By Ukee Washington

BUCKS COUNTY, Pa. (CBS) – Bucks County officials Tuesday warned of the unprecedented spread of COVID-19. Last week, new cases shot up 79% from the previous week.

The county blames COVID fatigue.

“They’re probably tired of all this and they’re having private events, private parties, after school parties,” said County Commissioner Diane Ellis-Marseglia.

Bucks County Commissioners officials said the spike in cases is from things like weddings or celebrations.

“We had two situations involving two different high schools in Bucks County. In one case, there was a Halloween party among students,” said Commissioner Bob Harvie.

With the holidays approaching, they are urging the public to be careful.

“I don’t think we’re saying cancel all plans, we’re saying to trim the plans a lot,” Ellis-Marseglia said.

Bucks County Health Department connected other cases to workers, long-term care facilities, out-of-state travelers, and health care facilities.

They are seeing few cases among schools and businesses.

“The schools are safe. He says our businesses are all safe,” Commissioner Gene DiGirolamo said.

The county is distributing hundreds of thousands of personal protective equipment this week.

“We’re doing all this planning so if we see additional hospitalizations or if we see significant spread in our custodial care facilities, we’re prepared,” said Scott Forster from Bucks County Emergency Management.

Commissioners said the message is, wear masks because this is real.

“Even in the first wave, we had some people not believing this was real. So it’s almost like we gotta start all over again and reeducate all those people who were resistant,” Ellis-Marseglia said.

Another worry is that contact tracers in Bucks County are overwhelmed. They can no longer try to track every case, so they’re depending on the public to follow safety guidelines.

Meanwhile, Pennsylvania reported more than 4,000 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday. This is the highest daily count since the pandemic began.

The statewide total now stands at 238,657 COVID-19 cases.

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Ukee Washington