Pennsylvania Department of Health officials added 770 new COVID-19 cases to the state's total, bringing that number to 134,795. 18 more COVID-related deaths were also reported Tuesday, leaving the state's death toll at 7691.
More than 21,000 of 127,000 residents at Pennsylvania long-term care facilities tested positive for the coronavirus. State Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine says that testing prevented those positive test numbers from going even higher. "We know that there were nursing homes and also other long-term care facilities that had individuals who were asymptomatic, both staff and residents, that were detected using this testing," Levine says. Pennsylvania's current coronavirus-related death count stands at 7691. Nearly 5200 of them, or 67-percent of them, happened in those facilities. Levine says coronavirus testing in all of the state's long-term care facilities is now complete.
Gov. Tom Wolf is renewing Pennsylvania's disaster declaration for another 90 days. Wolf initially signed the declaration in early March at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The emergency declaration allows Wolf the ability to issue or rescind executive orders and regulations, access emergency supplies and suspend laws that govern state agencies. The new declaration runs through late November.
Non-commercial drivers who have an expired license now have to get it renewed. PennDOT extended the expiration dates for commercial driver licenses and permits but didn't give the extension for regular drivers. There had been extensions offered since March 16 through the end of August.
Despite months of extensions due to the pandemic, the Lehigh Valley's biggest cities are falling short of the desired census response rate. Today's Morning Call reports 69-percent of Bethlehem citizens, 62-percent of Allentown residents and only 60-percent of Easton residents have completed their forms. Overall, the Lehigh Valley's response rate is approaching 75-percent. Anyone who hasn't filled out their census form has until September 30th to do so by going to www.my2020census.gov or calling 844-330-2020.
The mothers of two black teens who claim police officers used excessive force while removing the teens from a high school basketball game in January are now suing the Whitehall-Coplay School District as well as township police. The lawsuit claims the school district "created a danger to the public at large by enacting policies to maintain armed police officers at school events and directing them to use excessive force to handle minor disturbances.
You have two more chances to get refunds for tickets bought for cancelled Great Allentown Fair shows. The Fair's box office will be open for refunds Thursday from 11am to 2pm and also Sunday from 11am to 2pm. You are asked to bring the tickets and the original method of paying for them. The 168th annual Allentown Fair was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
New Jersey restaurants are one step closer to re-opening their dining rooms this Friday. Indoor dining is capped at 25-percent and parties are limited to eight people per table. Restaurants are rearranging their dining rooms to ensure six feet is between each table which is in compliance with social distancing guidelines. Gov. Phil Murphy warns that if indoor dining seems to push COVID-19 cases upward, he's going to reverse the order.
New Jersey lawmakers are hoping to make flu shots mandatory for students. A bill was introduced last week that would require students of all agest to get the vaccine, including college kids. Health officials say they're expecting a second wave of coronavirus to hit during flu season. Democrat lawmakers are hoping the bill passes by October.
New Jersey is allowing people who immigrated into the country illegally to obtain professional licenses. This also applies to the children of immigrants who were brought to the country without documentation, sometimes referred to as "dreamers." Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation Tuesday making New Jersey the first East Coast state to pass such a law. More than 200 professions can obtain licenses in New Jersey, including doctors, nurses and electricians.
A growing number of beaches along the Jersey Shore are extending the season past Labor Day. That means life guards will be watching the water and beach-goers will need their passes to get on the beach. Beaches in Asbury Park, Long Branch and Seaside Heights will be open through the end of the month. But other beaches, including Monmouth and Manasquan, will only be open the two weekends after Labor Day.
Former Atlantic City Mayor Frank Gilliam isn't heading to jail yet. His sentencing has been postponed for the sixth time since January. Gilliam pleaded guilty to wire fraud last October after he stole $87,000 from a local basketball club. It's unclear why his sentencing keeps being moved, but it's now expected for November 11th.
You might not physically be at Philadelphia Eagles this fall, but you can be there in other ways. The Eagles will become one of many teams in the NFL to allow fan cutouts in the stands. The team says the cutouts will start in the lower end zones and then make their way around the lower section of the stadium. It will cost $100 per cutout and the money raised will go towards the Eagles Autism Foundation. Fans can begin to buy their personal cutouts tomorrow morning at 8 o'clock on the team's website.