Here's what's trending for November 18.


The Pennsylvania Department of Health has released its most recent update on so-called "breakthrough" cases of COVID-19, or cases that happened despite being fully vaccinated. From January 1 through November 2 the Department of Health says 88 percent of reported COVID-19 cases were in unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated people. 90 percent of COVID caused hospitalizations were in that same unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated group, while 89 percent of COVID-related deaths were in that group as well.

The latest numbers from the Pennsylvania Department of Health show some steady increases in COVID inoculations in the commonwealth for kids under the age of 12. The data shows just under 69,000 Pennsylvania children under the age of 12 have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and that over 1700 now have completed their vaccination series.

The Lehigh County Board of Elections has decided to allow mail-in ballots that weren't dated to be counted for the November 2nd Lehigh County judicial race. That move has upset state House Republican leaders who've threatened to remove members of the Lehigh County Board of Elections if they allow the votes to be counted. The election was for three judges and, right now, Republican David Ritter is holding on to the third spot by 74 votes over Democrat Zachary Cohen. There are 260 mail-in ballots that weren't dated, something required by law. Cohen's attorney claims the votes should be counted because the voters signed their ballots and submitted them on time, but the envelopes did not provide them with the clear instructions to date the ballot as required by law.

Project managers say work on a long-proposed road on the Allentown waterfront should be moving along, now that the project has been promised a $21 million federal grant. The funds are coming through PennDOT's RAISE program for the project that will eventually connect three cities along the waterway. The Lehigh Valley Planning Commission says the work will include a scenic commuter trail and a road from the riverfront into Whitehall Township. The overall project is expected to cost nearly $56 million and the first part of it is expected to open next fall.

South Whitehall Township's proposed 2022 budget would not increase real estate taxes. The $16.55 million spending plan would keep taxes flat, however there's a $172,000 gap on spending, but South Whitehall has cash in reserve to cover the difference.

ArtsQuest has released its 2022 poster for Musikfest. It features a father holding a Musikfest mug in one hand while his daughter rides on his shoulders while holding an American flag. SteelStacks is seen in the background.

Pennsylvania House GOP leaders have been successful in opposing PennDOT's plans to add tolls on nine bridges in the state. The House passed a bill Wednesday to cancel the tolling proposal. However, the bill requires one more Senate vote. Opponents to the measure say it would hurt the economies of the communities where the bridges are located and also that the toll plan didn't receive enough public input. The bill faces opposition from Gov. Tom Wolf.

Concerns are growing after someone found some vials at a lab in Montgomery County that were labeled 'smallpox.' A lab worker discovered the frozen vials earlier this week at the Merck Upper Gwenydd facility. The worker was wearing gloves and a mask as they were cleaning out the freezer when they made the discovery. According to the CDC, smallpox spread in the 70s killing three-out-of-every-ten people who contracted the disease until it was eradicated worldwide by 1980. No official word on why the vials were at the facility.


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