8:00 AM - April 11, 2020
8:00 AM - April 11, 2020

Read the latest Philadelphia-area coronavirus updates here

Philadelphia courts released more than 200 of the city’s inmates in the first week of a a new process for reviewing cases as the coronavirus spreads through the prison population. Medical workers are responding to the crisis — but some Philadelphia area hospitals are discouraging employees from volunteering to help. And experts say that it’s useful to look back at the Great Depression for lessons as the unemployment rates continue to climb.

Editor’s Nate: News about the coronavirus is changing quickly. The latest information can be found at inquirer.com/coronavirus.

3:06 AM - April 11, 2020
3:06 AM - April 11, 2020

The coronavirus rescue package won’t stop unemployment from surpassing Great Recession levels, Wharton says

Unemployment driven by the coronavirus shutdowns will be worse than during the Great Recession of a decade ago, economists say. Some 18 million Americans who want to work will likely be out of a job by summer, triple last winter’s unemployment.

That’s one in nine U.S. workers, compared to one in 10 during the last financial crisis, according to the national spending scholars who run the Penn Wharton Budget Model program at the University of Pennsylvania.

The U.S. economy will shrink at a rate of 30% a year during the worst of the slowdown, the second quarter, which ends June 30, according to the report by analysts Alexander Arnon, Zheli He, and Jon Huntley. And it could have been even worse — with unemployment rising to 12% and growth at an annualized minus 37% — without the newly enacted $2.2 trillion coronavirus economic rescue package.

— Joseph DiStefano

1:38 AM - April 11, 2020
1:38 AM - April 11, 2020

DoorDash and Caviar to slash food delivery fees by 50%

DoorDash and its newly acquired Caviar delivery service will reduce commission fees for most restaurants by 50% from Monday through the end of May.

DoorDash Inc. said in a statement that the “commission relief program” in the United States, Canada, and Australia would help more than 150,000 restaurants with five or fewer locations. It estimated the total savings at $100 million.

Commissions are a recent source of ire among restaurateurs, who accuse the services of profiteering during the coronavirus crisis, which has closed dining rooms and left operators with few alternatives. Restaurants pay up to 30% commission on delivery orders — a punishing fee to a business with slim margins.

— Michael Klein

12:40 AM - April 11, 2020
12:40 AM - April 11, 2020

Anti-hunger advocates and USDA at odds over increasing food stamp benefits for America’s poorest during pandemic

As the nation fights the coronavirus, anti-hunger advocates are in a battle of their own with the U.S. Department of Agriculture over food stamp benefits for the poorest Americans.

Advocates charge that the USDA, which administers the program, will be temporarily boosting allotments for better-off recipients but not for the neediest — the result, they contend, of the agency’s misreading of language in a new law that disburses emergency funds during the latter part of April.

According to the USDA’s interpretation of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, some 60% of the nearly 40 million Americans who receive food stamps — or SNAP benefits, for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Act — will see a $1.7 billion increase in each of two monthly allotments for March and April. But the other 40%, the lowest-income recipients, will get nothing extra to help see them through the pandemic.

— Alfred Lubrano

10:52 PM - April 10, 2020
10:52 PM - April 10, 2020

N.J. Gov. Murphy signs order to allow temporary house arrest for some inmates to reduce coronavirus risk in prisons

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Friday signed an executive order that would allow nonviolent, medically fragile inmates to temporarily be placed on house arrest in an effort to reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission within prisons.

The executive order, which immediately went into effect, created the Emergency Medical Review Committee, which would assess whether an inmate should be recommended for house arrest.

Inmates could qualify for home confinement if they are at least 60 years old, living with what the state deemed a serious medical condition, have less than three months left to serve, and are eligible for parole.

Prosecutors and victims of the crimes could be involved in the process of deciding which inmates are selected. The Emergency Medical Review Committee, in considering who might qualify, would come up with plans to supervise inmates, consider access to medical and social services, and weigh the probability that an inmate would be less likely to contract the coronavirus outside prison than if kept inside.

— Katie Park

9:48 PM - April 10, 2020
9:48 PM - April 10, 2020

Officials in three Southeastern Pa. counties cast doubt on primary voting methods

A voter in Wisconsin reviews his ballot while voting Tuesday, April 7, 2020, during the coronavirus pandemic. (John Hart/Wisconsin State Journal via AP)
John Hart / AP
A voter in Wisconsin reviews his ballot while voting Tuesday, April 7, 2020, during the coronavirus pandemic. (John Hart/Wisconsin State Journal via AP)

Officials in two Southeastern Pennsylvania counties are calling for the state to make the June 2 primary an all-mail election to protect the safety of voters in the state’s most populous region and the epicenter of its coronavirus cases.

And officials in a third county, while not going so far as to call for a mail-in election, say they might have to defy an order from Gov. Tom Wolf and not use new voting machines because they lack the training time and staff to prepare them.

“Make no mistake, asking counties in Pennsylvania to administer an in-person election on any scale is putting everyone in a position where failure is the most likely outcome,” Montgomery County’s two Democratic commissioners, Val Arkoosh and Kenneth E. Lawrence Jr., wrote in a letter sent this week to Wolf, legislative leaders, and the county’s state lawmakers.

Chester County’s commissioners said Friday for the first time that they believe ballots should be mailed to every voter.

In neighboring Delaware County, officials worry they cannot comply with the governor’s order to use new voting machines and protect public health. Instead of using the new systems that scan paper ballots at the polls, the county may simply collect the ballots and scan them all at the courthouse.

— Jonathan Lai

9:48 PM - April 10, 2020
9:48 PM - April 10, 2020

Philly region toll from coronavirus-related deaths rises to 350

The Philadelphia region continued to see a daily high of coronavirus-related deaths Friday, with 61 reported fatalities, raising the area’s death toll to 350.

Philadelphia saw the highest number of fatalities in the region, with 33, which brought the city’s overall count to 137.

Twenty-two deaths were reported in the surrounding suburbs, including four Bucks County residents, county spokesperson Larry King said Friday.

The four Bucks residents included a 79-year-old woman and three men ages 60, 77, and 94, bringing the county’s death toll to 32. The county also reported 87 new cases, bringing its total to 1,107 as of Friday, with 78 people hospitalized and 21 in critical condition.

Philadelphia’s positive case total now stands at 5,793, with the four surrounding suburbs reporting 4,693 total cases.

Pennsylvania now has 19,979 total cases and 416 deaths, far fewer in comparison to New Jersey’s 54,588 cases and 1,932 deaths.

— Ellie Rushing

8:23 PM - April 10, 2020
8:23 PM - April 10, 2020

Pa. has begun issuing weekly $600 boost to unemployment benefits

Using new federal coronavirus relief money, Pennsylvania’s Department of Labor and Industry has begun providing unemployed residents with an extra $600 per week, Gov. Tom Wolf’s office announced Friday.

The state issued the first additional payments Friday. The payment boost will be available through July 25.

All eligible claimants who filed claims for the week ending April 4 and who received their regular unemployment payments this week should expect to see the extra money either Tuesday or Wednesday of next week, Wolf’s office said in a news release.

The increased benefits will be available for all residents who file unemployment claims, including the self-employed, independent contractors, and gig workers, and extends the current unemployment compensation benefits for an additional 13 weeks.

The existing unemployment benefit is about half of a person’s full-time weekly income up to $572 per week for 26 weeks. The usual 10% withholding tax will still be taken out, Wolf’s office said, so residents will actually receive $540 out of the new $600.

The $600 is paid separately from the biweekly benefit, and residents do not need to apply, Wolf’s office said.

— Ellie Rushing

7:45 PM - April 10, 2020
7:45 PM - April 10, 2020

Fact-checking Philly’s new distinction as a coronavirus hotspot

Philadelphia Medical Reserve Corps volunteer Emma Ewing, a sophomore at Temple University, directs cars at the city's coronavirus testing site next to Citizens Bank Park in South Philadelphia on Friday, March 20, 2020. The site, which opened Friday afternoon, is the first city-run drive-through 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
Philadelphia Medical Reserve Corps volunteer Emma Ewing, a sophomore at Temple University, directs cars at the city's coronavirus testing site next to Citizens Bank Park in South Philadelphia on Friday, March 20, 2020. The site, which opened Friday afternoon, is the first city-run drive-through 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.

A top government scientist went on Good Morning America last week and told millions of viewers that Philadelphia and other nearby cities had become coronavirus hotspots of great concern to the Trump Administration.

“We are concerned about the metro area of Washington, and Baltimore, and we’re concerned about the Philadelphia area,” White House Coronavirus Task Force Coordinator Deborah Birx told host George Stephanopoulos.

That announcement surprised Philadelphia Health Commissioner Thomas Farley, who spoke at a news conference hours later and said just the opposite.

The number of new coronavirus cases reported each day in Philly had finally started to slow, Farley said, and he wondered aloud whether he and Birx were looking at the same data.

Turns out they were not.

As cities and states compete for a limited supply of ventilators and protective gear for health care workers, identifying coronavirus hotspots is critically important. Is Philadelphia really one of them? We looked at the data and spoke to an epidemiologist to find out.

— Jessica Calefati

7:25 PM - April 10, 2020
7:25 PM - April 10, 2020

Camden food pantry to hand out ‘large donation of ham products’ during coronavirus outbreak

A Camden food pantry will donate food to alleviate food insecurity during the coronavirus outbreak.

The Touch New Jersey Food Alliance at 549 State Street said it will give out “a large donation of ham products” on Wednesday. The pantry also gives out food from Monday to Friday starting at 10 a.m.

“No one in Camden County has to go hungry because of this pandemic," Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli Jr. said in a statement.

Touch New Jersey asked people who come to the food pantry to wear masks and follow social distancing protocol.

— Katie Park

7:17 PM - April 10, 2020
7:17 PM - April 10, 2020

My employer says I have to work during coronavirus. What are my rights?

A SEPTA bus driver wears a mask and gloves while waiting at the light on Broad and Spring Garden in Philadelphia on Tuesday, April 07, 2020. A third SEPTA employee died due to coronavirus (COVID-19).
HEATHER KHALIFA / Staff Photographer
A SEPTA bus driver wears a mask and gloves while waiting at the light on Broad and Spring Garden in Philadelphia on Tuesday, April 07, 2020. A third SEPTA employee died due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

The coronavirus pandemic has thrown millions of Pennsylvania workers into one of two extremes: Some are out of work indefinitely, while others have to report to work at a time when government officials have issued sweeping “stay at home” orders for everyone else.

If you’re one of the workers who has to report to work, here’s what you need to know about your rights.

TL;DR: There aren’t many legal protections for workers who have to report to work right now. Your best bet is to talk with your coworkers and together ask for safer working conditions. That way you’re protected under the National Labor Relations Act, which says workers can’t be retaliated against for collectively asking to improve their working conditions.

— Juliana Feliciano Reyes

7:07 PM - April 10, 2020
7:07 PM - April 10, 2020

Photos: Inside Montgomery County’s coronavirus field hospital at Suburban Community Hospital

— Jose F. Moreno

6:55 PM - April 10, 2020
6:55 PM - April 10, 2020

Evening catch-up: Mayor Kenney warns social distancing may last through summer; SEPTA ends a short-lived requirement for riders to cover their faces

Mayor Jim Kenney puts his face mask back on after speaking at a press conference at the almost completed coronavirus facility at the Liacouras Center, in Philadelphia, April 10, 2020.
JESSICA GRIFFIN / Staff Photographer
Mayor Jim Kenney puts his face mask back on after speaking at a press conference at the almost completed coronavirus facility at the Liacouras Center, in Philadelphia, April 10, 2020.

As both White House and state officials praised Philadelphia’s response to the coronavirus pandemic Friday — noting the city’s social distancing precautions continue to “bend the curve” — Mayor Jim Kenney cautioned that does not mean Philly is out of the woods yet.

“What we’ve put in place as far as social distancing and other things need to go on and on, at least probably through the summer," Kenney said Friday as Philadelphia marked its deadliest day yet during the pandemic, reporting 33 new deaths due to the coronavirus. “I don’t see that changing. We need to continue to modify our behavior and what we’re used to doing in order for this not to come back.”

Heading into the summer, the city still must decide whether to hold its extravagant annual July 4 celebration — the Wawa Welcome America festival — and other large events, Kenney said.

Also on Friday, a short-lived policy of requiring SEPTA riders to wear facial coverings was reversed after a widely shared video showing a man being dragged off a bus for allegedly not wearing a mask surfaced on the internet.

Meanwhile, in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania, social distancing precautions have extended to the prison system. On Friday, governors in both states invoked emergency powers to establish processes that would offer thousands of inmates a temporary reprieve of their sentences by placing them under house arrest or parole to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

— Oona Goodin-Smith, Laura McCrystal, Jeremy Roebuck, Patricia Madej

6:35 PM - April 10, 2020
6:35 PM - April 10, 2020

North Philadelphia priest leads virtual Stations of the Cross

— Monica Herndon

6:28 PM - April 10, 2020
6:28 PM - April 10, 2020

A $450 million loan package will help Pennsylvania hospitals struggling in pandemic

Gov. Tom Wolf announced Friday a $450 million hospital emergency loan program to help hospitals, many of which are struggling financially due to the loss of elective surgeries and other effects of the pandemic.

The low-interest loan package will “provide immediate working capital” to allow hospitals to continue buying the personal protective equipment and medical supplies they need, Wolf said.

“We cannot allow any of our hospitals to become bankrupt,” he said. “[The program] will help ensure every hospital can get equipment essential to fighting this war without facing financial ruin.”

Federal aid for hospitals is set to arrive in the coming weeks, but Wolf told reporters on a Friday phone call that his recent conversations with healthcare leaders convinced him the state needed to “step in in the midterm.”

“Some of them are on pretty thin ice... and hone pretty close to the line in the best of times,” the governor said, “and these are not the best of times.”

— Justine McDaniel

5:44 PM - April 10, 2020
5:44 PM - April 10, 2020

Gov. Wolf: Inmates paroled because of coronavirus precautions will return to prison when safe to do so

FILE - In this June 1, 2018, file photo, people walk on a tour of the West section of the State Correctional Institution at Phoenix in Collegeville, Pa. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf is issuing an executive order Friday, April 10, 2020, to authorize the early release of up to 1,800 inmates from Pennsylvania state prisons in an effort to minimize the spread of the new coronavirus. The Wolf administration has disclosed that 11 inmates at the State Correctional Institution-Phoenix, in Montgomery County outside Philadelphia, have contracted the virus. (AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma, File)
Jacqueline Larma / AP
FILE - In this June 1, 2018, file photo, people walk on a tour of the West section of the State Correctional Institution at Phoenix in Collegeville, Pa. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf is issuing an executive order Friday, April 10, 2020, to authorize the early release of up to 1,800 inmates from Pennsylvania state prisons in an effort to minimize the spread of the new coronavirus. The Wolf administration has disclosed that 11 inmates at the State Correctional Institution-Phoenix, in Montgomery County outside Philadelphia, have contracted the virus. (AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma, File)

Gov. Tom Wolf on Friday clarified his recent order to grant up to 1,800 nonviolent state inmates a temporary release to reduce the prison population as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread.

During a press briefing, Wolf said inmates who were paroled or put on house arrest during the reprieve would return to prison once it was deemed safe to do so.

Wolf said he would continue to work with the Pennsylvania State Corrections Officers Association, which said in a statement Friday that it was concerned about its parole agents’ ability to transfer so many inmates in a short period of time.

“It is a perennial issue and something that we always try to be mindful of, and need to be mindful of,” Wolf said.

— Katie Park

5:42 PM - April 10, 2020
5:42 PM - April 10, 2020

A lack of PPE for staff has closed some of New Jersey’s needle exchanges

In New Jersey, workers serving on the front lines of one deadly public health crisis — the opioid epidemic — now find themselves unable to safely serve their clients as another health crisis has hammered the state: As coronavirus cases surge, four of the state’s seven syringe exchanges have had to close their doors for nearly a month because of a shortage of personal protective equipment.

Two are expected to re-open with limited hours next week. But advocates say that, in a state already short off syringe exchange programs, any cutbacks can harm people addicted to injection drugs. Research shows that allowing drug users to exchange used needles for clean ones prevents needle sharing and re-using — and, in turn, the spread of blood-borne illnesses like HIV and hepatitis C.

Kathy O’Brien, the executive director of Hyacinth AIDS Foundation, which runs three exchanges in Jersey City, Paterson and Trenton, closed the foundation’s offices on March 16, and plans to reopen the Jersey City and Trenton sites one day a week starting next week. During the closure, some of her staff volunteered to work without PPE, she said. But she couldn’t risk their health.

“I’ve got 100 employees,” she said. “I’ve got staff who are living with HIV; staff with heart conditions; staff with asthma. I can’t risk exposing staff to the virus.”

— Aubrey Whelan

5:39 PM - April 10, 2020
5:39 PM - April 10, 2020

Gov. Wolf addresses concerns of thousands of Pa. businesses seeking to reopen

A pedestrian walks by stacked up chairs and tables outside of Rouge restaurant in Rittenhouse on Saturday, March 28, 2020. All nonessential businesses have been ordered shut due to the spread of the coronavirus. Restaurants are now takeout and delivery only.
HEATHER KHALIFA / Staff Photographer
A pedestrian walks by stacked up chairs and tables outside of Rouge restaurant in Rittenhouse on Saturday, March 28, 2020. All nonessential businesses have been ordered shut due to the spread of the coronavirus. Restaurants are now takeout and delivery only.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom said Friday that his administration was addressing the large volume of requests by businesses asking to reopen during the coronavirus pandemic by adding more staff and tapping IBM Watson.

There have been more than 10,000 applications to the business waiver program under Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development. IBM Watson uses artificial intelligence to solve problems, and is being offered to tackle issues surrounding COVID-19. “We’ve seen a huge surge in the number of applications and that was occasioned by Pennsylvania moving very quickly to go to business closure shutdowns across the state,” he said.

But the governor cautioned against too many businesses reopening in an effort to mitigate the risk of the virus spreading.

“In the absence of a vaccine, in the absence of widespread antibody testing ... we need to actually keep people in their homes,” he said. “So opening businesses is at odds with that. Generally, I think the presumption should be that we’re keeping our feet on the brakes.”

— Katie Park

5:32 PM - April 10, 2020
5:32 PM - April 10, 2020

Protesters rally for release of Philadelphia inmates amid COVID-19 fears

— Heather Khalifa

5:13 PM - April 10, 2020
5:13 PM - April 10, 2020

Haddonfield families, neighbors, hold holiday parade for senior living community

The families of residents and Haddonfield neighbors drive and walk past the Brandywine Living senior assisted living facility Friday/
TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer
The families of residents and Haddonfield neighbors drive and walk past the Brandywine Living senior assisted living facility Friday/

A traffic jam and honking horns Friday afternoon brought residents of Brandywine Living at Haddonfield to all the windows in the Victorian-style senior living community.

Peering out over their face masks, residents saw a parade of their neighbors, riding around the facility’s driveway loop in vehicles festooned with multi-colored streamers, rainbow pom-poms on car antenna, and homemade posters bearing cheerful slogans such as “Happy Spring” and “Thinking of You.”

A resident waves from inside as family members and Haddonfield neighbors drive and walk past outside
TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer
A resident waves from inside as family members and Haddonfield neighbors drive and walk past outside

As residents can’t have Passover and Easter visitors because of the coronavirus pandemic, a Facebook community group organized the car parade, “so local families can turn out to wave and show we care — decorated cars are encouraged! We hope there is a great turn out to show them we’re thinking of them!"

And turn out they did. One-by-one, vehicles pulled into the driveway and beeped their way around — some several times. At the top of the loop was the day’s special guest, the Easter Bunny, waving non-stop at all the kids — from a safe social distance, of course.

— Tom Gralish

4:50 PM - April 10, 2020
4:50 PM - April 10, 2020

SEPTA no longer enforcing face-mask requirement for riders

SEPTA says it will no longer enforce a short-lived policy requiring riders to wear facial coverings, after a widely shared video showing a man being dragged off a bus for allegedly not wearing one prompted confusion about whether masks were mandatory while riding public transit.

The video shows multiple Philadelphia Police Department officers forcibly removing the man, who is later heard saying he was taken off the bus for not wearing a mask.

SEPTA said it’s no longer enforcing a facial covering requirement that went into effect Thursday, and will not deny entry to passengers who are not wearing a mask or covering.

When it announced its new “lifeline” schedule earlier this week, SEPTA said it was “now asking all riders" to wear masks or facial coverings for the safety of riders and employees.

— Patricia Madej

4:07 PM - April 10, 2020
4:07 PM - April 10, 2020

Pennsylvania is still seeking 1,000 ventilators, but has received many other medical supplies

Ismael Cordero, Senior Project Officer Health Devices, holds a ventilator part that allows one ventilator to serve two patients during presentation April 1, 2020 at the ECRI Institute, Plymouth Meeting, PA.
JESSICA GRIFFIN / Staff Photographer
Ismael Cordero, Senior Project Officer Health Devices, holds a ventilator part that allows one ventilator to serve two patients during presentation April 1, 2020 at the ECRI Institute, Plymouth Meeting, PA.

Pennsylvania has now received most of the emergency equipment it has requested from the federal government to fight the coronavirus, but is still seeking testing supplies and 1,000 ventilators, according to data released by the state health department Friday.

It has so far not received any ventilators from the federal government as many states scramble to acquire the machines that can keep patients breathing.

Statewide, Pennsylvania still has thousands of ventilators available, though in some hot spots the available supply is diminishing. Compared to what it asked for, Pennsylvania is also still short 43,142 N95 respirator masks, medical grade equipment that protects front-line health care workers. But it has received more than 450,000 of those masks, about 91% of what it requested.

And Pennsylvania is still awaiting most of the testing supplies it has sought, the health department data shows.

Many other items have arrived, closing shortfalls that Congressional Democrats criticized earlier this month. The state has received nearly all of the 3,990 coveralls it asked for and all of the requested 141,761 surgical gowns.

Pennsylvania has also received nearly 837,000 pairs of gloves — 146,379 more than it sought — and 714,500 surgical masks, 132,312 beyond its request. It also has taken in 173,000 face shields, more than 62,000 above what it asked for.

— Jonathan Tamari

3:59 PM - April 10, 2020
3:59 PM - April 10, 2020

Viral video shows man dragged off SEPTA bus, coronavirus face mask requirement under review

Screen still of a man being removed from a SEPTA bus for not wearing a face mask during the coronavirus pandemic. The video was posted on the Twitter account of the Philly Transit Riders Union.
Screen still of a man being removed from a SEPTA bus for not wearing a face mask during the coronavirus pandemic. The video was posted on the Twitter account of the Philly Transit Riders Union.

A widely shared video showing a man dragged off a SEPTA bus for allegedly not wearing a mask has prompted confusion on whether a facial covering is a requirement while riding public transportation in Philadelphia.

The video shows multiple Philadelphia Police Department officers forcibly removing the man, who is later heard saying he was taken off the bus for not wearing a mask.

Philadelphia police responded to “calls of a disturbance” near 11th and Market Streets around 8:25 a.m. Friday after a passenger was repeatedly asked to leave the bus and refused. The passenger was not arrested or cited, according to the Philadelphia Police Department. The incident is under investigation.

"The police were responding to the fact that the person was asked to leave the bus and refused,” Managing Director Brian Abernathy said during the city’s press conference Friday. “I would expect my officers to continue to do that and support our SEPTA workers.”

SEPTA spokesperson Andrew Busch said a face mask requirement went into effect Friday, but the transit agency was reviewing the policy.

When it announced its new “lifeline” schedule earlier this week, SEPTA said it was “now asking all riders" to wear masks or facial coverings for the safety of riders and employees.

— Patricia Madej

3:53 PM - April 10, 2020
3:53 PM - April 10, 2020

Two Montgomery County inmates test positive for coronavirus

Two inmates at the Montgomery County Correctional Facility have tested positive for COVID-19, officials said Friday as they detailed the virus’ continued spread through the suburban municipality.

The inmates, the first people to contract the virus within the prison, had been quarantined since Tuesday, after showing symptoms, according to County Commissioner Valerie Arkoosh. As a precaution, because of potential exposure, 155 other inmates at the jail are in quarantine, she said. All are asymptomatic.

Arkoosh also announced Friday that an additional 193 people have tested positive for the virus, bringing the county’s total to 1,695. Among those cases were 13 deaths, many of whom were senior citizens living at long-term care facilities in Upper Gwynedd and Springfield Townships.

County leaders said they did not have a full count Friday of the total number of deaths related to long-term facilities. Within Montgomery County, 63 facilities have played host to 291 cases involving residents and 183 cases involving staff members, Arkoosh said.

On a more hopeful note, county officials announced the opening of a new, temporary medical facility within Suburban Community Hospital that will help relieve the pressure on local hospitals.

The 40-bed facility is being staffed by Southeastern Pennsylvania Surge Medical Assistance Response Team, and is intended to free up hospital beds elsewhere for coronavirus patients.

— Vinny Vella

3:39 PM - April 10, 2020
3:39 PM - April 10, 2020

Kenney: ‘This new normal’ may continue in Philly through summer; city undecided on Wawa Welcome America festival

Fireworks at the Wawa Welcome America Festival on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
Margo Reed / Staff Photographer
Fireworks at the Wawa Welcome America Festival on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

Mayor Jim Kenney warned Friday that “this new normal” may continue for months.

“What we’ve put in place as far as social distancing and other things need to go on and on, at least probably through the summer," he said. “I don’t see that changing. We need to continue to modify our behavior and what we’re used to doing in order for this not to come back.”

Kenney said the city has not yet made a decision on whether the Wawa Welcome America festival, the annual July 4 celebration, will be held this year.

The annual event draws thousands of people to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway for live music and fireworks.

“Obviously it’s a large gathering of people in a concentrated place so we’ll have to see what the conditions are of the nation and of the region at the time,” Kenney said. “Obviously people would be coming in from other areas so it’s very problematic and very complicated.”

Kenney noted that the same issues arise with other large gatherings, including professional sports seasons, noting that it is not yet known “whether the Eagles are going to start on time in September.”

The city will decide soon about the July 4 celebration and other large upcoming events, Kenney said.

“They’re the kind of events that scare us because there are so many people concentrated in one spot,” he said.

— Laura McCrystal

3:18 PM - April 10, 2020
3:18 PM - April 10, 2020

Senior living facility resorts to ‘doorway visits’ in wake of coronavirus

— Raishad Hardnett

3:07 PM - April 10, 2020
3:07 PM - April 10, 2020

XFL suspends operations, lays off nearly all staff members

The XFL, a spring football league created by WWE chairman Vince McMahon, has suspended all operations on Friday and laid off nearly all its staff, according to multiple reports and former employees who took to social media to announce the decision.

The league, like other professional sports, was forced to cancel its season last month after just five games due to the coronavirus pandemic. ESPN reported the league has no plans to return in 2021, with COO Jeffrey Pollock informing all XFL employees of the decision on a conference call Friday afternoon.

“What a Friday news dump …” ABC XFL sideline reporter Dianna Russini, who also works as a reporter for ESPN, wrote on Twitter Friday afternoon.

The XFL did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

— Rob Tornoe

2:42 PM - April 10, 2020
2:42 PM - April 10, 2020

White House official praises Philadelphia’s coronavirus response

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, listen as Vice President Mike Pence speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Thursday, April 9, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Andrew Harnik / AP
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, listen as Vice President Mike Pence speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Thursday, April 9, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Two days after describing Philadelphia as a potential coronavirus hot spot, Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, credited Mayor Jim Kenney’s leadership as the rate of growth in Philadelphia’s COVID-19 cases may be slowing.

“We really want to call out the mayors of Baltimore and the District [of Columbia] and Philadelphia, who have really brought all of their health experts together, and working with their communities are really starting to change the curves in those areas,” Birx said during a White House press conference on Friday.

The number of new confirmed cases in Philadelphia has remained stable around 500 per day for much of this week, leading to cautious optimism among officials that the city’s social distancing measures are working. Despite those encouraging signs, Birx echoed local officials in urging people not to become complacent when it comes to remaining home and adhering to social distancing guidelines.

In Philadelphia, 33 people died in just the past 24 hours, Public Health Commissioner Tom Farley said Friday. A total of 137 in Philadelphia have died during the pandemic, which has reported 5,973 confirmed coronavirus cases.

The countries that have suffered the most coronavirus deaths are:

  • Italy: 18,849 deaths
  • United States: 17,925 deaths
  • Spain: 15,970 deaths
  • France; 12,228 deaths
  • United Kingdom: 8,973 deaths

— Rob Tornoe

1:38 PM - April 10, 2020
1:38 PM - April 10, 2020

How to get your stimulus check if you don’t file taxes

All U.S. residents are eligible as long as they have a work-eligible Social Security number and meet the income requirements. (Karin Hildebrand Lau/Dreamstime/TNS)
Karin Hildebrand Lau / MCT
All U.S. residents are eligible as long as they have a work-eligible Social Security number and meet the income requirements. (Karin Hildebrand Lau/Dreamstime/TNS)

Most Americans will start to see coronavirus stimulus checks as early as next week. But those that don’t normal file tax returns will have to take an extra step in order to receive their payment.

On Friday, the Treasury Department launched a new web portal where Americans who did not file a tax return in 2018 or 2019 can submit basic personal information to the IRS. To enter your information, including a bank account, go to the IRS website and click on the “Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here” button.

The Treasury Department said a separate web portal for taxpayers who want to upload their bank account information to the IRS will launch later this month, but didn’t offer a specific date. Americans who haven’t provided the IRS will direct deposit information could end up waiting up to 20 week before receiving a check through the mail.

About 80% of Americans are eligible for the stimulus payment, according to the IRS.

Most individuals will receive a $1,200 check, while most families will receive $2,400 (plus $500 for every child 16 and younger).

— Rob Tornoe

1:35 PM - April 10, 2020
1:35 PM - April 10, 2020

Thirty-three Philadelphians die of coronavirus in one day, Kenney warns ‘new normal’ may continue for months

Thirty-three Philadelphians died of the coronavirus in the past 24 hours, the largest one-day increase in the number of people who have succumbed to the infection, Public Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said Friday.

In all, 137 Philadelphians have died during the pandemic. The city on Friday also reported 522 new confirmed coronavirus cases, for a total of 5,973 so far.

The flow of new confirmed cases has remained stable around 500 per day for much of this week, leading to cautious optimism among officials that the city’s social distancing measures are working.

“That’s good news, but let’s be clear: The virus could pick up speed again,” Farley said. “If we start behaving as we behaved before all this, there’s no question the virus will start surging.”

The number of deaths, however, will continue to rise for the time being because of the delay between when victims test positive for the virus and when they die.

“If we’re fortunate, that’s a plateau,” Farley said of the rate of new cases. “However, the number of deaths is going to lag behind that … so I would expect the number of deaths to increase.”

Among those who have died, 67 lived in nursing homes, and 89 were over the age of 70. Farley cautioned against younger people assuming those statistics mean the virus can’t hurt them.

“There are some people who are younger, who are healthy, who have got this infection, who have not survived,” he said.

Mayor Jim Kenney warned Friday that “this new normal” may continue for months.

“What we’ve put in place as far as social distancing and other things need to go on and on, at least probably through the summer," he said. “I don’t see that changing. We need to continue to modify our behavior and what we’re used to doing in order for this not to come back.”

— Sean Collins Walsh, Laura McCrystal

1:34 PM - April 10, 2020
1:34 PM - April 10, 2020

New Jersey officials concerned for residents of nursing, veteran homes

As N.J. Gov Phil Murphy on Friday established a process for some inmates to be placed on temporary home confinement or be granted parole due to the coronavirus, state officials also continued to express concern for the state’s nursing homes and veteran homes.

At two veterans homes in Edison and Paramus, at least 45 residents have tested positive for the virus, as have 22 staff members. At the location in Paramus, Bergen County, 13 residents had died.

Meanwhile, of the 233 newly reported deaths Friday, 71 were linked to the state’s nursing homes and long-term-care facilities.

As the state works on plans to better address outbreaks in these places, including by possibly moving some residents, Health Director Judith Persichilli said several nursing homes have offered to treat just coronavirus patients. But these plans are changing all the time as the virus relents in some areas and intensifies in others.

“It’s becoming a daunting task,” she said, “but we are continuing it.”

The state announced 3,627 new cases, bringing its total to 54,588. 7,570 of those have required hospitalization. Currenlty, 1,663 ventilators are in use, Murphy said, and the state still needs more of the critical breathing machines.

However, he was optimistic to see 682 patients discharged from hospitals in a 24-hour period that ended at 10 p.m. Thursday.

“That’s a big deal,” he said. “You’re starting to see some glimmers of hope.”

— Erin McCarthy

1:05 PM - April 10, 2020
1:05 PM - April 10, 2020

Are state parks open? Can I go for a hike? Balancing the need to get outdoors with the advice on staying safe during the coronavirus pandemic

People run and walk along The Wissahickon's Forbidden Drive in the Wissahickon Valley Park, Philadelphia. Tuesday, April 7, 2020.
JOSE F. MORENO / Staff Photographer
People run and walk along The Wissahickon's Forbidden Drive in the Wissahickon Valley Park, Philadelphia. Tuesday, April 7, 2020.

A lot of us want to go for a hike right now to relieve stress, but it’s adding a lot of stress to our trails.

As part of efforts to clamp down on the spread of the virus, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy closed all state forests, and state and county parks, making it harder for folks there to get outside and exercise while practicing social distancing.

But it’s not just Jersey. In Pennsylvania, some federal parks (Valley Forge, Delaware Water Gap) are closed, though state parks and state game lands remain open.

In Delaware, officials are looking at limiting state park access beginning April 10 on a “case by case” basis. The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control said it will limit vehicle access to prevent crowding and allow for safe social distancing.

So what should we do when we want to get outside? Here’s what you need to know.

— Gary Thompson

12:40 PM - April 10, 2020
12:40 PM - April 10, 2020

PATCO to get $41 million in federal coronavirus relief aid

A closed PATCO Westmont station March 29, 2020.
TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer
A closed PATCO Westmont station March 29, 2020.

PATCO will get about $41 million in federal relief to help cover losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Coming through the $2.2 trillion federal CARES Act relief bill, the money will help to pay for the High-Speed Line’s operating expenses, now dealt a blow with hardly any commuters aboard its trains to pay fares.

“I’m grateful for it,” said John Hanson, chief executive officer of the Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA), which operates PATCO. “It’s certainly not going to solve all of our problems. It’s probably not going to solve most of our problems, but it’s definitely going to give us some breathing room."

Traffic along DRPA’s toll bridges is 30% of normal figures, while PATCO ridership is less than 10% of what it was, Hanson said. The DRPA runs the Ben Franklin, Walt Whitman, Commodore Barry, and Betsy Ross Bridges; their tolls subsidize PATCO’s operation.

The DRPA estimates about a $16 million monthly loss in bridge tolls and about a $2.5 million monthly loss in PATCO revenue during the coronavirus pandemic. Last year, PATCO celebrated its highest ridership in a quarter of a century, and anticipated about $26.3 million in passenger revenue for 2020.

— Patricia Madej

12:31 PM - April 10, 2020
12:31 PM - April 10, 2020

Pa. coroners, health department at odds over how to handle suspected coronavirus cases, potentially affecting death count

Workers build ramps to two refrigerated trailers that are now parked behind the Joseph W. Spellman Medical Examiner Building in the University City section of Philadelphia on April 9, 2020. The death toll from the coronavirus epidemic (COVID-19) is estimated to take between 100,000-240,000 US lives.
ELIZABETH ROBERTSON / Staff Photographer
Workers build ramps to two refrigerated trailers that are now parked behind the Joseph W. Spellman Medical Examiner Building in the University City section of Philadelphia on April 9, 2020. The death toll from the coronavirus epidemic (COVID-19) is estimated to take between 100,000-240,000 US lives.

Coroners — elected public servants in most of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties — say a lack of tests is just one problem they’re facing as they take on the coronavirus. Some say there’s also been a weeks-long breakdown in how hospitals are informing them about deaths, and a fundamental dispute with the state over what their role is in the crisis.

By not acknowledging what coroners see as their legal obligation, they say, the state is risking a miscount of deaths, potentially misunderstanding how the virus is spreading and overburdening hospital staff with administrative tasks.

Some coroners have started to acquire diagnostic kits — which they say they need to test people who died in their homes or outside of a hospital — but the Department of Health is recommending that they use them sparingly. In interim guidance released Tuesday, the department said coroners should “use their judgment” to determine whether to test a body based on a combination of factors, including if a person had symptoms or lived in an area with “known community transmission.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, testing “ideally” should be conducted, “but it is acceptable to report COVID–19 on a death certificate without this confirmation if the circumstances are compelling within a reasonable degree of certainty.”

— Sara Simon

12:20 PM - April 10, 2020
12:20 PM - April 10, 2020
A makeshift mask rests over the face of the John B. Kelly statue on Kelly Drive in Philadelphia, PA on April 10, 2020. Kelly was a triple Olympic champion in rowing and the father of actress, Grace Kelly. During the coronavirus outbreak exercising outdoors is still permitted.
DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer
A makeshift mask rests over the face of the John B. Kelly statue on Kelly Drive in Philadelphia, PA on April 10, 2020. Kelly was a triple Olympic champion in rowing and the father of actress, Grace Kelly. During the coronavirus outbreak exercising outdoors is still permitted.

— David Maialetti

12:16 PM - April 10, 2020
12:16 PM - April 10, 2020

Thousands of inmates in Pa. and N.J. now eligible for temporary release as coronavirus spreads

Exterior of The Philadelphia Industrial Correction Center on April 3, 2020.
CHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer
Exterior of The Philadelphia Industrial Correction Center on April 3, 2020.

Thousands of inmates in Pennsylvania and New Jersey are eligible to be temporarily released from prison in a measure to decrease the incarcerated population as the coronavirus spreads and outbreaks in jails sprout across the country.

On Friday, governors in both states invoked emergency powers to establish processes that would offer some inmates a temporary reprieve of their sentences by placing them under house arrest or parole.

In Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Wolf announced the program would offer as many as 1,800 state prison inmates a reprieve, and that eligible defendants include those 65 or older, anyone with autoimmune disorders, pregnant women, and inmates with chronic health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer or other ailments that make them more vulnerable to serious coronavirus complications.

The inmates would be monitored and supervised by parole agents while under house arrest and would have to return to prison to complete their sentences once the state’s emergency order ends.

In New Jersey, N.J. Gov Phil Murphy signed an executive order establishing that state’s process for putting some inmates in temporary home confinement or to be granted parole. Eligible inmates include people whose age or health status puts them at an increased risk, and who have not been convicted of serious crimes such as murder or sexual assault. Also eligible for release are individuals denied parole in the past year or whose sentences expire within the next three months.

— Jeremy Roebuck, Erin McCarthy, Anna Orso

11:20 AM - April 10, 2020
11:20 AM - April 10, 2020

Citizens Bank Park coronavirus testing site closes

A worker attends to an empty tent at the now closed COVID-19 testing site at Citizens Bank Park in South Philadelphia on Friday, April 10, 2020.
YONG KIM / Staff Photographer
A worker attends to an empty tent at the now closed COVID-19 testing site at Citizens Bank Park in South Philadelphia on Friday, April 10, 2020.

The COVID-19 testing site at Citizens Bank Park is now closed, Philadelphia officials announced Friday.

The site had been scheduled to shut down at the end of the day Friday, but in an alert sent through the city’s texting system for messages about the coronavirus, officials announced that it would not open Friday due to high winds.

“This location will remain closed until further notice,” the alert said.

Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said Thursday that the city may actually be able to conduct more tests after closing the site, because it only accounted for 7% of tests of Philadelphia residents and its supplies could be sent to some of the more than 20 other sites in the city.

— Laura McCrystal

10:50 AM - April 10, 2020
10:50 AM - April 10, 2020

Murphy signs order establishing process for N.J. inmates to seek home confinement, parole to slow spread of COVID-19

N.J. Gov Phil Murphy signed an executive order on Friday establishing a process for some inmates to be placed on temporary home confinement or be granted parole in order to slow the spread of coronavirus in the state’s prisons.

People whose age or health status puts them at an increased risk, and who have not been convicted of serious crimes such as murder or sexual assault, may be eligible. So will individuals who have been denied parole in the past year or whose sentences are set to expire in the next three months.

Department of Corrections Commissioner Marcus Hicks said 129 state corrections staff members had been “impacted by the virus.” Twenty inmates have tested positive, he said, and one has died. More than 1,000 asymptomatic employees and 400 asymptomatic inmates were in medical quarantine due to possible exposure to the coronavirus.

“You can imagine when you’re running a correctional facility, in a correctional setting, that there are unique challenges in trying to implement social distancing,” Hicks said.

— Erin McCarthy

8:15 AM - April 10, 2020
8:15 AM - April 10, 2020

Fauci says tests will be available soon to see if a person has developed immunity to COVID-19

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Wednesday, April 8, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Alex Brandon / AP
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Wednesday, April 8, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Dr. Anthony Fauci, a top member of the White House coronavirus task force and the country’s leading infectious disease expert, said tests to determine if a person has developed some level of immunity to COVID-19 will be made available soon.

“Within a period of a week or so, we are going to have a rather large number of tests available,” Fauci said Friday morning on CNN, noting it’s an important step before officials consider dropping mitigation efforts and re-opening businesses.

“As we get to the point at least considering opening up the country, as it were, it’s very important to appreciate and to understand how much the virus has penetrated the society,” Fauci said. “Because it’s very likely there are large number of people out there that have been infected, have been asymptomatic, and don’t know they’ve been infected.”

Testing was expected to launch this week in Chester County, starting with workers from the county prison, a long-term health-care facility, and the county youth center. A system for testing first responders is in the works. Renee Cassidy, public health physician with the Chester County Health Department, said that the accuracy of such serology testing is unclear.

“Serology testing is very much in its infancy” for the coronavirus, Cassidy told the Inquirer earlier this week. “It’s a little experimental.”

— Rob Tornoe

7:00 AM - April 10, 2020
7:00 AM - April 10, 2020

Yo Philly, meet the 19-year-old who Lysol’d the street while standing on his handlebars

Bike Life Rex teeters atop his bike in full medical gear, riding through North Philly in mid-March as the coronavirus pandemic reached Philadelphia. The video gained new attention this week after being shared on Twitter.
Screenshot via @bikeliferex on Instagram
Bike Life Rex teeters atop his bike in full medical gear, riding through North Philly in mid-March as the coronavirus pandemic reached Philadelphia. The video gained new attention this week after being shared on Twitter.

Sometimes you see something that is so uniquely Philadelphia, you instinctively know that it came from here. Maybe you felt that over these last couple weeks when you saw photos of people enjoying citywide specials while alone in their apartments, or when your neighbor screamed “E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES” out his window for no reason other than that he could.

Or perhaps it was when you saw a video of a guy decked out in full medical gear and face mask, spraying Lysol down the streets of North Philly while teetering atop the handlebars of his bike and weaving in and out of traffic.

Yeah, that of-the-moment pandemic video was pretty Philly, too.

The video was posted on Instagram on March 15 by BikeLifeRex, a North Philly 19-year-old, and has since garnered tens of thousands of views on both Instagram and Twitter, where a post this week featuring the video has been retweeted almost 20,000 times. Many of the comments from people sharing the video were something to the effect of “Philly is gonna Philly,” and how — despite the use of in-demand medical gear — it inspired a flicker of joy, maybe a fleeting one, during one of the darkest periods in recent memory.

— Anna Orso

5:30 AM - April 10, 2020
5:30 AM - April 10, 2020

Mayor Kenney says Philadelphia’s spirit remains strong in face of the coronavirus pandemic

In an open letter to the city, Mayor Jim Kenney on Friday praised all those on the front-line of the coronavirus fight as well as the volunteers and companies working behind the scenes to support health care workers and those in need.

He also mourned those who died.

Today, the streets are quiet. Most residents are heeding our order to stay at home. Businesses are shuttered. Playgrounds, schools, and houses of worship are empty. We are waiting, hoping, praying, and mourning those who were lost.
But I write to tell you that even amid our silent streets, the spirit of this great city has not, in any way, been diminished by this virus.
I see this spirit in the growing number of folks at home sewing and donating face coverings, and manufacturers who have shifted production to personal protective equipment. It’s seen in the countless people opting to order food and supplies from our restaurants and local small businesses. That spirit is in our philanthropic community who mobilized in record time and raised tens of millions of dollars for struggling nonprofits. It’s in the School District and Community College of Philadelphia, doing everything possible to bring remote learning to all students. And it’s also in the scores of volunteers packing thousands of meals every week to ensure Philadelphians don’t go hungry.

— Staff report

5:20 AM - April 10, 2020
5:20 AM - April 10, 2020

Philadelphia Archdiocese to live stream Good Friday service

Archbishop Nelson Pérez gives his blessing at the end of Palm Sunday mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter & Paul in Philadelphia, PA on April 5, 2020. The Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter & Paul was closed to the public to help stop the spread of the corona virus.
DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer
Archbishop Nelson Pérez gives his blessing at the end of Palm Sunday mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter & Paul in Philadelphia, PA on April 5, 2020. The Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter & Paul was closed to the public to help stop the spread of the corona virus.

Today is Good Friday, a somber day on the Christian calendar made more somber by the coronavirus pandemic.

While the faithful aren’t able to gather and worship together due to COVID-19, many can “attend” virtual services organized by their churches.

For the region’s, 1.3 million Roman Catholics, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia will be streaming its service at 3 p.m. from the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul.

Viewers can watch on its website and on Archbishop Nelson J. Perez’s Facebook page. Other local parishes and religious communities are also streaming their celebrations.

— Erin McCarthy

5:00 AM - April 10, 2020
5:00 AM - April 10, 2020

From one end of Broad Street to the other, a look at what the coronavirus has stolen

An empty North Broad Street in Philadelphia is photographed on Tuesday evening, March 24, 2020. A stay-at-home order has been issued due to the spread of COVID-19.
HEATHER KHALIFA / Staff Photographer
An empty North Broad Street in Philadelphia is photographed on Tuesday evening, March 24, 2020. A stay-at-home order has been issued due to the spread of COVID-19.

The sky was cruel. Blue and cloudless on Monday, it beckoned people to abandon their living rooms and makeshift offices and temporary classrooms, to step outside and drink up the sunlight and warmer weather.

It’s what we look forward to all winter: a spring rebirth, a chance to renew simple pleasures and traditions — ball games, beer gardens, graduations, races, family gatherings around a barbecue. And yet, on this April afternoon, the city’s sidewalks were barren for blocks at a time, from the northernmost reaches of Broad Street, where it cuts off at Cheltenham Avenue, down to the stadiums in the last pocket of South Philly before I-95 and the Navy Yard.

Broad Street is more than just Philadelphia’s main artery; it’s 13 miles of traffic jams, churches, schools, restaurants, hospitals, and homes. It’s where we come together to celebrate parades and argue during protests, where couples pose for pictures on their wedding day. And it’s just one lens through which to view the toll that the coronavirus has exacted, the sense of normalcy that the pandemic has stolen from us all.

— David Gambacorta

4:45 AM - April 10, 2020
4:45 AM - April 10, 2020

Morning Roundup: ‘It’s very important to have hope,’ says Pa. health secretary; New Jersey’s hospital peak could come this weekend

New Jersey’s peak surge in coronavirus hospitalizations could come during the weekend, state officials said, with hospitals projected to see their patient load nearly double from Thursday’s 7,360 to 14,400.

At the same time, said Gov. Phil Murphy, the state is “in the early stage of progress" as the rate of infections slows — as it has in Pennsylvania, where officials urged residents to have

Social distancing measures are working, said Pennsylvania Health Secretary Rachel Levine, imploring people to continue staying home to slow the spread of infection, underscored by Gov. Tom Wolf’s Thursday order for all Pennsylvania schools to remain closed for the rest of the academic year.

“The curve has changed,” Levine said, but it is “not completely flat.... We need to maintain our vigilance.”

Justine McDaniel, Pranshu Verma, Erin McCarthy and Laura McCrystal

4:00 AM - April 10, 2020
4:00 AM - April 10, 2020

Today’s Inquirer Front Page

The Philadelphia Inquirer front page for Friday, April 10, 2020.
Philadelphia Inquirer
The Philadelphia Inquirer front page for Friday, April 10, 2020.