Monday, Pennsylvania's Department of Health reported 822 confirmed cases of coronavirus, bringing the statewide total to 63,056. 87 additional deaths due to coronavirus have also been reported. That leaves the state with 4505 deaths attributed to COVID-19.
The latest daily numbers of coronavirus in New Jersey show more than 1700 new cases and 83 new deaths. There are now 148,039 cases of coronavirus in the Garden State and 10,435 deaths.
Coronavirus continues to take a toll in nursing homes including the two run by Lehigh and Northampton counties. 13 more coronavirus-related deaths have been reported at those nursing homes, seven at Gracedale in Northampton County and six at Cedarbrook in South Whitehall Township and Fountain Hill. Gracedale has seen 46 COVID-19-related deaths. Cedarbrook reports 28.
Allentown's jailed ex-mayor gets more bad news. A federal judge has ruled he doesn't have the authority to send Ed Pawlowski home to serve his sentence there rather than have him run the risk of contracting coronavirus behind bars in Connecticut. Citing various health problems, Pawlowski requested home confinement but Judge Juan Sanchez says in order for that to happen he'd have to cut Pawlowski's 15-year sentence to the 19 months he has already served, something Sanchez says he's not willing to do. Pawlowski continues to appeal both his conviction and sentence for public corruption.
NASCAR is scheduled to return to Pocono Raceway for two races on June 27th and 28th. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf says there's a chance those races still might happen. "If Monroe County goes to 'yellow' before that race happens and NASCAR, in fact, has the competition without spectators in the stands and they follow other guidelines to keep the competitors safe...yeah," Wolf says. As of today, Monroe County remains in the red phase of Wolf's reopening plan.
Memorial Day weekend is days away and New Jersey has opened its beaches to visitors. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf is questioning the wisdom of that decision. "I wouldn't go to the beach. There are people there who aren't wearing masks and you're putting yourself at risk. I wouldn't do that. I haven't done that and I'm not sure why the governors of Maryland and New Jersey have opened their beaches, but they have," Wolf says. Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney is also urging his city's residents to avoid the expected big crowds at the Jersey shore.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy says not enough beachgoers are wearing face coverings in public. The governor took a look back at how beach visits went during the warm weather last weekend and says people did follow social distancing but he called not wearing masks a big concern. The governor acknowledges face coverings outdoors are hard to enforce, but he recommends strongly that people wear them.
In the ramp-up to the Memorial Day weekend, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy says certain outdoor activities can start in three more days. The governor signed an Executive Order to permit batting cages, golf ranges, shooting and archery ranges, horseback riding and private tennis clubs to reopen. Community gardens are also allowed to open once again.
It is now legal to get mixed drinks and cocktails delivered during the COVID-19 state of emergency. Gov. Phil Murphy says the new law would give a financial break to those businesses with liquor licenses in the restaurant and hospitality industry. The law is temporary and would expire six months after the state of emergency or when occupancy restrictions are lifted.
An unidentified woman is dead after a Monday afternoon crash in Whitehall Township. The accident happened just before 2:30 at MacArthur Road and American Street. Investigators say a vehicle was heading south on MacArthur Road when it collided with another which was eastbound on American Street. Police are still investigating.
A New Jersey woman pled no contest Monday on two of 20 charges she faced for a fatal accident in 2016. 58-year-old Nadine Walton was driving when her two grandchildren were killed in the crash on I-78 in Lower Saucon Township. The Newark woman will serve her time on house arrest due to injuries she suffered in the accident. Walton was sentenced to one-to-two years house arrest under the agreement. Investigators say they determined Walton either fell asleep while driving or was under the influence of marijuana when the crash happened.
Philadelphia 76ers player Tobias Harris is partnering with Habitat for Humanity of Philadelphia to help a dozen families pay their mortgages amid the coronavirus pandemic. Harris will provide the financial assistance for three months. He will also give lunch to 250 health care workers today and 20,000 children's books to home libraries in Philadelphia. Harris says helping those in need is an important responsibility of his.