Bucks County’s COVID Numbers Rise Despite Vaccinations

Andrew Coates, Centurion Staff

As vaccines continue to be distributed and are made more readily available around Bucks County, COVID-19 cases continue to go on an upward trend.

Throughout the country, the vaccine has been actively distributed for months thanks to the Trump and Biden administrations’ efforts in working to end the pandemic.

President Biden made a promise to the American people to make the vaccine available to adults before May 1, but on April 6 he moved the availability date to April 19. With growing optimism, some states have been easing up on safety protocols, such as no longer enforcing the mask mandate or increasing the capacity at stores and restaurants.

In PA, the state has begun to ease restaurant and retail store restrictions starting Easter Sunday, according to Governor Tom Wolf’s website. Seating capacities at restaurants has been raised to 75 percent, as well as other business restrictions, like alcohol sale curfews, have been lifted.

Indoor gathering limits have been raised to 25 percent and outdoor gatherings have been raised to 50 percent. Mask mandates are still in place throughout the state.

With restrictions being somewhat eased throughout the state, Bucks County and the Philadelphia area has seen a rise in COVID-19 cases as of late. According to the Bucks County Health Department’s website, since the beginning of March through April 6, the 7-day case average has gone from 155 to 280, showing an upward trend.

Before the rise of cases in March, the numbers for the county were on a downward trend since mid-December. The total case numbers for Bucks County between March 23 through April 5 was 3,785 reported cases.

It should be noted that the acting Secretary of Health in PA, Alison Beam, mentioned a trend in which many PA residents are not seeking COVID tests. This makes it harder to get accurate numbers regarding how many cases are currently in the state.

The total number of deaths in the county is 1,183 as of April 6. On the flip side, the number of PA residents who are fully vaccinated was almost 2.5 million on April 6.

Bucks student Kayla Horn weighed in on why she thinks cases are suddenly rising. “I think it might be a combination of everyone going back to school and more people thinking they can be out and about since restrictions have been lifted,” Horn explained.

Horn went on to say that in person school attendance might open other issues like close contact during sports, and improper mask wearing while around others. In addition to school, Horn mentioned that she has seen more people going out in groups at places like restaurants lately as well.