Pennsylvania's Department of Health reported 1425 new cases of coronavirus Wednesday. That brings the statewide total to 186,297 since the pandemic began. It's the 16th straight day more than 1000 new cases were reported. 29 deaths related to coronavirus-related complications were also reported Wednesday. Pennsylvania's total now stands 8562.
A Penn State study is suggesting that mouthwash may help reduce COVID-19 transmission. Penn State College of Medicine researchers say their study found that oral rinses and antiseptics used by an infected person can inactivate up to 99-percent of present coronavirus cells, potentially reducing transmission. This isn't a cure, bur researchers say dentists and health care workers are at risk of being infected when dealing with COVID patients and even if these solutions could reduce transmission by 50-percent, it could have a huge impact. They added that clinical trials are still needed to determine the effectiveness of these products in reducing the amount of COVID-19 spread through talking, breathing and coughing.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is self-quarantining after a person he came into contact with over the weekend tested positive for coronavirus. “I was just informed by my colleagues that I was in close proximity with someone on Saturday who has just tested positive,” Murphy says. Murphy says he tested negative for the virus on Monday and says he has no symptoms. He says he'll be tested again today.
Lehigh County says residents who have requested mail-in ballots but haven't yet received them can pick up a backup ballot at the Lehigh County Government Center at 7th and Hamilton streets in Allentown. If you choose to pick up a 'B' ballot, you can also fill it out and return it while there. Once a voter requests a 'B' ballot, their original mail-in ballot will be voided. Those 'B' ballots will be available until October 28th.
Millions of New Jerseyans are jumping in on early voting for the 2020 election. The state says more than 2,000,000 people have sent back their mail-in ballots as of Wednesday afternoon. That's about one-third of the nearly 6.5 million ballots that have been sent out to voters this election cycle. New Jersey reported the state hit 1,000,000 returned ballots last week and has doubled the amount of responses in just six days.
Weis Markets is shelling out big bucks on two Lehigh Valley stores. Weis is converting the old Bon-Ton in the Westgate Mall in Bethlehem into a 61,000-square-foot store, nearly doubling the size of the current Weis in the shopping center. Weis is also building a new store along Grandview Drive in Lower Macungie Township. That store will be more than 7000-square-feet bigger than the one at the Westgate Mall and will replace the nearby current Weis on Route 100. Today's Morning Call reports both new stores will have a beer-wine cafe, a full-service pharmacy and a gas station. Each should open sometime next spring.
Fountain Hill Borough Council President Leo Atkinson is resigning, saying he is quitting because he disagrees with how much money is spent on the police department vs. other borough services, such as social services and public works. In his resignation letter, Atkinson said, "I can no longer remain the head of a council that does not share my vision for the future of Fountain Hill."
Police are investigating a bomb threat made to the Carbon County Courthouse Wednesday. The threat caused officials to close down the courthouse. There has been no word yet on any other details.
The Bangor Area School Board approved having surveillance cameras installed on both sides of the stop sign arm on school buses. The arm sticks out from a school bus when it is stopped with flashing lights on, picking up or dropping off students. The cameras will be paid for by a $40,000 grant in cooperation with the Upper Mount Bethel Township Board of Supervisors.
Former President Barack Obama campaigned for Joe Biden Wednesday in Philadelphia and told the crowd Biden would take the job seriously, unlike President Trump. “He hasn’t shown any interest in doing the work. Or helping anybody but himself and his friends. Or treating the presidency like a reality show he can use to get attention. And, by the way, even then his TV ratings are down, so you know that upsets him,” Obama said. The former president campaigned for Biden in the parking lot of the sports complex in South Philadelphia.
A Berks County state lawmaker's bill is headed to Gov. Tom Wolf's desk. St. Rep. David Maloney's bill would add the POW/MIA flag to the ones flown on commonwealth property statewide. Maloney says he's been pushing the measure since 2017.
A newly released prison mug shot shows Bill Cosby smiling with a disposable mask hanging off his face. The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections recently updated Cosby’s mug shot, something routinely done to document changes to inmates’ appearance as they age. Cosby’s new photo was taken Sept. 4.
Patrick Chambers has resigned as the men's basketball coach at Penn State. The resignation comes after allegations of inappropriate conduct by Chambers. Earlier this year, one of his former players said Chambers told him he wanted to "loosen the noose around his neck." Penn State officials launched an internal investigation of new allegations of inappropriate conduct leading Chambers to step away Wednesday after nine years as coach.