Thursday, the Pennsylvania Department of Health added 656 new coronavirus cases to the state's total, which now sits at 1,204,099. Another 36 new deaths attributed to COVID-19 were also added, leaving the state with 27,295 of those deaths since the pandemic began. 929 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, 229 of whom are in the intensive care unit.
Two more Pennsylvania universities have made decisions on whether to force students to get a COVID-19 vaccination. In Pittsburgh, Duquesne University says all students attending classes and other in-person campus activities this fall will be required to have been vaccinated. Likewise, Villanova University will require all students, staff and faculty be vaccinated against COVID-19. President Rev. Peter Donohue says most of the Villanova community is already vaccinated according to a recent survey. The university will make exceptions for medical and religious reasons.
New Jersey is moving to end its COVID-19 public health emergency. Lawmakers passed the bill last night, ending all but 14 executive orders Gov. Phil Murphy put in place to curb the spread of the virus. Those will stay put until January.
One in six New Jersey adults say they won't get the coronavirus vaccine. According to a poll from Rutgers-Eagleton an additional ten-percent say they'll eventually roll up their sleeves while nearly 75-percent of respondents say they've already received at least one dose of the vaccine. The poll says people in a higher income bracket and those with higher education levels along with older residents are more likely to get the vaccine.
The Lehigh County coroner has identified the man who was struck and killed by a tractor-trailer on I-78 Thursday morning. 28-year-old Jovani Diaz died after the tractor-trailer hit him around 5am on I-78 westbound near the Route 863 exit. The truck driver stopped at the scene and is cooperating with investigators. I-78 west was closed at Route 100 before reopening around 10am.
Accu-Weather's Joe Lundberg says tomorrow might be the beginning of a heat wave. "There's like 15 hours of daylight tomorrow and we're going to get all of it with sunshine start to finish. That's going to send temperatures up to near 90 at the peak of the heat in the mid-to-late afternoon hours. We'll probably be a degree or two above that on Sunday and again on Monday and maybe Tuesday," Lundberg says. Today might be the last day under 90 degrees until Wednesday.
Gun control advocates and gun rights advocates are both holding rallies in Harrisburg within days of each other. Thursday, the second annual March Against Injustice and Gun Violence was held on the steps of the state Capitol. Meanwhile, on Monday, advocates for gun rights plan their own rally on the steps of the state Capitol. Congressman Scott Perry and several GOP state lawmakers will attend and talk about the need for more gun rights bills in Pennsylvania.
A year after police used tear gas against demonstrators in Pennsylvania who were protesting George Floyd's death, some state lawmakers want to ban police from using those measures again. St. Rep. Chris Rabb says the Geneva Protocol should be followed in protecting public safety during protests. That protocol bans the use of poisonous or other gases, like mace, as well as materials used in war.
A Republican state lawmaker is shooting down calls for an election audit. St. Rep. Seth Grove, who chairs the committee that handles election matters, says they will not be authorizing any further audits on any previous elections. This comes after three state lawmakers visited Arizona on Wednesday to see the GOP-ran election audit of the 2020 election there and called for similar action in Pennsylvania.
The top-paid cops in New Jersey make more than six figures. Officers in the Garden State are among the country's highest-paid, with an average salary at $95,000. The highest paid officers earn about $150,000 in Bergen County.
About 43,000 fans are expected to pack Citizens Bank Park this evening to watch the Phillies host Washington. This comes after the city dropped capacity limits Wednesday. It'll be the first time in well over a year that full capacity will be allowed.