Pa. gas prices up 9 cents a gallon from last week; 8 cents in U.S.
With more states reopening from the coronavirus-related closings and crude prices rising, the average price of a gallon of regular-unleaded gas rose 8 cents nationwide compared with last week, to $1.95, AAA said Saturday.
Still, this marked the first Memorial Day weekend since 2003 that the price was below $2, according to the automobile club. This time last year, the per-gallon price was $2.85.
In Pennsylvania, on average a gallon cost $2.22, up from $2.13 last week.
In New Jersey, the increase was a more-modest 2 cents, from $2 to $2.02.
N.Y. Times devotes entire front page to virus milestone
Using a visually striking front-page design that looked like it wandered out of the 19th Century, the New York Times in its Sunday issue to pay tribute to those who have died from coronavirus-related causes as the U.S. death toll approaches 100,000.
In a note posted on its site, the Times said a team of writers and researchers had pored through newspaper obituaries around the nation to assemble summary information on the lives of nearly 1,000 of the victims.
“We knew we were approaching this milestone,” Simone Landon, assistant graphics editor, said in explaining the decision to opt for an all-type front page.
“We knew that there should be some way to try to reckon with that number.”
Over 5,000 Pennsylvania residents have now died after contracting coronavirus
Pennsylvania quietly passed 5,000 COVID-19 deaths on Saturday, yet another somber marker in the fight to contain the deadly virus.
Officials reported 112 new deaths on Saturday, bringing the commonwealth’s total to at least 5,096, more than just five other states in the country.
The number of positive coronavirus cases rose by 725 to 66,983.
Despite increased testing, the number of new daily cases of COVID-19 has declined overall since reaching a peak of 1,965 on April 9. The number of coronavirus patients hospitalized has also dropped by more than 1,000 since May 8 — from 2,618 to 1,560.
Philly reports 12 new coronavirus deaths, 225 new cases as region nears ‘yellow’ reopening phase
The Philadelphia Department of Public Health reported 12 new coronavirus deaths on Saturday, increasing the number of residents who have succumbed to COVID-19 to 1,233 — over half of whom were residents at long-term-care facilities.
According to officials, there have been at least 21,234 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Philadelphia, with 225 new cases reported on Saturday — two months since Philadelphia’s stay-at-home order took effect. Philadelphia hospitals are currently treating 537 COVID-19 patients; 1,041 are hospitalized in the region.
“The last two months have been something that no public health official has ever wanted to see,” Philadelphia Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said in a statement. “But while we have lost far too many of our loved ones, the COVID-19 pandemic has not hit us as hard as we feared.”
Philadelphia and its suburbs — the hardest hit areas in Pennsylvania — will move to the “yellow” phase of the state’s reopening plan by June 5, Gov. Tom Wolf announced Friday. That would allow most businesses to reopen, but gyms, salons, malls, and movie theaters would remain closed. There will also still be limitations on public gatherings, and restaurants and bars will remain closed to in-person business.
More than 11,000 New Jersey residents have died after contracting coronavirus, a grim milestone passed as residents and visitors flock to the Shore to enjoy a restricted Memorial Day weekend.
Officials reported 96 new deaths on Saturday, increasing the state’s death toll to at least 11,081. It was 50 fewer deaths than the state reported on Friday, though Gov. Phil Murphy warned on Twitter “a significant amount of electronic lab reports” have yet to be processed.
The state reported a total of 443 new confirmed cases, pushing the state’s total to at least 153,104. Of those, 2,974 people were hospitalized, 806 were in critical or intensive care, and 611 were on ventilators. It is the 17th straight day New Jersey has reported fewer than 2,000 new cases, despite increased testing.
‘I’m just thankful that we’re out here’: At the Jersey shore, sunny skies and some masks
Joe Bisch pulled on a red neck gaiter mask that matched his sleeveless red Good Humor T-shirt under the Ventnor City Fishing Pier, and tried to figure out which of his pairs of gloves would be best for counting money.
“It’s a whole new world,” the 55-year-old said, before pushing his ice cream cart down the South Cambridge Avenue beach for his first delivery of the 2020 beach season. “We don’t have a choice. It’s not going to be as lucrative as years passed, but I’m just thankful that we’re out here.”
A stormy Saturday morning gave way to a sunny and clear Saturday afternoon, sending sunseekers toward the shoreline to kick off Memorial Day weekend and the unofficial start of the summer season, despite the unusual circumstances.
Visitors and residents — only some wearing masks — flocked to Ventnor’s boardwalk, which is open for the first time since being closed to pedestrians on April 5. The beaches saw a smaller than usual turnout, allowing beach-sitters to spread out, mostly in small clusters. None were wearing masks.
Bill and Robin Adams, of Ventnor, set up their lounge chairs at the back of the beach at Dudley Avenue, making certain to keep their distance.
"We're sitting back here just to be safe," Robin said. "But everyone is being good, so we're happy."
The original forecasts, which predicted rainy and dreary conditions, looked like a blessing in disguise, discouraging visitors and protecting those who showed up from testing social-distancing guidelines in the midst of a pandemic.
NBA in talks to resume season in late July at Disney complex in Florida
The National Basketball Association is holding “exploratory conversations” with Disney about restarting the remainder of its season in late July, spokesperson Mike Bass said Saturday.
According to Bass, the plan would be to have all games, practices, and housing take place at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex located in Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.
“Our priority continues to be the health and safety of all involved, and we are working with public health experts and government officials on a comprehensive set of guidelines to ensure that appropriate medical protocols and protections are in place,” Bass said in a statement.
The NBA suspended its season indefinitely on March 11 in an attempt to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Even as rate of COVID-19 infections slow, Philly nurses and doctors struggle to acquire protective equipment
By the time the coronavirus pandemic peaked in Philadelphia on April 14, the city had placed 62 orders for more than $6 million worth of masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, and other medical supplies.
But only about one-fourth of those orders had come in, as the pandemic caused panic over equipment shortages for frontline workers, drove up prices, and strained supply chains. And by May 15, a full two months after the city’s first confirmed case of COVID-19, fewer than a third of Philadelphia’s 100 orders — for $8 million in supplies — had been filled, according to city spending data.
“We are not shy about begging at this point,” Brian Abernathy, the city’s managing director, said last week of the city’s search for hospital supplies. “We’re not borrowing or stealing yet, but it has been challenging, to say the least.”
Saturday golf outing for Pres. Trump. His first round at one of his courses since March 8th. Here you can catch a glimpse as the president, in his golf attire, heads for his waiting motorcade to leave the White House. (TV pool video) pic.twitter.com/FZgiLwpj2I
While golf courses were closed in many states due to the spread of coronavirus, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has allowed them to remain open throughout the pandemic, as long as they meet safety requirements. Golf courses were forced to close in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, but have since been allowed to reopen.
“As you go out this weekend, understand you can go out. You can be outside. You can play golf. You can play tennis with marked balls. You can go to the beaches if you stay six feet apart,” Deborah Birx, the coordinator of the White House’s coronavirus task force, told reporters on Friday.
Pastor Wayne Zschech of the Lutheran Church Of Our Savior in Haddonfield took to social media Friday to tell his congregants the church will continue to livestream its services and follow Gov. Phil Murphy’s emergency orders by not allowing worshipers to gather inside the church.
“While we long for the day we can gather again in this sanctuary… until there is a vaccine, we will not be able to gather as we have gathered in the past,” Zschech said in a video posted on the church’s Facebook page.
Zschech said the church is in the process of creating a phased plan that will allow congregants to worship in the church as safely as possible once Murphy rolls back the state’s restrictions, which were put in place to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
“President Trump has no authority in the state of New Jersey to declare that we must reopen,” Zschech said. “And he certainly doesn’t have any authority over me — your pastor — or the church council, whose primary concern is the health and safety of our members."
In Pennsylvania, churches can open their doors and hold services in counties that have reached the state’s “yellow” reopening phase, but gatherings are limited to 25 people. In New Jersey, churches are barred from holding in-person services indoors, but can hold outdoor services limited to 25 people.
The NHL Players’ Association’s executive board, composed of a player representative from each of the 31 teams, approved a 24-team return-to-play format on Friday, but said “several details need to be negotiated” with the NHL.
More steps will be needed, but the league could soon have players return to small-group skates at their training sites. For the Flyers, that would take place at the Skate Zone in Voorhees.
The NHL has said a three-week training session would follow before the season could restart, probably in early July.
Under the 24-team plan, the top four teams in the Eastern and Western Conferences would play each other for seeding purposes. The Flyers have the fourth-best points percentage in the Eastern Conference, and they would be guaranteed a playoff spot.
In a temporary order released Friday night, Superior Court Judge Robert Lougy granted a request from the New Jersey Department of Health to place temporary restraints on Atilis Gym from opening. The judge ordered the gym to remain temporarily closed to the public until the state lifts its closure order, and set a court date of June 8.
Ian Smith, the outspoken owner of the gym, called Gov. Phil Murphy a “slimeball” in an Instagram video posted after receiving the order, calling the health department’s attempts to close the gym “flimsy and bogus.” Smith said he and his legal team would be filing an emergency injunction request next week claiming he has been robbed of due process and his constitutional rights, and hopes to reopen the gym on Wednesday.
“We’re in this for the long haul. It’s not about the battle, it’s about the way,” Smith said.
Several gyms across the Philadelphia region have moved to reopen despite Pennsylvania’s and New Jersey’s closures of so-called nonessential businesses. The move by Atilis was the highest profile. Its owners were interviewed several times on Fox News and became champions of protesters who say state governments have overreached and infringed on their freedoms with nonessential business closures.
The Philadelphia region will move to the ‘yellow’ reopening phase on June 5
Pennsylvania counties still under strict coronavirus restrictions — including hard-hit Philadelphia and its suburbs — will move to the “yellow” phase of reopening by June 5, Gov. Tom Wolf announced Friday.
Eight counties — Dauphin, Franklin, Huntingdon, Lebanon, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike, and Schuylkill — will move to yellow on May 29. The counties of Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, and Philadelphia will begin the yellow phase the following week, on June 5.
Under the Wolf administration’s reopening plan, the yellow phase means most but not all businesses can reopen, limitations on public gatherings remain, and restaurants and bars remain closed to in-person business. Gyms, salons, malls, and movie theaters also remain closed. Of the state’s 67 counties, 49 are already in the yellow phase.