Employees at St. Luke's University Health Network who have already had COVID-19 will not have to get vaccinated against it. Back on August 9th, St. Luke's said a vaccine mandate was being implemented for all employees and anybody who conducts business within the health care system. However, the Morning Call reports St. Luke's is now allowing COVID survivors to defer their vaccinations for up to 12 months from the date they tested positive. While still encouraging previously infected employees to get vaccinated, St. Luke's is making the move due to the natural immunity those people have against the virus. A spokesman for Lehigh Valley Health Network says their organization is considering a similar policy shift.
A COVID-19 outbreak has a Bethlehem area elementary school temporarily closing. Starting today, Miller Heights Elementary School will be closed and shifting to remote learning. It comes after 12 COVID-19 cases were reported among four different grade levels since the start of the school year. District officials hope to reopen on September 20th.
School districts across the state are using a loophole in the state's mask mandate order to get around it. Under the order, students can be exempt from wearing masks if it causes a medical condition or exacerbates an existing one, which includes respiratory issues, mental health conditions or a disability. Some school districts have already released exemption forms using that wording that only require a parent's signature. However, some districts require a medical professional's approval to be exempt. Though some districts are allowing kids to go maskless, legal experts say this loophole violates the order and most likely won't hold up in court.
An exploding car woke some people up in one Bethlehem neighborhood over the weekend. It happened just before midnight Saturday night on Fifth Avenue. There's still no word yet on what may have caused the blast. There are no injuries reported.
A bicyclist from Schuylkill County is dead following a collision involving a police car. Police say just before 1 o'clock Sunday morning, Joseph Potter was riding in Pottsville before he rode into an intersection and crashed into a police car. Potter was taken to the hospital, where he died. no information on the officer involved was released, but police say there were no traffic violations involving the police car.
Federal funds and services are on the way to help Pennsylvanians impacted by the remnants of Hurricane Ida. Gov. Tom Wolf say that President Niden approved of his request for a major disaster declaration for the state, saying he's grateful that the President responded swiftly. Wolf added that Pennsylvanians will now have opportunities to receive financial assistance, which will go a long way toward replacing and restoring their property.
New Jersey's death toll from Hurricane Ida's aftermath now stands at 29. Gov. Phil Murphy updated the number on Sunday, revealing one person from Passaic County remains missing. Two bodies found in Passaic River last week were later confirmed to be two friends who had been reported missing in Ida's floods.
The Philadelphia Eagles opened the Nick Sirianni era with a dominating 32-6 win in Atlanta. After winning his NFL coaching debut, Sirianni said he liked what he saw. "The team played together so well and it was such a complimentary game all the way around. I can't say enough good things about our defense," Sirianni said. Next up for the Eagles is their home opener this Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers.
Whitehall High School and Penn State star running back Saquon Barkley returned to action Sunday after missing a year due to injury. Barkley only gained 26 yards but said it was good just to get back on the field for the first time in almost exactly one year. "We lost so that's upsetting. But it's a blessing to go back out there and play the sport I love and get back out there on the football field," Barkley said. Barkley's Giants lost to Denver 27-13.