The Pennsylvania Department of Health says the state has broken its coronavirus pandemic hospitalization record. On Thursday, Pennsylvania hospitals recorded nearly 6500 patients, surpassing the previous daily record of a little over 6300 set on December 16th of last year. 1057 people are in intensive care, with nearly 650 of those on ventilators. Statewide, hospitalizations have increased nearly 22-percent in the last week and are up over 43-percent in the last month.
Lehigh University's semester will begin as planned on Monday, Jan. 24, but most classes will be remote for the first week. In-person instruction is set to resume Monday, Jan. 31. Lehigh is requiring all students to complete a Lehigh-supplied COVID test upon arrival to campus, and get a negative result before participating in academic or social activities.
The National Guard is sending 150 members to support staff at nursing and care facilities in New Jersey. Officials previously requested strike teams as coronavirus cases continue surging and long term care centers deal with staffing shortages. Gov. Phil Murphy says more than a dozen facilities across the state will receive the extra help. Guardsmen are set to start at their assigned locations January 10th.
Northampton County will take a look at creating its own health bureau. County Executive Lamont McClure told County Council federal American Rescue Plan pandemic relief money could cover the costs. McClure says having its own health bureau would be better than teaming up with another county. "With a health bureau that answers only to the County of Northampton, we're assured our suburban and rural areas will receive as much focus as our more developed communities," McClure says. Council would have to approve any spending on studying the idea or creating a bureau.
The vice chairwoman of C.F. Martin & Co.’s board of directors and the wife of the guitar maker’s executive chairman Chris Martin, died on Tuesday after a long battle with cancer. Diane Martin also served as district judge for Hellertown and Lower Saucon Township, retiring in January 2009.
Officials with the U.S. Labor Department say Pennsylvania is one of the states where jobless claims have risen the most in the past month. The unemployment rate in Pennsylvania is now at about 5.7-percent, the 10th highest ranking in the country.
Pennsylvania's Department of Labor & Industry says it has detected an increase in attempts to steal unemployment compensation benefits through more sophisticated schemes. L&I says in order to try to prevent that, a two-step process will be added for claimants to offer another level of protection. The agency encourages people to remain vigilant about guarding their personal and confidential information and to monitor for signs that their information is being used fraudulently.
The Philadelphia fire marshal's office is calling on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms National Response Team to investigate the deadly fire in Fairmont. 12 people, including eight children died in the fire Wednesday morning. ATF has trained personnel that are ready to get to the bottom of what caused the deadly blaze. More than two-dozen people lived at the duplex which is owned by the Philadelphia Housing Authority. Investigators believe that a young child was playing with a lighter near a Christmas tree moments before the fire started. The investigation is on-going.
The 106th annual Pennsylvania Farm Show starts this weekend and promoters say it'll have both virtual and in-person features because of the coronavirus. Thursday, the traditional butter sculpture was unveiled. State Agricutlure Secretary Russell Redding says he's amazed. "I'm always amazed that somebody can that eight-and-a-half by 11 sketch and put it forth and have this be an amazing story of Pennsylvania dairy, through butter," Redding says. This year's farm show theme is "harvesting more," so the 1000 pound sculpture depicts urban and rural communities coming together and toasting each other with a glass of milk. The farm show runs through January 15th.
New Jersey is under a state of emergency as forecasters track a snowstorm heading for the tri-state. The order is in effect until at least ten o'clock this morning. Gov. Phil Murphy is urging residents to stay off the roads, asking people to work from home if possible. Forecasters say northern parts of the state can expect about three to four inches of snow while those more south could see up to six inches.
The American Hockey League has announced that both Lehigh Valley at Providence games scheduled for this tonight and Sunday have been postponed due to AHL COVID-19 protocols affecting the Phantoms. The games have been rescheduled for Monday, April 11 and Tuesday, April 19.
The Eagles host the Cowboys Saturday night in a game that doesn't mean a whole lot to the Eagles. So, will the Birds play their starters? Head coach Nick Sirianni isn't sure. "That's still something that we're discussing and we're working through. Everybody's is ready to go. Even the guys who are out of the building right now are ready to go," Sirianni says. The Eagles are 9-7 and have already clinched a playoff spot.