The Pennsylvania Department of Health Tuesday confirmed another 3515 cases of coronavirus, leaving the state's overall total since the pandemic began more than a year ago at 991,950. Another 39 new coronavirus-related deaths were also reported Tuesday, putting the state's total at 24,828. There are currently 1577 people hospitalized with COVID-19, 335 of whom are in the intensive care unit. The state says more than 4.4-million total vaccine doses have been administered as of Tuesday, with more than 1.5-million people fully vaccinated.
Gov. Tom Wolf says the push to get Pennsylvania's teachers vaccinated has now seen more than 102,000 teachers and staff vaccinated through Sunday. The governor says that is a big step forward in getting both teachers and students back into classrooms and is a signal that the light at the end of the long, draining tunnel is getting brighter.
Pennsylvania is one of the worst states when it comes to fully vaccinating seniors against COVID-19. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that only 34-percent of Pennsylvanians over the age of 65 have been fully vaccinated, placing the state 46th in the nation in this category. Local agencies blame this on communication gaps from the state and their input is not taken into account when it comes to statewide decisions. State officials say things could change drastically after it enacted a four-pillar plan to ramp up vaccine distribution.
Philadelphia officials disagree with Gov. Tom Wolf's decision to loosen some of the coronavirus restrictions. Restaurants will be allowed up to 75-percent capacity beginning April 4th. On that same date, indoor events may increase to 25-percent capacity and 50-percent capacity for outdoor events across the state. Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley says Philadelphia will not take that step just yet. He says the end of April is more of a target date in Philadelphia.
More than 3.5-million doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been administered in New Jersey. At least 1.25-million people have been fully vaccinated. Meanwhile, the state reported just under 3430 additional cases Tuesday and confirmed 61 new deaths.
East Penn high school students will not return to school full time this academic year. Hybrid and remote learning will remain in place at Emmaus High School for the remainder of the school year. Students in grades K-5 will resume a full schedule of in-person classes. Children in kindergarten through second grade will return to school five days per week starting March 29, while third- through fifth-graders will go back April 6.
The Palmer Township Board of Supervisors has extended the deadlines for paying township taxes. The end date for a 2-percent discount, which was at the end of March, is now extended to April 30. After that date, the undiscounted payment is due by July 1.
The skeletal remains found in a wooded area off of Hoover Avenue in Hanover Township, Lehigh County have been identified. The Lehigh County coroner's office says the remains are those of 36-year-old Bryan Geel Jr. of New York. The cause and manner of Geel's death are still undetermined. His remains were spotted by a passerby back on March 8th.
A popular ski resort in the Poconos is ending its season soon. Blue Mountain Resort in Carbon County is going to be closing its slopes for the season this Sunday. There will be no Pond Skim event held this year. That usually happens on closing day.
Gov. Tom Wolf is calling for changes to Pennsylvania gun laws. This comes after the recent mass killings in Georgia and Colorado. Wolf says 2020 saw more shooting deaths, more shootings and mass shootings. The changes the governor and CeaseFire PA are calling for include orders to temporarily remove guns from a potentially dangerous person and reporting lost or stolen firearms with 72 hours. The governor also wants to close gaps in the state's background check system to prevent people from buying military-style guns from private, non-licensed sellers.
Gov. Tom Wolf is nominating Meg Snead to be his next Secretary of Human Services. The move comes after Theresa Miller announced her resignation, effective April 30th. Miller, who spent the past six years as part of the Wolf administration, is said to be pursuing an out-of-state opportunity. Snead had previously served as Wolf's Secretary of Policy and Planning.
There's a move in Harrisburg to allow teachers to wear religious items while in the classroom. The bipartisan legislation would repeal a law that dates back to the late 1800s and, according to St. Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill, can be traced back to the Ku Klux Klan.
For Lehigh Valley IronPigs GM Kurt Landes starting the home schedule May 4th is a case of better late than never like it was last year. "I was disappointed to move things back a season, but we're just glad that we are able to have fans in the ballpark and that we will have games here at Coca-Cola Park," Landes says. The days of crowds of 10,000-plus are likely not coming back this year as state-mandated crowd size restrictions are still in place. Landes says social distancing will be in place throughout the park and in the stands, and masking up will be required unless eating or drinking. Tickets for the IronPigs dozen May home games went on sale Tuesday.
New Jersey's Republican lawmakers are trying to fix a problem with legislation legalizing marijuana for people 21 and older. GOP senators are proposing to restore protections for officers who stop people with the concern that they may be under the age of 21 and smoking weed or drinking alcohol. They argue officers could be charged with deprivation of civil rights. Meantime, several law enforcement agencies are concerned over the current law that stops several law enforcement agencies are concerned over the current law that stops officers from notifying parents if their child is unlawfully smoking or drinking.
A former Super Bowl champion quarterback is now a member of the Philadelphia Eagles. Joe Flacco has agreed to a one-year contract with the Eagles. He's expected to backup starter Jalen Hurts.