State health officials reported Tuesday 929 new cases of COVID-19, including more than 200 that were delayed by private lab reports. The statewide coronavirus case count now sits at 96,671. 20 more coronavirus-related deaths were reported, leaving the state with 6931 such deaths. Testing in Pennsylvania continues to take off, with more than 130,000 tests conducted in the past seven days.
The state House of Representatives is passing a bill in an attempt to allow green counties to move beyond that phase. The bill would grant county leaders the power to loosen current COVID-19 restrictions on businesses, if the county has been green for 14 days and has not seen a significant spike in new cases. Sponsor of the bill, Grant Everett, says the governor's office and its "arbitrary" mandates have been a major roadblock for businesses to recover from the pandemic. The bill is headed to the Senate next, but Gov. Tom Wolf's spokeswoman says if it reaches his desk, he'll veto it.
Don't look for any big events in Philadelphia for the rest of the year. "I'm really disappointed that we will have a moratorium on large public events through February 28, 2021," says Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney. That means no Thanksgiving Day parade, no Mummers Parade on New Year's Day and no crowds at any Philadelphia Eagles game, or at Flyers or Sixers games until next March at the earliest. Kenney says the prohibition does not apply to demonstrations and first amendment-related activites; private events like family gatherings or weddings; recreational activities for youths and adults with fewer than 25 participants; and events and gatherings taking place on private property such as performance venues.
Gov. Tom Wolf has signed two police reform bills, including House Bill 1841. "That will require a thorough pre-employment background check to law enforcement officials. This will help law enforcement agencies to identify potential problems in candidates, especially those seeking a job in one agency when they were terminated from another," Wolf says. The second bill Wolf signed Tuesday requires police to undergo training on how to treat people of diverse racial, ethnic and economic backgrounds along with PTSD tests every two years or within 30 days of a lethal use-of-force incident. The governor says the bills still don't completely solve the problem what he calls the systemic racism and oppression that exists in the commonwealth.
After Sen. Pat Toomey criticized President Trump for commuting the prison sentence of Roger Stone, President Trump lumped Toomey in with Sen. Mitt Romney and called both of them RINOs. Toomey says the name calling won't change his approach. "The president and I have been allies far more often on policy matters than we disagree on. We have a good working relationship. But, if he does something that I think is important and mistaken, I'm probably going to say something about it," Toomey says. He says some Republican voters don't want the president to be criticized at all by a fellow Republican, especially because of what Toomey calls extremely unfair criticism and extreme hostility the president faces in the media almost every day.
A popular cheese shop is closing for good. Calandra's Italian Cheese in Upper Nazareth Township is now closed and according to a message on the company's answering machine, the owners have decided to retire.
Later today, the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference is expected to officially suspend sports through the end of 2020. The conference, which includes Kutztown University, will not have any fall sports and will delay the start of the winter sports season as well. The PSAC includes 18 schools.
Jason Peters is staying with the Philadelphia Eagles on a one-year contract worth up to $6 million. The 38-year-old is being asked to move from left tackle to right guard after Brandon Brooks was lost for the year with an injury. Peters has been with the Eagles since 2009.