After adding 610 new cases of coronavirus Tuesday, Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine says the state now stands at 63,666 cases. "This also includes 13,813 positive cases among residents of 557 long-term care living facilities, which includes nursing homes and personal care homes," Levine says. Another 119 deaths were reported Tuesday, bringing the state total to 4624. 3086 of those, or 68-percent, happened to residents in nursing homes or assisted living facilities. Gracedale in Northampton County has the second-most resident cases in the state and the third-most deaths with 44. Cedarbrook in Lehigh County has seen 20 coronavirus-related deaths since the pandemic began.
Gov. Tom Wolf is easing some of the restrictions on the sale of real estate across Pennsylvania. Hours after he vetoed legislation that would have broadly expanded its activity, Wolf said that some of the rules that were relaxed once a county reached his 'yellow' reopening phase can now occur in counties still colored 'red.' New rules include having people at sale properties wear masks and use separate vehicles to drive to those properties and all in-person showings must be limited to no more than the real estate worker and two people at a time. The National Association of Realtors had said Pennsylvania's real estate rules during the pandemic have been the most restrictive in the nation.
The mayors of Allentown and Bethlehem announced Tuesday that city pools will be closed this summer in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Allentown has cancelled its movies in the parks and outdoor concert series in the city, and dog and skate parks remain closed until further notice. Bethlehem has also cancelled its music and movies in the park programs this summer. The skateplaza, dog park, basketball courts, pavilion rentals, Charles Brown Ice House and Illick’s Mill remain closed until further notice.
Drive-in movie theaters in the Lehigh Valley are planning to reopen against Gov. Tom Wolf's orders. Becky's Drive-In managers say they'll reopen in time for Memorial Day weekend with social distancing guidelines in place. Shankweiler's Drive-In also plans to reopen by the end of the month, but owner Paul Geissinger says the state Department of Agriculture, which oversees the drive-in's food safety license, has given their green light for Shankweiler's to open. Geissinger says they'll limit capacity to 150 cars and require customers to wear masks. While those drive-ins aren't waiting for their county to move to the yellow phase of reopening, Mahoning Drive-In, which will be in a 'yellow' county as of Friday, plans to remain closed until June 5th because they believe it's appropriate to hold off a bit longer.
Gov. Tom Wolf has vetoed three bills that would have given counties more power to reopen. The governor says those bills each went against his administration's plan to reopen safely. Wolf says the state's decisions on how to reopen are based on COVID-19 cases and other critical factors like potential transmission points in the county, their geographical location and ability to take on contact tracing.
Gov. Tom Wolf says senior homeowners, renters and the disaabled won't have to wait until summer for an annual rebate. "Many Pennsylvanians are struggling due to the impact COVID-19 has had on the economy. So we're announcing that many homeowners, renters and people with disabilities will receive early rebates through the Property Tax and Rent Rebate Program," the governor says. Those rebates are usually sent on July 1st but this year the governor says they'll be distributed on a first-in-first-out basis beginning as soon as today.
For the first time since the pandemic hit New Jersey, the number of critically ill patients or those in ICUs has fallen below 1000. However, there were 162 new deaths in the Garden State's latest daily report.
Non-urgent medical procedures in New Jersey can resume in less than a week. Gov. Phil Murphy said elective surgeries and non-urgent medical procedures can resume May 26th. Face coverings must be worn at all times.
Car and motorcycle dealerships are opening today, which Gov. Phil Murphy call another step forward on the road back. Murphy says he could also see the reopening of non-essential retail shops in a couple of weeks as long as people wear masks and move through the stores rather than linger.
Atlantic City hotels are taking reservations for booking rooms as early as next week. The Hard Rock Hotel is allowing reservations for May 28th and Tropicana, Caesars and Resorts casinos are booking starting June 7th. The casino gambling floors are still closed until the governor lifts the orders to reopen.
Volunteers at the Jersey shore are trying to keep things safe by handing out hand sanitizer and face masks. A social distancing project called Six Feet Saves is heading the campaign. The effort also includes showing people how to properly wear masks.
A 25-year-old Philadelphia man sought on a homicide charge there has been arrested after a traffic stop early Tuesday morning in Bethlehem. Marquis Mathis was arrested in the 400 block of Webster Street after a brief foot chase. He had been a passenger in a silver Jeep Grand Cherokee that was pulled over after allegedly making an illegal turn at West Fourth and South New streets,