The Pennsylvania Department of Health confirms 705 new positive COVID-19 cases in the commonwealth. That brings the statewide total to 115,714 cases. A dozen additional COVID-related deaths were reported Wednesday, leaving the state's death toll at 7244.
Bethlehem-based OraSure Technologies is expecting to launch in-home COVID-19 testing kits within months. The company says its work is helping in the push to return to school and work. Their test is designed to produce results of an active COVID-19 infection in minutes. The test would only require a self-collected lower nostril sample to work and could be seen on shelves in the fourth quarter of 2020 if the FDA approves.
Before students return to Kutztown University's campus August 24th, they won't be required to take a coronavirus test. KU spokesman Matt Santos says that's because the experts say it's not required. "The CDC does not recommend or require testing before students come to campus," Santos says. However, some Kutztown staff members say that ignores asymptomatic students and could perhaps lead to a virus spread on campus. Some university staffers are pushing for more conversation with university leadership.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy says the transmission rate of COVID-19 has begun to slowly drop, but the virus is still spreading too quickly. Murphy says one of the latest deaths from the virus was a seven-month-old baby. The source of the baby's infection is under investigation. 378 new cases were reported Wednesday and eight more fatalities recorded over the past five days.
The effects of Isaias are still being felt today. 293 PPL customers remain without power due to Tuesday's wind and rain storm. 6100 First Energy customers are still without electric today. About 500 of them are in Lehigh and Northampton counties.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy says about 975,000 customers are still without power today, following Tropical Storm Isaias. The governor says it could be days until some have service restored. "We know that restoration will take some time. We're talking days instead of hours. We've been back and forth with mayors, county officials and electric service CEOs," Murphy says. High winds and soaking rain swept across New Jersey Tuesday, with at least two tornadoes touching down. Murphy says out-of-state crews are in the Garden State helping out and more are on the way.
It's tit-for-tat in Allentown. There's now a petition calling for the resignation of three Allentown city council members after they sought a no-confidence vote and the censure of two fellow council members for attending a Black Lives Matter protest. The petition authored by councilwoman Ce-Ce Gerlach and councilman Joshua Siegel targeted Daryl Hendricks, Ed Zucal and Candida Affa. Gerlach and Siegel says they have the right to freedom of speech and will continue to protest for Black Lives Matter and fight against what they call systemic racism. Hendricks, Zucal and Affa say the two are co-workers with police officers and accused Siegel of shouting obscenities at police, something Siegel denies.
A judge is ordering a Lancaster County man to stand trial on charges that he kidnapped an Amish teenager. Justo Smoker is accused of kidnapping and false imprisonment in the abduction of 18-year-old Linda Stoltzfoos. He remains locked up in the Lancaster County Prison. Stoltzfoos was last seen walking home from a church event on June 21st.
Pennsylvania is approving its first clinical registrant to be a part of a medical marijuana research program. More than 350,000 people registered for the program to get medical marijuana for serious medical conditions and officials say they're trying to see the benefits of the remedy because there's still a lot that is unknown.