711 new cases of coronavirus were added to Pennsylvania's overall total Monday, pushing that number to 101,738. There were more than 153,000 tests administered between July 13 and July 19, with more than 5600 of them, or about three percent, coming back positive. Three deaths related to COVID-19 complications were also reported Monday, leaving the state death county at 7018.
New Jersey has recorded nine more fatalities from COVID-19. 177 new confirmed cases were reported Monday, bringing the statewide case total to 176,963 and the death toll in the Garden State now stands at 15,715.
The PA Department of Health and Governor’s Office say an article circulating online about counties moving back to the red phase is “blatantly false.” The article suggested Governor Tom Wolf is about to put several counties back into the red phase and into “total lockdown.” Governor Wolf’s office says they said they have “no idea where this came from” and called it a “bad rumor.” A representative from the state's Department of Health says if more mitigation efforts are needed, they will be targeted to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
PA Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera says their new guidelines about opening up schools this fall are based a lot on what school district officials have asked for. "When we created those guidelines it was the culmination of the many conversations I had with school superintendents, principals, teachers and higher education professionals and listened to some of the challenges they were facing," Rivera says. He says there could still be changes to the guidelines as more's learned about the coronavirus in the future.
New Jersey will give parents the option of keeping their children home for all remote learning at the start of the school year. Gov. Phil Murphy says he'll announce more details on the plan later this week. "This is about a complex a step as we will take and we want to get it right and we want to do it responsibly," Murphy says. Murphy's administration has given local school districts the authority to come up with their own plan for in-classroom and remote learning so long as they follow social distancing and other coronavirus safety guidelines.
Accu-Weather's Joe Lundberg says our heat wave will continue. "It's going to be hot again today. We're expecting a high of 92. Our high yesterday was 93 degrees so that's three days in a row of 90 degree heat and we'll make it four today and probably five tomorrow before we fall a little bit shy of that for Thursday and Friday," Lundberg says. There's a chance for thunderstorms tonight, tomorrow and Thursday and Lundberg says any storm tomorrow or Thursday could be strong.
A local high school athletic director is working to ensure the kids of Allentown have sports equipment available to encourage them to play. William Allen High School athletic director Randy Atiyeh says when he was a kid and got something new he'd get excited and play with it. He believes the same thing can happen to the kids in Allentown with new equipment. Atiyeh is asking community and school sponsors to donate, so he can then buy the gear. Once he gets enough donations, he plans on letting elementary through high school kids pick them out when they pick up their to-go lunch meals.
The hot summer weather makes the water at Beltzville State Park a very popular destination. Maybe too popular according to some. "We're under COVID restrictions. There's local businesses losing out on money and here we have thousands of people coming in and out of here with absolutely no masks," says Christopher Poplin with the Beltzville Lake Concerned Citizens Group. He says park rangers need to enforce social distancing and mask-wearing rules. The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources says that is not part of a park ranger's job. St. Rep. Doyle Heffley, whose district includes the state park, has written a letter to the DCNR asking non-Pennsylvania residents to be prohibited from access to the swimming area, day use recreation area, and hiking trails immediately.
A small plane made an emergency landing Monday night on the heavily-traveled Route 422 in Exeter Township, just east of Reading. The plane was believed to be flying from New Hampshire before the landing. The pilot brought the plane down just before 10 o'clock last night, hitting one car but only causing minor damage.
Gov. Tom Wolf is planning to veto a bill that passed unanimously, which would strengthen the state's right to know law amid emergencies. Rep. Seth Grove believes there should be more scrutiny during times when the government has the option to suspend a lot of laws and regulations. The bill says the governor's agencies cannot ignore requests for records or shut down the right to know process during an emergency declaration. The governor's office responded by pointing out that right to know requests have been processed for several weeks and the governor plans on vetoing the bill.
St. Rep. Daryl Metcalfe is demanding Gov. Tom Wolf either resign or face impeachment. Metcalfe, who had previously announced he intended to file articles of impeachment against Wolf, made his request in the wake of the latest executive order, which according to Metcalfe, has endangered the lives and livelihoods of Pennsylvanians from all walks of life.
Leaders are responding to President Donald Trump who said he might send federal agents to Philadelphia and other cities. The President made the comments Monday after recent unrest in Portland, where federal agents have been sent to help local police with protesters. Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said, "The president's threat is wrong on many levels. To send federal agents to police U.S. cities that have not requested such aid can only impede the work of local governments."
Photos posted to the Bloomsburg Fair's Facebook page are going viral and sparking outrage as it shows a man at the Fireman's Relief Carnival dressed as a woman. The man was dressed as a woman sitting in the dunk tank with the Fair saying a sarcastic thank you to state Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine, who is the highest-ranking transgendered public official in Pennsylvania. Some say they didn't need to dress as a woman to play the part and some believe the post was intentional. The Bloomsburg Fair wasn't involved with the carnival and says it was not their intention to make any commentary on Levine's identity.
Several members of the San Francisco Giants took a knee during the playing of the National Anthem prior to last night's game against Oakland. Among those kneeling was former Phillies manager and current Giants skipper Gabe Kapler. "I wanted the players to know that I wasn't pleased with the way our country has handled police brutality and I told them that I wanted to amplify their voices," Kapler says. He says he wanted to use his platform to express his dissatisfaction with what he calls clear systemic racism in our country.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has signed an order allowing for contact sports that are considered high risk during the COVID-19 pandemic to resume again. Football and rugby are among the sports considered high-risk. Contact practices may begin again as long as they have specific safety measures in place. Staff, teachers and parents must cover their faces at practices and games.
Fans will not be permitted at New York Giants and New York Jets home games this season because of the coronavirus pandemic. The teams say Gov. Phil Murphy's order limiting outdoor crowds will apply to events such as football games at MetLife Stadium.