Pennsylvania is again allowing the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to be distributed here. The single-shot vaccine accounts for just over 271,000 vaccines distributed of the over 7.9-million administered in the state so far. The return comes after federal regulators allowed the vaccine to return to use after reports of a rare blood clotting condition.
Pennsylvania continues to work toward herd immunity. State data shows a little over five-million Pennsylvanians have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, which is around 46-percent of the state's eligible population. Of that group, more than three-million have been fully vaccinated. State officials say they're looking to vaccinate 80-percent of the state's population to reach herd immunity.
New Jersey marked a major vaccine milestone over the weekend. On Saturday, Gov. Phil Murphy announced more than four-million New Jerseyans have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, saying that's a major marker on the state's track to fully inoculate 4.7-million New Jerseyans by the end of June.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is planning to make a major announcement regarding reopening efforts later today. He says as his state's key metrics improve and vaccination progress continues, the state is ready to move forward. The news comes as the state's COVID-19 hospitalizations continue trending downward. Sunday's daily cases count was reported at just over 1500 with the state confirming 13 additional COVID-related deaths.
A Lackawanna County man that's been missing for nearly three weeks is dead. Pocono Mountain Regional Police say the body of Ronald Nicholas was found within the Brady's Lake area in Monroe County. Family members last reported seeing the 72-year-old on April 5th. The investigation is ongoing.
Police are looking for a suspect involved in a weekend shooting at a Monroe County motel. It happened Saturday night at the Mount Pocono Motel. One man was taken to the hospital after being shot multiple times. Police say 32-year-old Jerome Davis is the man who pulled the trigger and remains at large. Investigators say Davis had an ongoing problem with a neighbor at the motel and fired a rifle at two males who then fled the complex after one of them was hit by gunfire.
A Pennsylvania man is donating more than $2.5-million to Lehigh University to be used for social justice. Charles Marcon donated the money for the university to form an institute that focuses on research and study that influences perspectives, practices and policies on racial justice. Lehigh officials say students in the program will also work alongside community partners to enact changes regarding social justice and anti-racist issues.
Police say no threat was found at Knoebels Sunday. Around 5 o'clock Sunday afternoon, someone called the amusement park and made a threat, prompting park officials to call police. After clearing an area of the park to let police investigate, they determined there was no threat at all. Police say they're now working to identify the caller.
The Carbon County Prison is going to be looking for new leadership this year. The prison board has fired warden Timothy Fritz and officials say the reason was a personnel matter. Fritz's firing follows the investigation of corrections officer Gerald Babb who resigned earlier this month after he was accused of assaulting a restrained inmate in February.
The state Senate has approved St. Sen. Lisa Boscola's legislation requiring drivers to remove ice or snow from their vehicles within 24 hours following heavy snow or ice storms. "This legislation, which was passed unanimously last session, requires all drivers to remove snow and ice from their vehicle's rooftop before entering our roadways," Boscola says. Pennsylvania's current law only penalizes a driver when serious bodily harm occurs from a snow or ice projectile.
Pre-registration is now underway for businesses looking to apply for the NJ Economic Development Authority's assistance grant program. Under phase four of the Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program $35-million alone has been set aside for restaurants. The window opened last week and will stay open until April 29th at 5pm. A variety of businesses are eligible but owners must pre-register in order to apply.