Pennsylvania's Department of Health is reporting 776 new COVID-19 cases across the state. The announcement Wednesday raised the total number of coronavirus cases to 146,660 since the pandemic began. Another 28 deaths related to COVID-19 complications reported Wednesday, pushing the state's total to 7903.
Pen Argyl High School will be closed for a week after two cases of the coronavirus were discovered Tuesday. During that week, the school to be cleaned and disinfected while the students will be instructed via Google Classroom. The school's superintendent says athletic events, including tomorrow night's Pen Argyl/Northwestern Lehigh football game are either being canceled or postponed. The high school will reopen September 23rd. Pen Argyl High School is the first Lehigh Valley school to close its doors this school year due to coronavirus findings.
Gov. Tom Wolf's administration is asking a federal court to maintain his limits on crowd size, despite a ruling that his COVID-19 mitigation efforts were unconstitutional overreaches. An attorney for Wolf said that allowing crowds to exceed those limits will result in people's deaths due to the virus. The ruling by U.S. District Judge William Stickman struck down some key parts of the governor's pandemic response, including Wolf's decision to shut down some businesses.
Gov. Tom Wolf is planning on providing more guidance on event attendance either today or tomorrow after a federal judge ruled his restrictions on gatherings unconstitutional earlier this week. Wolf says whether people like it or not, the virus likes it when people get close and he plans to address crowd sizes and make it harder for COVID-19 to spread. He emphasizes that he's not a doctor, but his bet is that if 3000 people are together packed in closely then the virus is going to really like that and if people were looking to get infected, that would be the way to do it.
New Jersey lawmakers are passing a series of changes as more than 42-percent of the state's COVID-19 deaths were in nursing homes. Gov. Phil Murphy says this follows along with recommendations made by consulting firm Manatt Health, which conducted a rapid-review of the state's nursing homes and long-term-care facilities. The deaths of 6757 nursing home residents and 121 staff members have been attributed to COVID-19 within New Jersey. The bills set requirements for infectious disease outbreaks, establish a task-force for long-term-care safety and raise the minimum wage for some nursing home workers.
A restaurant association is asking New Jersey to provide more financial aid to restaurant owners. The New Jersey Restaurant and Hospitality Association is pushing for legislation that would grant more money to restaurants that are suffering as a result of the pandemic. It's part of a marketing campaign called "Restaurants Are Essential Too." Restaurants are currently operating at 25-percent capacity and relying on outdoor seating and takeout.
The family of the 11-year-old Bethlehem girl who was shot in the face while answering her Fairland Avenue home's door last week is trying to raise money for more surgeries through a GoFundMe page. Her family says she didn't deserve anything like this and she's a good kid who love gymnastics and wants to be an Olympic gymnast or coach in the future. The girl's road to recovery is going to be long and more surgeries will be needed as she suffered signficant facial traums. Police are still looking for a suspect in the case.
A Bethlehem man is dead after a single-vehicle accident in New Jersey. 34-year-old Syed Hassan was driving north on Route 287 when his vehicle crashed through a guiderail, flipped over and caught on fire. Hassan was pronounced dead at the scene.
Local shoppers will have fewer options on Thanksgiving. The company that owns several Pennsylvania malls, including the Lehigh Valley Mall, says all of their locations will be closed on Thanksgiving Day this year. Simon Property Group says it made the decision to keep malls and outlet centers closed so its workers can spend the holiday with their loved ones. The stores will be open on Black Friday. Simon also owns the King of Prussia Mall, Philadelphia Mills, Philadelphia Premium Outlets and The Crossings Premium Outlets in Tannersville.
Gov. Tom Wolf says Pennsylvania's current marijuana laws are not fair and need to go. "It disproportionately harms people of color, not only in Pennsylvania but across the country. In order to pursue restorative justice in the Commonwealth we need to decriminalize cannabis and we need to expunge non-violent and cannabis-related offenses," the governor says. Wolf also says legalizing marijuana would boost state funding, with money earmarked for small businesses hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lancaster's chief of police says the deadly shooting of a man with a knife over the weekend was justified. Jarrad Berkihiser believes the officer's actions were appropriate after looking at body camera footage. The officer shot 27-year-old Ricardo Munoz Sunday after Munoz chased the cop with a knife. The shooting prompted protests and rioting in Lancaster.
Pennsylvania's Secretary of State says they have received about 35,000 applications for poll workers for the upcoming general election. Typically, the Commonwealth will need 40,000-to-45,000 poll workers statewide for the general election. Those workers must be 18 and registered to vote in the county in which they want to serve. There are some exceptions however, that would allow a high school student who's at least 17 to serve in the role.
Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden is visiting Pennsylvania tonight. Biden is scheduled to attend a CNN town hall event in Scranton beginning at 8 o'clock tonight.
Big Ten football returns the weekend of October 24th and that includes Penn State. University VP for Intercollegiate Athletics Sandy Barbour credits student-athletes with following the rules despite no games but says that responsibility is heightened now that games are going to be played. "For the most part, the guys on the football team and across the athletic department have done a tremendous job. But now this return to competition really pokes that up a couple levels," Barbour says. Penn State will play eight games. The schedule has not yet been released.