8:45 AM - March 24, 2020
8:45 AM - March 24, 2020

Read the latest Philadelphia-area coronavirus updates here

As of March 24, New Jersey has the second most confirmed cases of coronavirus in the country. Although as information continues to roll in that, could change. To keep up to date, read our live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic in the Philadelphia-area.

12:30 AM - March 24, 2020
12:30 AM - March 24, 2020

Golf Association of Philadelphia cancels team matches, suspends events scheduled through May 15 due to coronavirus

The Golf Association of Philadelphia announced Monday it has canceled the 119th BMW GAP Team Matches because of the effects of the coronavirus outbreak.

The massive competition, which would have involved more than 4,100 players from 157 member clubs, had been scheduled for April 19, 26 and May 3, with playoffs and challenges on May 9.

GAP also announced it has suspended all events scheduled through May 15 “to reduce the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak conditions on golfers, employees, volunteers and personnel from member clubs.”

That includes U.S. Open local qualifying and GAP championships and qualifying.

— Joe Juliano

10:40 PM - March 23, 2020
10:40 PM - March 23, 2020

Major airlines planning for possible shutdown of domestic flights, The Wall Street Journal reports

Traffic outside of the international terminal at Philadelphia International Airport was sparse on March 16.
MONICA HERNDON / Staff Photographer
Traffic outside of the international terminal at Philadelphia International Airport was sparse on March 16.

Major U.S. airlines are drafting plans for a voluntary shutdown of virtually all domestic flights, according to industry and federal officials, the Wall Street Journal reported late Monday.

While “no final decisions have been made by the carriers or the White House,” the Journal reported, the shutdown remains an option as U.S. airlines, which have already eliminated most international flights, experience mass cancellations amid domestic flights with minimal passengers.

U.S. airlines including American Airlines Group Inc., which accounts for 70% of traffic at Philadelphia International Airport, and United Airlines Holdings Inc. canceled over 40% of scheduled flights across the country Monday, according to Flightaware.com, a flight tracking site.

Philadelphia International Airport saw 29% of its outbound flights canceled Monday.

— Ellie Rushing

9:02 PM - March 23, 2020
9:02 PM - March 23, 2020

5 test positive at Mount Laurel nursing home; 3 hospitalized

Three nursing-home residents at a Mount Laurel facility who have tested positive for the coronavirus have been hospitalized, the Burlington County Times reported Monday.

In addition, two employees at the Laurel Brook Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center also have tested positive. Laurel Brook said in a statement that it is working closely with the state health department.

A Laurel Brook official declined comment Monday night.

During the weekend, Philadelphia announced its first confirmed coronavirus case in a facility for seniors.

Nursing homes are especially dangerous environments for the coronavirus because seniors and others with compromised immune systems are the most at risk to die from the disease. The facilities can become fertile grounds for the virus to be transmitted.

— Anthony R. Wood

8:50 PM - March 23, 2020
8:50 PM - March 23, 2020

Cherry Hill student’s parent hospitalized with coronavirus, superintendent says

The parent of a Cherry Hill School District student has tested positive for COVID-19, Superintendent Joseph Meloche said Monday night in an open letter to the community.

The parent, who is hospitalized, attended Cherry Hill High School East’s production of Legally Blonde on March 6, a week before district schools closed.

“We have not received any reports of other students, family members or staff members experiencing illnesses with symptoms resembling those of coronavirus,” Meloche wrote.

“Our hearts go out to this parent and family during this difficult time. Please have compassionate thoughts and pray for them.”

Forty-one coronavirus cases have been reported in Camden County, officials said Monday. One Camden County resident, a Barrington woman in her 80s, has died of the virus.

— Kristen A. Graham

8:22 PM - March 23, 2020
8:22 PM - March 23, 2020

Holiday Inn Express in Center City to become quarantine for homeless people with coronavirus

Jermaine Roberts, exterior building maintenance for the Convention Center, monitors an area where 15 homeless people were moved out Monday. Five accepted services and a place to stay.
JESSICA GRIFFIN / Staff Photographer
Jermaine Roberts, exterior building maintenance for the Convention Center, monitors an area where 15 homeless people were moved out Monday. Five accepted services and a place to stay.

The city is planning to turn a Center City hotel into Philadelphia’s first coronavirus quarantine site, and use it to house homeless people who test positive for the virus, according to two people with knowledge of the plans.

The city will rent all 13 floors of the Holiday Inn Express near 13th and Walnut Streets, said the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the plans.

The hotel, which has more than 100 rooms, is expected to open as a quarantine site by the end of the week. People showing signs of the virus and awaiting test results will quarantine on certain floors, one of the sources said. Anyone who tests positive will be treated in isolation by medical staff on other floors.

City Managing Director Brian Abernathy said he would not confirm any quarantine sites the city opens during the coronavirus crisis but spoke about the city’s plan for the facilities, which he said are for “people who don’t have any other place to shelter."

That could include health-care workers who show symptoms during a shift and cannot go home, Abernathy said. Decisions about which non-homeless people will use the facilities will be made on a case-by-case basis, he said.

Sean Collins Walsh, Chris Brennan, Mike Newall

7:45 PM - March 23, 2020
7:45 PM - March 23, 2020

Beds at Penn Medicine’s $1.5 billion hospital expected to be ready 15 months ahead of schedule

Penn Medicine's Pavilion, which is currently under construction, will house 500 private patient rooms and 47 operating rooms in a 1.5 million square foot, 17-story facility across from the Hospital of University of Pennsylvania and adjacent to the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine.
Handout / Penn Medicine
Penn Medicine's Pavilion, which is currently under construction, will house 500 private patient rooms and 47 operating rooms in a 1.5 million square foot, 17-story facility across from the Hospital of University of Pennsylvania and adjacent to the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine.

Penn Medicine’s $1.5 billion hospital project in University City is moving at a breakneck pace.

The porition of the Pavilion at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania is expected to be ready for occupancy 15 months ahead of schedule, according to a contractor.

“Penn Medicine is expediting construction in its new hospital on the West Philadelphia campus of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania to make 119 rooms available for increased capacity needed to care for patients with COVID-19,” a spokesperson told the Inquirer. “Crews are working around the clock to complete this project at an incredible pace — these rooms are expected to be ready by mid-April, 15 months ahead of the facility’s planned opening.”

The 17-story tower had been slated for completion in 2021. The COVID-19 epidemic has rocketed it to a fast track.

“This is our one and only priority,” said Mark Rabinowitz of the Paul Rabinowitz Glass Co., a commercial window contractor based in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia.

“Our job was first supposed to be done by the end of summer. Now it’s been moved up to the end of the month,” Rabinowitz said in an interview with the Inquirer. “We have three shifts working to get 200 rooms done. The normal crew would be six workers, now we have 12 guys working 10 hour days. That’s our focus.”

Most construction projects across the region were ordered by Gov. Wolf to shut down over the weekend. Work on the Pavilion, Penn’s largest ever capital project, was allowed to continue as a “life-sustaining” project.

Penn Medicine is working closely with the governor and the Philadelphia Building and Construction Trades Council to move the effort forward safely, a Penn Medicine spokesperson told the Inquirer.

The project will add 119 patient beds to the Penn Medicine system just as the number of COVID-19 victims is expected to peak.

— Sam Wood

7:16 PM - March 23, 2020
7:16 PM - March 23, 2020

Cape May County officials urge Shore campgrounds to delay opening

Health officials in Cape May County are asking campground owners to delay their seasonal opening until May 11 to help curb the spread of the coronavirus, Kevin Thomas, the county health officer, said Monday night.

“In the best interest of the patrons and residents, we are recommending campground owners and operators hold off opening local campgrounds until May 11,” Thomas said in a statement. “I’m asking them to also advise out-of-state visitors to adhere to the Governor’s executive order and not travel to the shore at this time.”

The campgrounds, many located along Route 9 across the bay from traditional Shore destinations, host thousands of RV sites, cabins and other lodging in Cape May County. Some, like Avalon Campground, have already announced they are delaying opening until May 11. Holly Shores is advertising a mid-April opening.

Others, like Pine Haven, said they are still planning to open to seasonal visitors as early as March 30. A person staffing the reservation line at Pine Haven said Monday the campground had not received many reservations and that the planned opening was being reviewed by its corporate owner, RVinthesun.com, and that “we expect some changes to be made.”

Freeholder Jeffrey Pierson noted that 25% of Cape May County’s year-round residents are over 65. “We are talking about more than 23,000 people that fit within the ‘most vulnerable’ category,” stated Pierson.

Officials from local mayors to Gov. Murphy, along with local year-round residents, have expressed alarm as second-home owners and other people from out-of-state have flocked to the Jersey Shore to ride out the pandemic. With its limited off-season resources, the area is not equipped for the influx, Murphy warned.

Cape May County says it has nearly 50 privately owned campgrounds in the wooded areas along the mainland areas of the county, totaling more than 15,000 campsites.

— Amy Rosenberg

7:11 PM - March 23, 2020
7:11 PM - March 23, 2020

Trump: America will ‘soon be open for business’

President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Briefing Room Monday in Washington, joined by Attorney General William Barr and Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator.
Alex Brandon / AP
President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Briefing Room Monday in Washington, joined by Attorney General William Barr and Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator.

President Donald Trump said that America will “soon be open for business” and that the country will not be shut down for as long as some health experts have said.

“We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself,” Trump said in a White House briefing Monday evening. “At the end of the 15-day period, we will make a decision on which way to go.”

He said the restrictions wouldn’t be lifted within a week, but that “it won’t be three to four months like some people are saying.” He said that a potential lift on restrictions could happen in phases, like in Nebraska and Iowa, states without widespread cases. “This is a medical problem, and we are not going to let it turn into a long-lasting financial problem.”

Trump also said that New York will begin distributing to residents tomorrow morning hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial drug that the president sees as a potential treatment to COVID-19.

Self-swabbing tests will be made available for people to test themselves this week, said Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, which could expedite the testing process, reduce the risk to health-care workers, and minimize the drain on personal protective equipment and supplies.

White House officials emphasized the severity facing New York state. Birx said the New York City area is facing a viral attack rate close to 1 in 1,000 people, which is five times what other areas are seeing. She said that 28% of tests are reported positive, whereas the test rate in other parts of the country is less than 8%.

“Clearly, the virus must have been circulating there for a number of weeks to have this much penetration into the community,” said Birx.

U.S. Attorney General William Barr touched on the national task force launched to tackle price gouging and supplies hoarding.

He said that a lead prosecutor will be designated in each district to pursue cases of people hoarding supplies like hand sanitizer and medical masks to up-charge residents. This won’t apply to toilet paper, he said, “but if you are sitting on a warehouse with surgical masks, you will be hearing a knock on your door.”

— Ellie Rushing

7:03 PM - March 23, 2020
7:03 PM - March 23, 2020

Domino’s wants to hire 700 in Philly area. Here are other companies hiring locally, and in N.J.

Jenny Kane / AP

Companies that serve consumers face-to-face or deliver food and essentials to homes are eager to hire, including well-known names such as Walmart, Amazon, Domino’s, Papa John’s, and CVS.

Domino’s franchises want to hire about 700 new employees across more than 142 stores in the Philadelphia area, according to a spokeswoman. Open jobs include delivery drivers, customer representatives, assistant managers and managers.

Drugstore chain CVS Health said Monday it would hire 50,000 employees across the U.S. in roles ranging from store clerks to home-delivery drivers.

Meanwhile, Walgreens said it’s hiring 9,500 workers in its U.S. stores to accommodate “significant demands on stores and pharmacies during this time,” according to a statement on its website.

See the full list of companies hiring locally here.

— Erin Arvedlund

6:36 PM - March 23, 2020
6:36 PM - March 23, 2020

Delaware governor orders all schools to remain closed through May 15, asks that students be exempt from state testing

Delaware Gov. John Carney has ordered all state K-12 schools to remain closed through at least Friday, May 15, to mitigate the spread of coronavirus.

The First State’s schools were initially ordered to close for two weeks, starting on Friday, March 13.

In a letter to families, teachers, and school leaders, Carney said the two-week period was intended to help leaders plan for what comes next.

“We have spent a significant portion of the last week discussing plans for remote instruction, the delivery of meals, and other social services,” Carney wrote. “This is an unusual time — but children still deserve access to a quality education, and families rely on the social services we deliver in our schools every day. We’ll continue to work directly with school leaders on these important issues.”

Additionally, Carney recommended that no Delaware school extend its calendar beyond the end of June, and said he submitted a waiver requesting that students be exempt from state testing this school year.

The state is offering free meal pickups for students who depend on their schools for breakfast and lunch.

— Oona Goodin-Smith

6:12 PM - March 23, 2020
6:12 PM - March 23, 2020

U.S. reports more than 100 deaths Monday due to coronavirus

The U.S. reported more than 100 deaths on Monday, the first day to reach a triple-digit death toll since the pandemic arrived in the U.S. and pushing the country’s total fatalities past 500.

The coronavirus has infected more than 41,000 people across 34 states, D.C. and Puerto Rico, as it spreads rapidly and prompts governors to issue stay-at-home orders to mitigate the damage.

— Ellie Rushing

5:34 PM - March 23, 2020
5:34 PM - March 23, 2020

During pandemic, Media church provides drive-up communion for those who want it

While church gatherings and public worship services are suspended amid the coronavirus outbreak, the Christ Episcopal Church in Media decided to provide a drive-up sacrament.

— Lauren Schneiderman

5:07 PM - March 23, 2020
5:07 PM - March 23, 2020

Under Gov. Wolf’s order, you can still go for walks. Just not at Haverford College’s Nature Trail

Haverford College is closing public access to its nature trail after the massive number of people using the 2.2-mile trail were not practicing social distancing, the college said Monday.

“Unfortunately, the sheer number of people — many of whom were not practicing social distancing — left us with no choice,” said Chris Mills, Haverford spokesperson. “We look forward to welcoming visitors to campus when the COVID-19 danger has passed.”

The trail’s closure came just before Gov. Tom Wolf issued a stay-at-home order for Philadelphia and its suburbs, including Montgomery and Delaware Counties, where the private college is located.

The order requires residents to remain inside except for essential trips such as buying food or seeking medical help. Wolf’s office also considered outdoor activities, like walking, running, or hiking, essential trips as long as residents maintain social distancing.

The trail, which winds through conifers and alongside a scenic duck pond, was one of the main hiking destinations in the area. Haverford closed public access to its buildings and athletic facilities last Wednesday and discouraged use of the trail. But the crowds continued.

“As Governor Tom Wolf has emphasized … social distancing is our strongest weapon against the virus,” the college posted on Twitter. “And though we had hoped to permit continued access to College grounds and the Trail, it is now clear that such access increases the threat level and should not continue.”

— Ellie Rushing

4:59 PM - March 23, 2020
4:59 PM - March 23, 2020

Philly and PIDC to provide a $9 million relief fund for small businesses

Kevin Lang, bartender at Kostas on Girard Avenue, cleans the bar area in advance of the latest restrictions due to the coronavirus in Philadelphia, PA on March 16, 2020.
DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer
Kevin Lang, bartender at Kostas on Girard Avenue, cleans the bar area in advance of the latest restrictions due to the coronavirus in Philadelphia, PA on March 16, 2020.

The city of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) launched the COVID-19 Small Business Relief Fund Monday, a $9 million-plus grant and loan program to support Philadelphia’s struggling, barely-afloat businesses.

The fund is designed to help businesses with less than $5 million in annual revenue maintain payroll obligations and preserve jobs impacted by the spread of the virus.

The Philadelphia COVID-19 Small Business Relief Fund will be a tiered program providing targeted support for small businesses, which face an unprecedented challenge due to the ongoing global pandemic. The program is designed for businesses with under $5 million in annual revenue.

Tiers include:

  • Microenterprise grants — $5,000 per business for businesses with less than $500,000 in annual revenue;
  • Small business grants — up to $25,000 per business for businesses with annual revenue between $500,000 and $3 million;
  • Small business zero-interest loan — up to $100,000 per business for businesses with annual revenue between $3 million and $5 million.

— Barbara Laker

4:45 PM - March 23, 2020
4:45 PM - March 23, 2020

MAAC conference says ‘additional persons’ at Atlantic City basketball games have tested positive for coronavirus

The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference says “additional persons” at basketball games held in Atlantic City earlier this month have tested positive for the coronavirus.

The MAAC conference, which held an aborted league tournament at Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall, had previously said that two officials who worked games in Atlantic City had tested positive.

The league now says “one or more” of these additional persons were “at or near the floor” during the March 10 games featuring Iona vs. Canisius and Niagara vs Marist at Boardwalk Hall and also at the March 11 quarterfinal game featuring St. Peter’s vs. Iona. Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small Sr. has said he was in attendance March 11 with his two children.

Small said Monday he was not sitting near the floor and did not have any reason to believe he had been in contact with the affected individuals. Small has been pushing for the state to set up a drive-through testing site at the city’s former municipal airport, Bader Field.

— Amy Rosenberg

4:11 PM - March 23, 2020
4:11 PM - March 23, 2020

Montco officials: 'Staying at home is how, together, we will beat COVID-19′ as cases increase

Val Arkoosh, chair of the Montgomery County board of Commissioners, said Monday that there are 26 more positive coronavirus cases in the county since Sunday, bringing the total to 136. The ages of those patients range from 18 to 81, Arkoosh said. Ten of the new patients are between the ages of 50 and 79. Eleven are 49 or younger.

Nine are being monitored at home, four are hospitalized and Arkoosh said officials are still in the process of tracking that information for the rest.

Monday’s news conference was the first held by the county since a drive-through coronavirus testing center opened Saturday on the Ambler campus of Temple University. By the end of Monday, Arkoosh said she anticipated that officials will have tested about 1,100 people at the site.

Arkoosh, who previously worked as a physician and in public health, said she supported the stay-at-home order announced for Montgomery and other counties Monday by Gov. Wolf.

Staying home except for essential reasons, Arkoosh said, “is the most important thing we can do as a county to slow the spread of COVID-19…Staying at home is how, together, we will beat COVID-19.”

District Attorney Kevin Steele said Montgomery County law enforcement was prepared to enforce the stay at home directive, but said, “Let’s get voluntary compliance on this order.”

Arkoosh also announced that county officials were broadening the criteria for who can be tested at the drive-through facility. Now, in addition to first responders and other high-priority groups, anyone with a fever over 100.4 and respiratory symptoms, or anyone who is 65 and older who has a temperature of 99.6 degrees or higher can be tested.

Since testing began over the weekend, Montgomery County has used about half of the test kits they had available, Arkoosh said, but she has requested more.

“We are hoping we will get additional kits,” she said. “If we get them, we will stay open and keep running.”Test results from a hospital can take anywhere from four to six days; testing site results have been available a little faster, she said.

— Allison Steele

3:56 PM - March 23, 2020
3:56 PM - March 23, 2020

Wolf says he supports postponing Pa. primary as lawmakers advance legislation

Gov. Tom Wolf said Monday that he supports postponing Pennsylvania’s primary election, following days of discussion with lawmakers that on Sunday resulted in agreement to move legislation to delay the election from April 28 until June 2.

“There’s an agreement to actually bring it up to a vote in the different caucuses, and I think that is where it is right now,” Wolf said during a virtual press conference. “The people that represent the citizens of Pennsylvania are about to make that decision.”

Lawmakers took the first steps to advance that plan Monday, with the House State Government Committee meeting briefly in the afternoon to approve a bill, SB422, and send it to the full House.

Lawmakers expect to amend the bill on the House floor Tuesday before sending the legislation to the Senate.

“It will become the vehicle to move our primary to June 2 and then make some other adjustments to the Election Code, some of them just temporary for this primary election, because of the extreme circumstances that we find ourselves under,” State Rep. Garth Everett (R., Lycoming), chair of the committee, said at the start of the meeting.

In addition to postponing the election, the proposed legislation would give county elections officials flexibility to change and consolidate polling places without seeking the normal court approval and allow them to begin processing absentee ballots before polls close on election day.

— Jonathan Lai, Justine McDaniel

3:50 PM - March 23, 2020
3:50 PM - March 23, 2020

Quiet hits the streets as coronavirus ‘stay-at-home’ orders are issued throughout the Philadelphia region

A quiet fell on the Philadelphia region as “stay-at-home” orders were issued in several Pennsylvania counties on Monday. Here are images documenting the ongoing spread of the coronavirus.

— Rachel Molenda

3:46 PM - March 23, 2020
3:46 PM - March 23, 2020

Why a coronavirus vaccine may take 18 months

University of Pennsylvania graduate student Daniel Park tests a coronavirus vaccine at the Wistar Institute in February.
MONICA HERNDON / Staff Photographer
University of Pennsylvania graduate student Daniel Park tests a coronavirus vaccine at the Wistar Institute in February.

Researchers around the world started work on a coronavirus vaccine on Jan. 11, the moment their Chinese counterparts published the microbe’s genetic code.

At Inovio Pharmaceuticals, in Plymouth Meeting, scientists made a preliminary vaccine in just a few hours — a speed that was unheard-of a decade ago — and they plan to start human testing in April. A vaccine developed by Cambridge, Mass.-based Moderna Inc. proceeded to human tests even faster: Four volunteers received injections last week.

But don’t expect to roll up your sleeves any time soon.

As with any new drug, a manufacturer must demonstrate both that a vaccine is safe and that it works. Add in the time needed to produce a vaccine on a mass scale, and government scientists have been predicting the whole process could take 18 months.

— Tom Avril

2:48 PM - March 23, 2020
2:48 PM - March 23, 2020

Pennsylvania schools to remain closed through April 6, at least

All Pennsylvania K-12 schools will be closed for another two weeks, through at least April 6, according to the Department of Education.

Gov. Tom Wolf initially ordered schools statewide to close for two weeks on Friday, March 13.

When asked Monday what impact the extended closure could have on students’ graduation, Wolf said the administration hadn’t decided yet.

— Sarah Anne Hughes, Justine McDaniel

2:41 PM - March 23, 2020
2:41 PM - March 23, 2020

Philadelphia delays tax deadlines

The city of Philadelphia is extending tax deadlines for property owners and businesses as the coronavirus continues to spread.

The real estate tax deadline, for both residential and commercial property owners, has been extended from March 31 to April 30. The deadline for seniors and low-income residents to apply for the city’s installment payment plan for real estate taxes has also been pushed back to April 30.

Mirroring the Internal Revenue Service’s delaying of federal business taxes, the city has moved the deadline for the Business Income and Receipts Tax and the Net Profits Tax to July 15.

The city, however, encouraged taxpayers who can pay on time to do so to ensure funding for city and school district services.

— Sean Collins Walsh

2:38 PM - March 23, 2020
2:38 PM - March 23, 2020

Montgomery County identifies first patient to die from coronavirus

The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office has identified the first patient to die from the coronavirus in the county as Donald Horsfall, 72, of Jenkintown.

Horsfall died Sunday morning at Abington Hospital Jefferson Health, the office said.

The primary cause of death was the coronavirus, but a secondary cause was multiple injuries. Horsfall had suffered from a fall down steps at his home prior to his death.

Further complicating the secondary condition was atrial defibrillatory and anti-coagulating therapy that had been administered to treat Horsfall’s injuries.

The office did not have the authority to comment on how Horsfall caught the coronavirus or whether there was any connection to the fall.

Based in Norristown, the Montgomery County Coroner is taking responsibility for identifying the cause of death in patients who die after exhibiting the symptoms of the virus but before they can be tested, as well as those who die with the symptoms after having the test.

— Bonnie L. Cook

2:31 PM - March 23, 2020
2:31 PM - March 23, 2020

Senate fails to move forward with coronavirus stimulus bill

Senate Democrats once again blocked a procedural vote on a massive coronavirus stimulus bill as lawmakers and the White House continue to negotiate on the $1.8 trillion plan.

The final vote was 49-46, far short of the 60 votes Republicans needed to advance the bill forward to a final debate. Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said he was fighting to ensure there were proper oversight on $500 billion worth of loans designs to assist distressed companies, while Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell accused Democrats of attempting to add unrelated provisions to the bill.

Both Republicans and Democrats signaled they were close on a final bill, and hope to come to an agreement by the end of the day on Monday.

"We’re very close to reaching a deal. Very close,” Schumer said in a speech on the Senate floor prior to the cloture vote.

— Rob Tornoe

2:21 PM - March 23, 2020
2:21 PM - March 23, 2020

‘Before we can recover, we must survive:’ Gov. Wolf enacts stay-at-home order for 7 Pa. counties

A view of a subway entrance located in front of City Hall in Dilworth Plaza, around 7am in Philadelphia, March 16, 2020.
JESSICA GRIFFIN / Staff Photographer
A view of a subway entrance located in front of City Hall in Dilworth Plaza, around 7am in Philadelphia, March 16, 2020.

Gov. Tom Wolf confirmed that he is extending a stay-at-home order already in place in Philadelphia to six additional counties: Allegheny, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Monroe, and Montgomery.

"Before we can recover, we must survive,” Wolf said during a live address Monday.

He said people in counties under the order must stay in their homes “unless someone’s life depends on you leaving.”

The order takes effect Monday at 8 p.m.

Wolf later said shopping for food and picking up medicine are “important things.” He said people should ask themselves, do I have to make this trip?

When asked why the order is not statewide, the governor said he’s trying to be “measured.” There have not been COVID-19 outbreaks in areas where the order does not apply, he said.

The order will be in place for two weeks. Wolf also announced that school closures will be extended for another two weeks, through at least April 6, according to the Department of Education.

"I am asking everyone to participate to their fullest extent,” Wolf said. "These restrictions are unlike anything we’ve experienced before.”

Six people have died from the coronavirus in Pennsylvania, Health Secretary Rachel Levine said. They are all adults from Allegheny, Lackawanna, Monroe, Montgomery, and Northampton Counties.

The number of daily cases reported has continued to rise, Levine said. The hospitalization rate is still approximately 10%.

Neither the state nor the federal government currently has plans for an official travel ban within or between states, Health Secretary Rachel Levine said. Wolf said there was no curfew.

— Sarah Anne Hughes, Justine McDaniel

2:12 PM - March 23, 2020
2:12 PM - March 23, 2020

For the families of Philly’s healthcare workers, impossible decisions and growing anxiety amid coronavirus outbreak

A nurse waits for the city's coronavirus testing site to open next to Citizens Bank Park in South Philadelphia on Friday, March 20, 2020. The site, which opened Friday afternoon, is the first city-run location where people can be swabbed to determine if they have the coronavirus. At the time of opening, it was only for people with symptoms who are over 50 and healthcare workers with symptoms.
TIM TAI / Staff Photographer
A nurse waits for the city's coronavirus testing site to open next to Citizens Bank Park in South Philadelphia on Friday, March 20, 2020. The site, which opened Friday afternoon, is the first city-run location where people can be swabbed to determine if they have the coronavirus. At the time of opening, it was only for people with symptoms who are over 50 and healthcare workers with symptoms.

As the coronavirus outbreak bears down on the region, health-care workers and their families are forced to make impossible choices. Those decisions have only become more urgent in recent days as it’s become clear health-care workers in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and around the world are facing a severe shortage of equipment to protect themselves.

The crisis has set off a sense of wartime in America — the virus is described as an invisible enemy, and health-care workers are spoken of in terms often reserved for soldiers. The families who are avoiding their loved ones or setting up quarantine rooms in their homes as part of the sacrifice.

Some feel indescribable anxiety seeing their spouse or mother or sibling off to work, others feel a gnawing sense of impotence while at home.

— Anna Orso, Bethany Ao

1:58 PM - March 23, 2020
1:58 PM - March 23, 2020

N.J. officials: Stay home or risk being cited, prosecuted

Gov. Phil Murphy and top law enforcement officials emphasized on Monday that New Jerseyans must follow the governor’s orders to stay at home and close all non-essential businesses, otherwise they risk being cited and prosecuted by law enforcement.

“Consider this as your final warning,” Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal said. “Your actions are against the law in New Jersey [and] you will be held accountable.”

This comes as another seven people have died from the coronavirus in New Jersey, bringing the state’s death toll to 27. Another 935 people have also tested positive for the disease, bringing the statewide total to 2,844. Murphy also ordered hospitals and medical offices to stop all elective medical and dental surgeries for adults starting at 5 p.m. Friday, in order to preserve supplies for coronavirus patients and frontline health workers.

The governor had a private phone call with President Donald Trump Monday morning to discuss what help the federal government could provide the Garden State. Murphy reiterated that New Jersey needs more protective equipment, assistance from the Army Corps of Engineers to build four temporary hospitals and at least $100 billion in regional aid to share with Pennsylvania, New York and Connecticut.

“We need to continue to do our job,” Murphy said, “in order to do so we need the federal government to come in with a big bucket of money.”

Private labs in New Jersey processing coronavirus tests will now report daily updates on positive and negative cases to statewide health officials. This will allow those planning the state’s coronavirus response to have a fuller picture of how best to battle the spread of the disease, Murphy said.

Earlier this morning, New Jersey’s Supreme Court ordered those serving less than a one year sentence for low-level offenses in county jails to be released temporarily to mitigate the spread of coronavirus pandemic in correctional facilities.

— Pranshu Verma

1:13 PM - March 23, 2020
1:13 PM - March 23, 2020

Broad Street Run postponed until October

Runners contended with the rain and puddles during the last stretch of the 2019 Broad Street Run on May 5, 2019
MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer
Runners contended with the rain and puddles during the last stretch of the 2019 Broad Street Run on May 5, 2019

The Independence Blue Cross Broad Street Run, billed as the nation’s biggest 10-mile race, has been postponed until October 4 due to the coronavirus pandemic, Mayor Jim Kenney announced Monday.

Hosted by Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, the annual run from North Philly to the Navy Yard draws about 35,000 participants, and was originally scheduled for May 3.

Registrations for those who had already signed up for the race will be automatically transferred to the new date.

Participants who cannot make the new date can transfer their bib or delay their registration to 2021 without a fee, Kenney said.

“This is an evolving situation and details are still being worked out. Read our FAQ to find answers to some of your questions," race organizers tweeted Monday. "Runners can go to http://runsignup.com to defer or transfer their bib, and the $15 transfer fee will be waived.”

— Frank Kummer, Sean Collins Walsh, Oona Goodin-Smith

1:08 PM - March 23, 2020
1:08 PM - March 23, 2020

World Health Organization: ‘The pandemic is accelerating’

World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus warned global leaders during a Monday briefing that the global spread of COVID-19 is “accelerating.”

"It took 67 days from the first reported case to reach the first 100,000 cases, 11 days for the second 100,000, and just 4 days for the third 100,000,” Ghebreyesus said.

As of Monday afternoon, there have been over 350,000 global cases of COVID-19, and at least 15,436 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Ghebreyesus also warned about the dangers of using untested medications to treat coronavirus victims, which comes after President Trump continues to tout the possible effectiveness of two anti-malaria drugs that have yet to be approved to treat COVID-19 by the FDA.

“There is currently no treatment that has been proven to be effective against COVID-19,” Ghebreyesus said. "Using untested drugs without the right evidence could raise false hope and even do more harm than good and cause a shortage of essential drugs that are needed to treat other diseases.”

The WHO is currently conducting a global trial, labeled “SOLIDARITY,” to test whether certain existing medications can be effective in treating COVID-19.

— Rob Tornoe

12:58 PM - March 23, 2020
12:58 PM - March 23, 2020

NJ Transit has started rear-door boarding on buses. How does that work?

NJ Transit has begun rear-door boarding “on all bus routes where available” as a social distancing measure to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.

Customers are encouraged to use NJ Transit’s app or buy tickets before boarding. Fares aren’t being waived, said Nancy Snyder, NJ Transit spokesperson. Instructions on how to activate tickets on its app can be found online, while those with paper tickets or cash can present their fares to the driver after boarding through the rear doors.

Riders using cash should first try to buy tickets at a machine or ticket window.

Transportation services across the country have taken a heavy hit as more heed calls to stay at home.

— Patricia Madej

12:43 PM - March 23, 2020
12:43 PM - March 23, 2020

Gov. Tom Wolf to issue stay-at-home order for 7 counties including Philadelphia, suburbs, and Allegheny County

A sign at the 8th Street ramp to westbound I-676 (Vine Street Expressway) Mar. 22, 2020 reflect Philadelphia's order that all residents stay in their homes except when engaging in life-sustaining activities beginning at 8 a.m. Monday because of the coronavirus crisis.
TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer
A sign at the 8th Street ramp to westbound I-676 (Vine Street Expressway) Mar. 22, 2020 reflect Philadelphia's order that all residents stay in their homes except when engaging in life-sustaining activities beginning at 8 a.m. Monday because of the coronavirus crisis.

Gov. Tom Wolf is expected to issue a “stay-at-home” order today for Philadelphia and its suburbs, as well as for Monroe and Allegheny Counties, taking the fight against the coronavirus to a new level by requiring residents to remain inside except for essential trips such as buying food or seeking medical help.

The order will apply to Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery Counties in the southeast, Monroe County in the northeast, and Allegheny County in Western Pennsylvania, according to four sources with knowledge of the governor’s plans.

It was not immediately known when the order will take effect, how long it will last, or what enforcement might entail. Wolf is expected to make the announcement this afternoon, according to the sources, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the plan.

Wolf’s order comes a day after Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney issued a similar order for the city’s 1.6 million residents, which began at 8 a.m. on Monday.

— Angela Couloumbis, Justine McDaniel

12:25 PM - March 23, 2020
12:25 PM - March 23, 2020

Coronavirus frauds spread, preying on Medicare recipients, feds say

Scam artists are preying on older people’s fears by peddling fake tests for the coronavirus to Medicare recipients, a federal law enforcement agency warned on Monday.

The Health and Human Services inspector general's office said it's seeing marketing schemes rapidly pivot to offering tests for COVID-19 and “Senior Care Packages” with hand sanitizer or even tout a vaccine, which doesn't exist. Some marketers falsely claim that President Donald Trump has ordered that seniors get tested.

It’s all a trick to get personal information that can be used to bill federal and state health programs, said Christian Schrank, assistant inspector general for investigations.

“It’s a straight-up ruse to get your Medicare number or your Social Security number under the guise of having a test kit or a sanitary kit sent to you,” Schrank said. Often the caller will hang up as soon as that number is provided.

— Associated Press

12:10 PM - March 23, 2020
12:10 PM - March 23, 2020

Gov. Tom Wolf’s office says he was tested for coronavirus, then backtracks and says he wasn’t

Governor Tom Wolf speaking by video feed while Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine stands at the podium during the virtual press conference.
Commonwealth Media Services / Commonwealth Media Services
Governor Tom Wolf speaking by video feed while Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine stands at the podium during the virtual press conference.

Update, 1:35 p.m.: Just hours after saying Gov. Tom Wolf had tested negative for the coronavirus out of concern he had been exposed, the governor’s office inexplicably backtracked Monday and said he had in fact not received a test.

The information we provided to you was an error,” Mike Brunelle, Wolf’s chief of staff, said in an apology to Spotlight PA.

Brunelle did not explain how the error happened.

— Angela Couloumbis

11:45 AM - March 23, 2020
11:45 AM - March 23, 2020

Klobuchar’s husband tests positive, senator says she won’t miss vote on recovery package

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a former Democraitc presidential candidate, announced Monday morning her husband, John, tested positive for COVID-19. Klobuchar said her husband currently has pneumonia and is on oxygen, but is not on a ventilator.

Klobuchar said she won’t be tested for coronavirus or placed in self-quarantine because her husband has been back home in Minnesota, while she’s been working in Washington, D.C.

“I love my husband so very much and not being able to be there at the hospital by his side is one of the hardest things about this disease,” Klobuchar wrote.

At least three Republican senators won’t be available to vote on the massive coronavirus relieve bill currently being negotiated due to COVID-19. The Senate currently has no mechanism to vote remotely.

They are:

- Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.).Paul tested positive for coronavirus on Sunday after attending an event in Kentucky two weeks ago where several attendees have tested positive

- Sens. Mitt Romney (R., Utah) and Mike Lee (R., Utah). Both Romney and Lee announced on Sunday they will self-quarantine themselves following Paul’s diagnosis. Both are expected to be away for 14 days.

Other senators have placed themselves in self-quarantine and have since re-emerged, including Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.), Ted Cruz (R., Texas, Cory Gardner (R., Colo.), and Rick Scott (R., Fla.).

— Rob Tornoe

11:25 AM - March 23, 2020
11:25 AM - March 23, 2020

Pa., N.J. offer mental health assistance during coronavirus lockdowns

As people across Pennsylvania enter the second week of home isolation to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, state health officials reminded residents on Monday that mental health help is available via text.

If you are one of many people struggling with anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues during this time, the Pennsylvania Department of Health said you can text “PA” to 741741, the crisis text line.

When you send that text, you immediately receive a “while you wait” survey where you are asked about what you are experiencing and whether you have suicidal thoughts. You are prompted to answer questions such as “what makes you feel strong?” and asked to write what advice you would give a friend in the same situation. You are then connected via text to a crisis counselor.

In New Jersey, people can call Mental Health Cares, a statewide behavioral health information and reference service, at 1-866-202-HELP (4357).

Both services are free and confidential.

Research has shown quarantine can result in depression and PTSD, and can increase mortality. Here are some other ways you can cope.

— Erin McCarthy

11:15 AM - March 23, 2020
11:15 AM - March 23, 2020

Delaware reports 64 confirmed coronavirus cases

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Delaware rose to 64 on Monday morning, following Gov. John Carney’s order for residents to stay at home.

There were 56 cases Sunday. According to health officials, at least six people have been hospitalized, and three are critically ill.

Like Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Delaware announced the closure of nonessential businesses, which will go into effect Tuesday at 8 a.m.

Residents are permitted to leave their homes to go grocery shopping, pick up take-out food purchases, receive medical treatment or care for an immediate relative, and exercise. They can also leave to go to work, if their employer is listed as an essential business.

— Rob Tornoe

10:45 AM - March 23, 2020
10:45 AM - March 23, 2020

Temple, Villanova cancel on-campus commencements

A pedestrian is reflected while walking past the shuttered Barnes and Noble on Temple University's campus in North Philadelphia on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. The university has transitioned its classes online due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and nonessential retail businesses have been ordered to shut down.
TIM TAI / Staff Photographer
A pedestrian is reflected while walking past the shuttered Barnes and Noble on Temple University's campus in North Philadelphia on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. The university has transitioned its classes online due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and nonessential retail businesses have been ordered to shut down.

Temple University and Villanova University announced Monday they are calling off their on-campus commencements.

Temple’s had been scheduled for May 7; Villanova’s for May 15.

“While we will not hold the traditional in-person ceremony ... we are exploring alternatives to this long-standing celebration of your achievement,” Temple President Richard M. Englert and Provost JoAnne A. Epps said in an email to the campus Monday morning.

Temple also has canceled all on-campus events through May 31, and announced that classes in its first summer session would be held online.

In a campus email. Villanova president the Rev. Peter M. Donohue said, “I will confer your degrees via a live-streamed event."

An in-person celebration will be held when it is safe, he said.

Classes for the rest of the spring semester will be conducted online, the president said. The university also issued a temporary hiring freeze.

— Susan Snyder

9:55 AM - March 23, 2020
9:55 AM - March 23, 2020

N.J. top court orders release of low-level offenders to thwart spread of coronavirus

New Jersey’s Supreme Court has ordered individuals serving time for low-level offenses in county jails to be temporarily released to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus in correctional facilities.

The order takes effect Tuesday and could mean the release of up to 1,000 people, according to the ACLU of New Jersey, one of the organizations that requested New Jersey take this measure.

“Unprecedented times call for rethinking the normal way of doing things,” Amol Sinha, executive director of the ACLU of New Jersey said, “and in this case, it means releasing people who pose little risk to their communities for the sake of public health and the dignity of people who are incarcerated.”

Individuals are to be temporarily released from jail while New Jersey is under a state of emergency. Once the governor declares the emergency over, judges will decide whether to commute sentences of anyone that has been released. Those who have tested positive for the coronavirus will not be released. County prosecutors can file objections to keep specific people detained, if they believe it is necessary.

— Pranshu Verma

9:50 AM - March 23, 2020
9:50 AM - March 23, 2020

Surgeon general warns: ‘This week, it’s going to get bad’

Surgeon General Jerome Adams speaks during press briefing with the coronavirus task force, at the White House, Thursday, March 19, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Evan Vucci / AP
Surgeon General Jerome Adams speaks during press briefing with the coronavirus task force, at the White House, Thursday, March 19, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams issued a dire warning for the country Monday as the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise.

“I want America to understand. This week, it’s going to get bad,” Adams said on NBC’s Today show. “We really need to come together as a nation."

During a separate interview on Fox & Friends, Adams attempted to downplay the hype surrounding two antimalarial drugs President Trump has pointed to in recent days as a possible treatment for coronavirus. Medical experts — including Dr. Anthony Fauci, a member of Trump’s coronavirus task force — have warned the drugs are untested in the treatment of COVID-19.

“Here’s the thing about those drugs — there’s ‘may’ and ‘actually does’. This may be promising … We need to verify through studies that they actually work,” Adams said. “It’s not practical to think we’re going to treat our way out of this problem with new drugs, or with ventilators, or with supplies … We need more people talking about staying at home.”

As of Monday morning, there have been over 35,000 cases of coronavirus across the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University. At least 471 have died.

— Rob Tornoe

9:40 AM - March 23, 2020
9:40 AM - March 23, 2020

Stocks fall despite Federal Reserve’s new emergency efforts

Stocks opened slightly lower Monday despite unprecedented moves announced by the Federal Reserve to keep markets functioning amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened down about 1.5%, or about 280 points. The Nasdaq opened down slightly, while the S&P 500 opened down about 1% (about 20 points).

The Federal Reserve announced several new emergency programs Monday morning aimed at helping the economic impact caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

Among the moves are a commitment to buy an unlimited about of government bonds and mortgage securities and a program to buy certain corporate bonds “for the first time in its history,” according to the Washington Post.

“It has become clear that our economy will face severe disruption," leaders of the Federal Reserve said in a statement. “The Federal Reserve is committed to using its full range of tools to support households, businesses, and the U.S. economy overall in this challenging time."

Investors are also awaiting news about a massive stimulus deal being worked out in Congress aimed at helping individuals and businesses impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. As of Monday morning, legislators and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin were still working to reach an agreement on the details.

Stocks have dropped over 30% since setting a new record on Feb. 19. Last week, the Dow suffered its worst week since the 2008 financial crisis, dropping 17.3%.

— Rob Tornoe

8:55 AM - March 23, 2020
8:55 AM - March 23, 2020

Pa. top court tosses challenge to Wolf’s ban non-life-sustaining businesses

A line of people wait outside of the Philadelphia Gun and Archery Club, in South Philadelphia, March 18, 2020. This location appears to be a gun shop that sells firearms and ammunition and a training facility. As of Wednesday morning, nearly 6,500 cases of the coronavirus have been reported in the United States, and 114 people had died. Cities around the United States, including Philadelphia, are increasing social restrictions in an attempt to slow the virus’ spread.
JESSICA GRIFFIN / Staff Photographer
A line of people wait outside of the Philadelphia Gun and Archery Club, in South Philadelphia, March 18, 2020. This location appears to be a gun shop that sells firearms and ammunition and a training facility. As of Wednesday morning, nearly 6,500 cases of the coronavirus have been reported in the United States, and 114 people had died. Cities around the United States, including Philadelphia, are increasing social restrictions in an attempt to slow the virus’ spread.

A divided Pennsylvania Supreme Court dismissed gun rights advocates’ legal challenge to Gov. Tom Wolf’s statewide order closing all “non-life-sustaining” businesses, clearing the way for enforcement of the mandate to begin Monday.

In an order issued late Sunday, the justices denied a petition brought by a Bucks County gun buyer and a Lancaster County gun store owner, who argued that the coronavirus clampdown violated their Second Amendment right to bear arms.

Though, as a body, the appellate court offered no explanation for their decision in their two page order. Three of its justices dissented, saying they were “troubled by the uncertainty” set off by Wolf’s decision and suggested the administration consider a limited exception to gun sellers.

Though Gov. Wolf’s order has been in effect since Thursday, enforcement by the Pennsylvania State Police and the state Liquor Control Board and Department of Health and Agriculture was delayed until Monday morning to give businesses time to prepare and the administration to review thousands of waiver requests from companies and industry representatives around the state.

— Jeremy Roebuck

8:20 AM - March 23, 2020
8:20 AM - March 23, 2020

N.J. Gov. Murphy to feds: Do more so states aren’t competing with each other for supplies to fight coronavirus

N.J. Gov. Phil Murphy pressed the federal government for more assistance during an appearance on CNN Monday morning, calling once again for a direct bailout of states and help in preventing states from competing for much-needed medical supplies, such as surgical masks and respirators.

“We’re all out looking for the same thing. And the last thing we need now is bumping into each other,” Murphy said during an appearance on New Day. “We’ve got lives to save, and the more we get out of the federal government, the better it will be for all of us.”

On Sunday, Murphy announced 590 new positive COVID-19 cases, bringing the total in the state to 1,914, with at least 20 deaths. Camden County also reported its first death on Sunday — a woman in her 80s from Barrington.

— Rob Tornoe

8:00 AM - March 23, 2020
8:00 AM - March 23, 2020

A stay-at-home order goes into effect Monday in Philly. What it means for you.

Amtrak Police walk through an almost empty 30th Street Station on March 23, 2020, the first day of the stay at home policy mandated by Philadelphia City Mayor Jim Kenney as an answer to the growing coronavirus.
MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer
Amtrak Police walk through an almost empty 30th Street Station on March 23, 2020, the first day of the stay at home policy mandated by Philadelphia City Mayor Jim Kenney as an answer to the growing coronavirus.

Mayor Jim Kenney’s “stay at home” order went into effect at 8 a.m. as Philadelphia joins other major cities in seeking ways to restrict social interaction during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Here’s some ways it will affect you: Any gatherings of people outside a single household or living unit are banned. That means no picnics, outdoor parties, play dates or pickup basketball games.

There are exceptions for going out for exercise; seeking medical care; buying food; caring for family members, friends, or pets in other households; and commuting to work at a “life-sustaining” business or government agency. Employees working in designated “essential” industries — such as health care, utilities, and transportation — are still expected to report to work.

You also still can pick up takeout food but orders must be placed online or by phone.

— Sean Collins Walsh

7:50 AM - March 23, 2020
7:50 AM - March 23, 2020

New coronavirus test sites open in Philadelphia region

Several new coronavirus testing sites opened in recent days as the number of reported cases grew to more than 400. Federal health officials recently advised that not everyone needs to be tested. However, if you are experiencing coronavirus symptoms, which can include a dry cough and fever, and are at a high-risk (65 and older, or immunocompromised), you may be able to get a test near your home. In most cases, you can’t just show up to the testing sites. First, if you have a primary care doctor, call him or her. You many be able to schedule a virtual consultation. A medical professional can best evaluate symptoms and determine whether to refer you for a test.

Medical workers wait in a tent at the coronavirus testing site for first responders and healthcare workers in the parking lot of the Rite Aid on the 7400 block of Ogontz Avenue in Philadelphia, PA on March 23, 2020.
DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer
Medical workers wait in a tent at the coronavirus testing site for first responders and healthcare workers in the parking lot of the Rite Aid on the 7400 block of Ogontz Avenue in Philadelphia, PA on March 23, 2020.

Here are the locations of testing sites:

Philadelphia

  • West Philadelphia (Penn Medicine and CHOP)
  • West Oak Lane (Rite Aid store parking lot at 7401 Ogontz Ave, for emergency responders and healthcare workers, regardless of symptoms)
  • Center City (Jefferson Health)
  • Northeast Philadelphia (Jefferson Health)
  • South Philadelphia, next to Citizens Bank Park (for people with symptoms who are 50 and older and healthcare workers with symptoms)

Pa. suburbs

  • Two sites in Radnor (Penn Medicine and Main Line Health)
  • Newtown Square (Main Line Health)
  • Abington (Jefferson Health)
  • Ambler (Temple University campus)
  • Doylestown (Doylestown Hospital)

South Jersey

For more information, Penn Medicine patients can call 215-615-2222 or use the MyPennMedicine app. Jefferson Health patients can go to hospitals.jefferson.edu/jeffconnect. Main Line Heath patients can call 866-225-5654. In New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy said residents can call 2-1-1 for questions and concerns about the coronavirus. He said residents can still call the original COVID-19 hotline at 1-800-962-1253 or 1-800-222-1222. Residents can also text NJCOVID to 898-211 to receive updates on their phones.

— Erin McCarthy

7:00 AM - March 23, 2020
7:00 AM - March 23, 2020

Streets deserted as ‘stay at home order’ is about to go into effect in Philly

North Broad Street is nearly deserted on a cold and rainy morning as a "stay at home" order is about to go into effect in Philadelphia to counter the spread of the coronavirus.
Alejandro Alvarez / Staff Photographer
North Broad Street is nearly deserted on a cold and rainy morning as a "stay at home" order is about to go into effect in Philadelphia to counter the spread of the coronavirus.
5:00 AM - March 23, 2020
5:00 AM - March 23, 2020

Pa. legislature expected to begin action today on postponing state primary election until June 2 due to coronavirus outbreak

The Pennsylvania General Assembly is poised to advance legislation to move the state’s primary election from April 28 to June 2, the Inquirer has learned.

The action comes a day after Gov. Tom Wolf and top lawmakers have reached agreement on postponing the primary, underscoring the upheaval the pandemic is causing for the 2020 presidential election.

The rescheduling will give county election officials more flexibility in consolidating polling places this year and make long-term changes to a sweeping election law passed last year.

The deal was reached after multiple conference calls throughout the day Sunday.

— Jonathan Lai, Chris Brennan, and Angela Couloumbis of Spotlight PA

4:30 AM - March 23, 2020
4:30 AM - March 23, 2020

Senate to continue negotiations on coronavirus rescue package after it voted against advancing one draft bill

WASHINGTON — Top-level negotiations between Congress and the White House churned late into the night over a now nearly $2 trillion economic rescue package, as the coronavirus crisis deepened, the nation shut down and the first U.S. senator tested positive for the disease.

As President Donald Trump took to the podium in the White House briefing room and promised to help Americans who feel afraid and isolated as the pandemic spreads, the Senate voted Sunday against advancing the rescue package. But talks continued on Capitol Hill.

Inside the otherwise emptied out Capitol, the draft aid bill was declared insufficient by Democrats, who argued it was tilted toward corporations and did too little to help workers and health care providers. Republicans returned to the negotiating table.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, exiting the Capitol just before midnight, struck an optimistic note: “We're very close," he said, adding negotiators would work through the night.

“Our nation cannot afford a game of chicken," warned Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., his voice rising on the Senate floor Sunday night. His goal is to vote Monday. The Senate will reconvene at noon.

— The Associated Press

4:15 AM - March 23, 2020
4:15 AM - March 23, 2020

Morning Roundup: Philadelphia issues ‘stay at home’ order

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney issued a “stay at home” order on Sunday, dramatically escalating the fight against the coronavirus by requiring residents to stay inside except for essential trips such as those to buy food or seek medical help..

The new restrictions in the city of nearly 1.6 million take effect at 8 a.m. Monday.

“There’s no playbook for this situation, and we’re doing our best in light of the evolving health situation,” Managing Director Brian Abernathy said.

The announcement came on a day when hard-hit Montgomery County suffered its first death, a 72-year-old Abington man who had been hospitalized for several days. That raised the statewide total to three. A death also was reported in Camden County; at least 20 fatalities have been reported in New Jersey.

— Jeff Gammage, Amy S. Rosenberg and Chris Palmer

4:00 AM - March 23, 2020
4:00 AM - March 23, 2020

Front Page: Region, Nation Gird for Worse

The front page of the Philadelphia Inquirer for Monday, March 23, 2020.
The Philadelphia Inquirer
The front page of the Philadelphia Inquirer for Monday, March 23, 2020.