Parents in Central Bucks, Bensalem and Pennridge school districts received emails over the weekend announcing that students (and staff) would no longer be required to wear masks in school. This is a result of the Commonwealth Supreme Court upholding a lower court decision that Acting Health Secretary Alison Beam did not have the authority to issue the mask mandate. And that Gov. Wolf did not have the right to enforce that mandate. At the same time, the New York Times, which gets its information from the CDC, noted that covid cases had doubled in Bucks County in the previous week. This was the daily report on December 13: Cases have increased recently and are extremely high. The numbers of hospitalized Covid patients and deaths in the Bucks County area have also risen. The test positivity rate in Bucks County is high, suggesting that cases may be undercounted. New reported cases by day; DAILY AVG. ON DEC. 12, 358; 14-DAY CHANGE, +106%.
The Bucks County Beacon also notes that Central Bucks, one of the schools that has ended its mask mandate, keeps a running total of covid cases on its web site. For the week ending Dec. 5, these schools had an increase in covid cases: Butler Elementary in Chalfont, 13 cases; Mill Creek Elementary in Warrington, 12 cases; Pine Run Elementary in New Britain, 10 cases; and Holicong Middle School in Doylestown with 12 cases.
Last week, Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court threw out Gov. Tom Wolf’s statewide mandate, which required masks.