The Pennsylvania Department of Health Wednesday added 2597 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 1,164,216. There were 56 new COVID-related deaths also added Wednesday, leaving the commonwealth's overall total at 26,390. There are currently 2172 people hospitalized with COVID-19. Of that number 480 are in the intensive care unit.
Two local colleges announce different COVID-19 vaccination policies. DeSales University will not require students or staff to get a COVID-19 vaccine for the fall semester. The university says it strongly urges anyone who is eligible to get a vaccine, but it won't be mandatory. In a statement, university president Father James Greenfield says, “In the spirit of the University’s core value of gentleness, we are choosing to firmly encourage rather than mandate.” Muhlenberg College says students will be forced to get vaccinated before coming to campus this fall. Lehigh University had previously announced a similar policy for its campus this fall.
Penn State football coach James Franklin is helping the state's push to get as many Pennsylvanians vaccinated as possible. "I encourage everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated. The more people who are vaccinated, the better chance we have to get back to 107,000-strong here in Beaver Stadium," Franklin said. Franklin says he wants Penn State's September 11th home opener to be the first family reunion in almost two years and he wants Beaver Stadium rocking. Franklin, Penn State President Eric Barron and Gov. Tom Wolf all discussed the issue Wednesday in Happy Valley.
16 cancer patients, three of whom died, and their families say emissions of a cancer-causing chemical from B. Braun's Hanover Township, Lehigh County plant caused them to get cancer. They're suing the medical device company, claiming the Environmental Protection Agency says people living near the plant have a "substantially higher" risk of developing cancer from the gas than the Pennsylvania average. A B. Braun spokesperson says the lawsuit is completely without merit and the company will launch a vigorous defense.
A pedestrian was hit and killed on Route 145 Wednesday night. It happened near the Sumner Avenue overpass on the border between Allentown and Whitehall Township. Police have not commented on the crash.
An 11-year-old boy in the Poconos is dead after apparently being shot by another juvenile. State police say the boy was shot to death Tuesday night inside a home in Middle Smithfield Township, Monroe County. Investigators say the boy was shot by another juvenile in the home who had been handling the gun.
Roseto's former police chief will be sentenced June 16th after being convicted of threatening to kill his wife. Mark Gwozdz was convicted of making terroristic threats after a two-day trial. He threatened his wife in October 2019 during an argument over an impending divorce. Gwozdz retired as Roseto police chief in January. He’s on unpaid administrative leave as a police officer in Washington Township, Northampton County.
Five people are being treated at the hospital after two cars crashed into business buildings in Mount Pocono. The incident happened Wednesday afternoon off the Main Street section of Route 611. The two vehicles crashed into Pocono Rocks! and The Little Rock Cafe with one car going through a storefront window. The cause of the crash is being investigated.
Pennsylvania's Legislative Black Caucus and other lawmakers are proposing several bills to address what they call systemic equity across the state. The group presented the Invest in Systemic Equity Legislative Package Wednesday, which includes declaring racism as a public health crisis. One of the bills would establish the Racial Equity Task Force within the Department of Health while another would create the Joint Legislative Equity Committee that would analyze any legislation. Several other bills in the package tackle issues such as implicit bias in health care, maternal mortality and even taking a deeper look into algorithmic technology.
A new poll reveals just under half of respondents believe Gov. Phil Murphy should run for governor again. That's 48-percent. Another 43-percent of respondents say it's time to see someone else lead the Garden State.
In just under a year from now, New Jerseyans will need to remember to bring reusable bag with them when shopping anywhere. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection is reminding residents of the bill Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law back in November 2020, banning single-use plastic products come May 4th, 2022. New Jersey Secretary of State Tahesha Way says "we love New Jersey beaches, forests and waterways and we want to protect them for current and future residents and visitors to enjoy."