Symphonia organization values the health and safety of audience and musicians, and as such, has taken the advice of state and local authorities regarding the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and decided to cancel the April 19 Gershwin Spectacular concert. Current ticket holders will be contacted by the Riverside Symphonia to discuss options regarding the disposition of their tickets. The next event is the summer Concert Under the Stars on June 27.

Doylestown Township meetings televised
Legally Doylestown Township is still required to hold the scheduled Zoning Hearing Board meeting on Monday, 3/16 and the Board of Supervisors Meeting on Tuesday, 3/17. Residents are encouraged to watch the meetings from home on Doylestown Television, Comcast channel 22 and Verizon channel 31. The public can also watch the meetings on the township website. For those who chose to attend the meeting, the Township will use cautionary measures to limit contact.

Gwynedd Friends Coffeehouse concert postponed
The staff of Gwynedd Friends Coffeehouse have decided to postpone the concert scheduled for March 14. They were looking forward to hearing the blues of Melissa Martin and the Mighty Rhythm Kings, but in the interest of safety for our guests, performers, and staff, cancelling the show is imperative. The next show is April 11for the performance of folk legend Bill Staines. Arrangements are ongoing to present Melissa Martin and the Mighty Rhythm Kings during the 2020-2021 season of the coffeehouse.

DMVA Safeguards health of residents by restricting visitation to its six veterans homes
The Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) is restricting visitors to its six veterans homes for the foreseeable future. The only exceptions will be in compassionate cases, when a resident’s heath becomes severely critical. In those cases, visitors will be subjected to a brief health assessment and will only have access to their specific resident’s room. “Our residents are predominantly older and many have multiple complex health conditions, so we are taking this extra precaution to minimize their risk of exposure to COVID-19,” said Maj. Gen. Anthony Carrelli, Pennsylvania’s adjutant general and head of the DMVA.

This is a precautionary measure and currently there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in any of the six veterans homes. The DMVA visitation policy mimics the federal VA, which is also not allowing visitors into any of their 134 nursing homes across the country.

Sellersville Theater cancels shows
Sellersville Theater is closing for shows through Thursday, March 26 and will re-evaluate as more information becomes available. The Box Office will remain open for future sales, questions and assistance. The Washington House Restaurant and Hotel will remain open.

Philadelphia Museum of Art is closed
The Philadelphia Museum of Art is temporarily closing to the public, through Monday, March 30. Also closed at this time are the Rodin Museum and the historic houses of Cedar Grove and Mount Pleasant, all of which are administered by the Philadelphia Museum of Art. All scheduled public programs and events have been canceled or postponed until further notice.

Hunterdon Healthcare Prepared for Coronavirus
Since January 2020, Hunterdon Healthcare has been closely monitoring the Coronavirus situation and coordinating preparedness efforts with the Hunterdon County Department of Health and Hunterdon County Office of Emergency Management.

The hospital is actively following and implementing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) guidelines to avoid the spread of Coronavirus within the hospital, all outpatient locations, and Wellness Centers. As a precaution, Hunterdon Medical Center screens every visitor entering the facility for COVID-19. These screenings occur at the main entrance of the hospital, Doctor’s Office Building, and Behavioral Health entrance for all visitors and outpatients. Children age 12 and under, may not visit a patient and only one visitor per patient are allowed at a time. Patient visitors who present with COVID-19 symptoms are informed that they may not visit the patient. Visitors entering the Hunterdon Medical Center for an outpatient test/procedure/appointment who present with COVID-19 symptoms will be asked to wear a mask while in the hospital and directly sent to the appropriate department. COVID-19 screenings are also being conducted in all outpatient physician practices and the Hunterdon Health and Wellness Centers.

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