Thursday, the Pennsylvania Department of Health added 3322 new cases of coronavirus to the state's overall total, which is now 1,146,398. 50 new deaths attributed to COVID-19 were also added, leaving the state with 26,179 since the pandemic began. Right now 2447 people are hospitalized with COVID-19, 539 of whom are in the ICU.
Lehigh Valley Health Network is now accepting walk-ins at its vaccine clinic at Northampton Crossings at 3768 Easton Nazareth Highway in Lower Nazareth Township. The clinic is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Those 18 and older can walk in without an appointment to receive the first dose of the Moderna vaccine. They will be scheduled on-site for their second dose of the vaccination. People who prefer making an appointment for the clinic may still do so.
State officials are concerned that only 49-percent of long-term health care workers have gotten vaccinated against the coronavirus. State health officials say we know that the virus can spread quickly and often silently in congregate care settings. In order to battle hesitancy among this group, state agencies are running an education campaign to hopefully boost those vaccination numbers.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy says New Jersey could be fully reopened soon, as COVID-19 numbers continue to fall. 2092 new cases of COVID-19 were reported Thursday and hospitalizations dropped below 2000. Perhaps more importantly, the transmission rate in the Garden State fell below .8 for the first time in eight months.
New Jersey Corrections officials will resume visitations starting tomorrow, thanks to the COVID-19 case rate among staff and inmates remaining below one percent. All visits will take place outdoors, when weather permits, so social distancing can be maintained. Reservations are required and will be made on a first-come, first-served basis. The total number of visitors permitted for each inmate will be two adults and two children.
Officials are launching an investigation after 72,000 Pennsylvanians had their confidential health information exposed in a contact data breach. Whoever breached it could see people's phone numbers, how many children they had, their kids' names, other family members' names and medical information. State Department of Health officials say their data systems weren't breached as this breach came from Insight Global, which helped perform contact tracing for COVID-19 in the state.
Police are investigating a shooting in Allentown. It happened just before 8 o'clock Thursday night in the area of 7th and Linden. Police say one person was shot. That person was taken to the hospital and is expected to survive.
Students in the Quakertown Community School District's Sicth Grade Center can sleep in a few minutes longer next school year. The school board has voted in favor of starting and ending their school day at the same time as the district's four elementary schools. That means all Quakertown elementary students and sixth graders will be in class from 9:10am to 3:40pm. The change also means sixth graders will ride the bus with the younger students.
It's a hold-onto-your-hat kind of day in the Lehigh Valley. "The big story today is strong, gusty winds as high as 50 miles per hour. That's strong enough to bring down tree limbs and power lines," says Accu-Weather's Bill Deger. He says those strong winds will subside a bit by tonight.
President Biden will be in Pennsylvania today to mark Amtrak's 50th anniversary. The Philadelphia visit is part of the President's "Getting America Back On Track" tour.
For the second straight year the Philadelphia Eagles have made a wide receiver their first round draft pick. This year it's a Heisman Trophy winner. "We're really excited to get DeVonta Smith. He's really highly rated on our board and someone who's not only a great player but a great person and will come in and be ready to roll," says Eagles executive vice president Howie Roseman. He traded up two slots to the 10th selection to nab Smith, who will be reunited for former Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts.
Two Penn State football players were taken in the first round of the NFL Draft Thursday night. Micah Parsons was selected by the Dallas Cowboys with the 12th overall pick and Jayson Oweh was taken by Baltimore with the 31st overall pick.