First Lady Jill Biden spent some of her Wednesday at the Learning Hub in Allentown, meeting with students and teachers. As part of her visit, Mrs. Biden chatted with members of the local Latino community as part of Hispanic Heritage Month. "That's why I wanted to come here and thank you for your support and listen and learn how we can better support you," Mrs. Biden said. The Latino leaders say the number-one issue facing their community is housing and the First Lady promised she will take that message back to her husband.
Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Department of Health added 5012 new cases of COVID-19 to the state total, which is now 1,491,146. There were 170 new COVID-related deaths also reported, leaving Pennsylvania with a total of 30,228 deaths attributed to COVID-19. Right now, 3031 people are hospitalized with COVID-19. 678 of them are in the intensive care unit.
Penn State will require all University Park faculty and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Citing President Biden’s September 9 executive order requiring federal employees to be vaccinated, the university says all workers will have to provide proof that they are fully vaccinated by December 8, regardless of whether they're working on federal contracts. Because of the deadline, all employees who are not already vaccinated are strongly urged to start the process immediately. Individuals are considered to be fully vaccinated two weeks after the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine or two weeks after the second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines, which require four weeks or three weeks between doses, respectively. November 24 is the last day individuals can get their final dose to meet the December 8 deadline.
A new study from Penn State is suggesting that half of all people diagnosed with COVID-19 experience lingering symptoms. Researchers at Penn State College of Medicine looked at data from more than a quarter of a million unvaccinated individuals that were infected between December of 2019 and March 2021. They found that one's battle with COVID doesn't end with recovery from the acute infection. Researchers say survivors experienced lingering problems for six-months or more following the infection including weight loss, fatigue, fever, pain, mobility issues, and sometimes trouble with major organs. They added that both kids and adults can experience this.
Investigators from the Department of Justice are now interviewing staffers at two veterans' homes run by the state of New Jersey. It's part of a federal investigation into how the state handled COVID-19 related deaths. Acting New Jersey Attorney General Andrew Bruck says interviews got underway last week at the Menlo Park and Paramus facilities. Gov. Phil Murphy essentially held his commentary on the matter because of the federal investigation. More than 150 veterans died from the virus after contracting it at three state-run nursing homes.
A New Jersey man has been charged in the homicide of a man sitting in his vehicle in Center City Allentown Tuesday night. 25-year-old Justin Nevius, of Phillipsburg, is accused of pulling up to a parked minivan on Seventh Street, near Gordon Street, and firing multiple shots at the vehicle, hitting 42-year-old Kippy Henry, of South Whitehall Township, several times. Henry died a short time later. A witness says Henry had cut off Nevius while driving earlier, angering Nevius, who followed Henry into the city and then killed him.
Officials with drug and alcohol programs are worried about early statistics regarding overdose deaths. Early projections show that 2021 overdose deaths are nearing levels seen at the height of the opioid and heroin epidemic in 2017. Officials say given the number of deaths that we're seeing and the number of overdoses that are non-fatal increasing, we really need to have the tools at our disposal to act immediately. Last year, there were around 5217 fatal overdoses and officials believe the numbers for 2021 are going to surpass that.
A bipartisan recreational marijuana bill is being considered by the state legislature. This is the state's first ever joint-effort from a Republican and Democrat to legalize cannabis. The bill from state senators Sharif Street and Dan Laughlin would legalize marijuana for Pennsylvanians 21 and older. This bill could reel in hundreds-of-millions-of-dollars in tax revenue for the state. If passed, Pennsylvania could be the 19th state in the country to legalize recreational cannabis.
Nine Republicans have already announced they're running for governor in 2022. Wednesday, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro became the first Democrat to do so. "Already, there are Republicans running for governor who want to lead us down a dark path, undermine free and fair elections, chip away voting rights and permanently divide us. That's the kind of divisive politics that gets in the way of solving real problems," Shapiro says in the video. The 48-year-old has been attorney general since January 2017 and was previously a Montgomery County commissioner for five years and a member of the state House for seven years.
Berks County will pay postage for ballots mailed in with just one stamp for next month's general election. County officials say they have learned the ballots will need two stamps, but they are working with the post office to be sure all ballots are delivered even without both stamps. They are suggesting dropping the ballot into one of the county's two drop boxes starting Monday if the voter doesn't want to mail it.
Police say they read suspect Robert Bowers his Miranda rights twice in the hours following the murderous shooting spree at the Tree of Life synagogue. Yesterday marked the second day of a hearing being held to consider the admissibility of statements made by Bowers following his arrest in the 2018 attack. Detective Robert Shaw took the stand Wednesday and said that he read Bowers his rights while riding in an ambulance with the wounded suspect on the way to the hospital and again at the hospital. Both times, he said that Bowers advised he wanted to talk to a lawyer. Shaw says he didn't interrogate Bowers in that time.
A former president is giving New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy a hand on the campaign trail. Barack Obama will join the incumbent candidate in Newark on October 23rd. The event is supposed to promote early voting ahead of election day, which is November 2nd. First Lady Jill Biden is also expected to help out the governor tomorrow. Republican Jack Ciatterelli is looking to beat out Murphy as governor.
With two-and-a-half weeks remaining until election day, no poll has Republican Jack Ciattarelli ahead of incumbent New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy. However, Ciattarelli tells Fox News voters are beginning to see Murphy for who he is. "The people of this state love this state. They realize it's broken, but they don't want to hear any governor tell them. of the east coast. He's out of touch, he's tone deaf, he's an elitist and he's just not New Jersey and we're going to continue to pound that home over the last two weeks here," Ciattarelli says. Murphy and Ciattarelli held their second and final debate earlier this week.