Pennsylvania's Department of Health announced 11,837 new cases of coronavirus over the past two days. That brings the total number of confirmed or probable cases to 314,401 since the start of the pandemic.
Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine has the latest coronavirus-related hospitalization numbers. "3379 individuals are hospitalized due to COVID-19. 775 of the individuals hospitalized with COVID-19 are in the intensive care unit. 371 of the individuals hospitalized with COVID-19 are on a ventilator," Levine says. To try to curb those rising numbers, Levine has announced new mitigation plans, including prohibiting Pennsylvania bars and restaurants from serving alcohol for a 15-hour period beginning tomorrow afternoon at 5 o'clock. Thanksgiving eve is normally one of the biggest bar nights of the year. The state is also placing new maximum limits of 500 people for indoor events and 2500 for outdoor gatherings. Schools are not being forced to go into online learning, but they are recommended to do so if they're in counties with a substantial spread of the virus.
New Jersey continues reporting a surge in coronavirus cases just days ahead of Thanksgiving. Monday, the state reported 3592 additional infections and 11 deaths. Those comes come as New Jersey is extending its public health emergency for the next 30 days. Gov. Phil Murphy is urging New Jerseyans to think beyond this Thanksgiving holiday as COVID-19 cases continue to spike. He says many people are yearning for normalcy and will end up putting their family members at risk Thursday. He also says if people are getting together to gather outside and ensure they can social distance.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy doesn't anticipate changing indoor and outdoor dining capacities. Murphy says he won't be increasing capacity in the foreseeable future as the coronavirus continues hammering his state. Restaurants are currently allowed to seat at 25-percent capacity, but must close by 10pm.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is applauding the General Services Administration's decision to bring President-elect Joe Biden up to speed three weeks after Election Day. Just yesterday, Murphy had called for a smooth transition to ensure a coronavirus vaccine can be distributed once it's available. He says the state is in line to receive 130,000 doses by the third week of December if Pfizer receives emergency use authorization. There are a number of logistical concerns involved in the vaccine's delivery and storage, including cold-temperature storage needs. Murphy says the state's residents need to renew their focus on things like mask wearing, social-distancing and hand-washing until the vaccine is fully distributed sometime this coming spring.
New Jersey is offering small businesses steep discounts when purchasing personal protective equipment. Starting today, companies and non-profits with 100 employees or fewer will be eligible to receive up to 70-percent off the cost of PPE. They'll have to go through the New Jersey Economic Development Authority's PPE Access Program, which is approving small businesses through December 10th.
While Pennsylvania has yet to certify the presidential election results, both Lehigh and Northampton counties have. Monday was the deadline for county election boards to certify the election results and turn them in to Pennsylvania's Secretary of the Commonwealth Kathy Boockvar, who will then turn them over to Gov. Tom Wolf for his signature. Wolf will then list of the state's electors for the Electoral College meeting on December 14th. They'll then vote and have their ballots sent to Congress by December 23rd for them to review on January 6th. In Lehigh County, Joe Biden defeated President Trump by 14,000 votes and in Northampton County Biden won by only 1200 votes.
Three teens are charged in the killing of a Monroe County 15-year-old over the weekend. Justin Lemont and Anthony Mitchell, both 18, and 15-year-old Michael Demuro-Correll are all under arrest for the Sunday evening killing of Aiden Paiz. State Trooper David Peters says what led to the killing near the Jonas Mountain Nature Preserve in Polk Township. "It was a meeting in regards to a pre-arranged drug transaction," Peters says. Paiz was sitting in a car with two 17-year-olds, one of whom was also shot.
New Jersey lawmakers are once again holding up bills that would legalize marijuana. Monday, the Assembly and Senate canceled votes to stop several arrests for possession of pot and create a legal cannabis industry. Lawmakers have been working on legislation since voters approved legalizing marijuana three weeks ago, but can't seem to agree on limiting how many people or companies can actually grow legal weed and taxing those who grow. Officials aren't expected to come to any agreements for at least another week.