6:46 PM - October 5, 2020
6:46 PM - October 5, 2020

Trump leaves Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, returns to White House

President Donald Trump walked out of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center unassisted after a three-night stay just after 6:30 p.m. Monday. Trump, who announced that he had tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, will be returning to the White House.

Trump gave a thumbs up as he got into an armored vehicle that transported him to Marine One. Minutes before he left the hospital, the president indicated on social media that he was eager to return to the campaign trail.

Reporters asked Sean Conley, the White House physician, during the news conference Monday afternoon whether Trump will be returning to the campaign trail.

“As far as travel goes, we’ll see,” Conley had said.

— Bethany Ao

6:02 PM - October 5, 2020
6:02 PM - October 5, 2020

Pa. doctors are puzzled by statements from Trump’s medical team

Dr. Sean Conley, physician to President Donald Trump, center, and other doctors, walk out to talk with reporters at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Monday.
Evan Vucci / AP
Dr. Sean Conley, physician to President Donald Trump, center, and other doctors, walk out to talk with reporters at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Monday.

After a weekend of vague and sometimes evasive statements from the president’s medical team, doctors not involved with his care remain, in some respects, as puzzled as the rest of us.

Doctors avoid making formal diagnoses of people who are not their patients. But this is the president, whose health is a matter of public interest, and doctors watch press conferences like everyone else. And after months of treating patients in the pandemic, they have a good sense of how COVID-19 progresses for someone who is sick enough to go to the hospital. Except when details are scarce.

Among the mysteries: if Trump was doing so well, why was he prescribed dexamethasone — a corticosteroid that is generally reserved for sicker patients? These steroids can rescue COVID-19 patients whose bodies are overrun with harmful inflammation. But like any medication, they carry some level of risk. If given for an extended period, they can suppress the immune system.

“It’s not like it’s a completely harmless intervention,” said Eric Sachinwalla, medical director of infection prevention control at Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia. “Just based on the information they’ve released, he doesn’t sound like the typical patient we would give dexamethasone to.”

— Tom Avril

5:27 PM - October 5, 2020
5:27 PM - October 5, 2020

Airbnb bans one-night ‘entire home’ bookings on Halloween to curb parties

Airbnb is imposing a ban on one-night “entire home” bookings on Halloween in a move to curb parties during the pandemic, the company said.Airbnb will cancel any existing one-night reservations for Oct. 30 or 31 that fall into the “entire home” category — as opposed to those that offer only a portion of a house or building usually occupied by a host — reimbursing both guests and property hosts.

The change took effect on Oct. 2. Airbnb did not immediately respond to request for comment about how many bookings would be canceled under the new rule.

On Aug. 20, the company formally banned parties at its listings globally, implementing an occupancy limit of 16 people that “applies to all future bookings on Airbnb and it will remain in effect indefinitely until further notice.”

— Associated Press

5:01 PM - October 5, 2020
5:01 PM - October 5, 2020

Philly evictions ban extended until Nov. 7

Community organizer Asantewaa Nkrumah-Ture with the Black Alliance for Peace and the Philadelphia Tenants Union speaks at a speakout and teach-in in Mifflin Square Park in July on tenants' rights and resources for combating eviction and housing instability.
TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer
Community organizer Asantewaa Nkrumah-Ture with the Black Alliance for Peace and the Philadelphia Tenants Union speaks at a speakout and teach-in in Mifflin Square Park in July on tenants' rights and resources for combating eviction and housing instability.

Philadelphia tenants can’t be evicted for the next month, according to the president judge of the Municipal Court.

Judge Patrick F. Dugan issued an order Monday, banning evictions until Nov. 7.

However, the number of eviction notices the city’s landlord-tenant officer can serve is no longer limited. While officers are serving eviction notices, they must also serve notices explaining the nationwide moratorium on evictions for nonpayment of rent imposed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Officers must also provide tenants with the form they must fill out to be protected under the federal ban.

— Bethany Ao

3:35 PM - October 5, 2020
3:35 PM - October 5, 2020

Trump’s doctors said that he’s ‘met or exceeded all standard hospital discharge criteria’

President Donald Trump’s improvements over the last 24 hours have led to the decision that he will be discharged later Monday, according to the team of physicians who have been treating him at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. During a news conference Monday afternoon, Sean Conley, the White House physician, said that Trump has “met or exceeded all standard hospital discharge criteria.”

The president will receive a fourth dose of remdesivir before he leaves Walter Reed, and his final dose will be administered at the White House Tuesday evening.

“It’s been more than 72 hours since his last fever oxygen levels, including ambulatory saturations, and breathing, are all normal,” Conley said.

When asked about why Trump was able to surprise supporters with a heavily criticized drive-by outside the hospital Sunday, Conley said that the Secret Service agents in the car were in the same level of personal protective equipment worn by doctors and medical personnel “for a very short time.” Conley did not tell reporters when Trump’s last negative COVID test was, despite being asked multiple times.

Conley also said that Trump “may not entirely be out of the woods yet.”

“We all remain cautiously optimistic,” he said. “And on guard, because we’re in a bit of uncharted territory when it comes to a patient that received the therapies he has so early in the course. So we’re looking to this weekend. If we can get through to Monday with him remaining the same or improving, better yet, then we will all take that final deep sigh of relief.”

— Bethany Ao

2:44 PM - October 5, 2020
2:44 PM - October 5, 2020

Trump tweets that he’s leaving the hospital tonight

President Donald Trump said on Twitter he would be discarded from Walter Reed Medical Center at 6:30 p.m., three days after having been admitted for COVID-19.

Doctors treating the president are scheduled to hold a press conference at about 3 p.m.

— Rob Tornoe

2:40 PM - October 5, 2020
2:40 PM - October 5, 2020

CDC says COVID-19 can spread indoors in the air and infect people who are more than six feet away

Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 virus particles (color enhanced orange) as seen through an electron microscope at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Integrated Research Facility in Fort Detrick, Md.
/ AP
Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 virus particles (color enhanced orange) as seen through an electron microscope at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Integrated Research Facility in Fort Detrick, Md.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention acknowledged Monday that people can sometimes be infected with the coronavirus through airborne transmission, especially in enclosed spaces with inadequate ventilation.

The long-awaited update to the agency Web page explaining how the virus spreads represents an official acknowledgment of growing evidence that under certain conditions, people farther than six feet apart can become infected by tiny droplets and particles that float in the air for minutes and hours, and that they play a role in the pandemic.

“There is evidence that under certain conditions, people with COVID-19 seem to have infected others who were more than six feet away,” the updated Web page states. “These transmissions occurred within enclosed spaces that had inadequate ventilation. Sometimes the infected person was breathing heavily, for example while singing or exercising.”

“Under these circumstances,” the Web page says, “scientists believe that the amount of infectious smaller droplet and particles produced by the people with COVID-19 became concentrated enough to spread the virus to other people. The people who were infected were in the same space during the same time or shortly after the person with COVID-19 had left.”

— Washington Post

2:15 PM - October 5, 2020
2:15 PM - October 5, 2020

Downingtown West High School football team shut down after student tests positive

Downingtown West teammates hold the championship trophy after beating Coatesville for the District 1 Class 6A championship in 2019.
STEVEN M. FALK / Staff Photographer
Downingtown West teammates hold the championship trophy after beating Coatesville for the District 1 Class 6A championship in 2019.

The Downingtown West High School football team, the reigning District 1 Class 6 champion, has been temporarily shut down after a student athlete tested positive for the coronavirus, coach Mike Milano confirmed on Monday.

Milano said the Whippets, who advanced to the state semifinals in the largest PIAA classification last season, will not be able to open the 2020 season this Friday vs. archrival Downingtown East, as scheduled.

“Our kids are crushed,” Milano said.

Milano said team officials learned a player on the roster had tested positive on Thursday. The coach said the team might be able to return to practice on Oct. 13, with the goal of opening the season Oct. 17 vs. Coatesville.

— Phil Anastasia

1:58 PM - October 5, 2020
1:58 PM - October 5, 2020

Burlington County now offering at-home COVID-19 testing

Andrew Brooks, a Rutgers University molecular neuroscientist and chief operating officer and director of technology development at RUCDR Infinite Biologics, processes saliva.
Nick Romanenko / Rutgers University
Andrew Brooks, a Rutgers University molecular neuroscientist and chief operating officer and director of technology development at RUCDR Infinite Biologics, processes saliva.

Burlington County residents, students, and non-residents with essential jobs in the county are eligible for a new COVID-19 diagnostic testing program that involves collecting a saliva sample at home and sending it to the Rutgers University lab that developed the molecular test.

The saliva test will also be offered starting Tuesday at a new clinical site in the parking lot of Rowan College at Burlington County in Mount Laurel, county health officials announced Monday. The accuracy of the saliva-based diagnostic test is reportedly comparable to that of the better known version, which requires threading a long swab to the back of the nose for a respiratory sample.

The initiative is being funded by the state of New Jersey from a portion of the state’s federal pandemic aid. Burlington County received about $3.5 million through the state for testing and reimbursement of other pandemic-related expenses.

“At home testing will help us meet demand with a faster, easier method,” said physician Herb Conaway, director of the county health department. “This is particularly important as the flu season approaches and people spend more time indoors.”

Information about eligibility, registration, and how the test process works is at homecovidtest.org.

The Rutgers Clinical Genomics Laboratory received U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorization for its saliva-based test in May. Test results are expected to be returned within 72 hours, Burlington County officials said.

To date, more than 8,000 county residents and workers have been tested through the county.

— Marie McCullough

1:40 PM - October 5, 2020
1:40 PM - October 5, 2020

N.J. investigating if Trump fundraiser violated COVID-19 regulations

President Donald Trump arrives at Morristown Municipal Airport to attend a fundraiser at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster on Thursday.
Evan Vucci / AP
President Donald Trump arrives at Morristown Municipal Airport to attend a fundraiser at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster on Thursday.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy heavily criticized President Donald Trump and his campaign Monday for acting “recklessly” and putting “lives at risk” by hosting a fundraising event in Bedminster last week.

During a press conference, Murphy sent best wishes and prayers to the president, First Lady Melania Trump, and all who tested positive, but criticized the president’s decision to gather so many people without masks.

“It is clear that the president and his staff acted recklessly in coming to New Jersey in the first place knowing that they had been exposed to someone with a confirmed positive test,” he said.

“This is not the first time we’ve seen that absence of leadership,” Murphy said, adding that Trump has consistently “engendered a political debate over masks when there should be none associated with it.”

Murphy said the state’s Department of Health is continuing to investigate the two campaign events at Trump National Golf Course last Thursday, which he said “may not have complied” with the state’s current coronavirus regulations.

The events drew more than 200 White House staffers, politicians, and supporters of the president. Masks were largely not worn. Murphy said the state has now contacted all 206 event attendees and 19 golf club staff members.

“This is very much a race against the clock,” he said.

— Ellie Rushing

1:27 PM - October 5, 2020
1:27 PM - October 5, 2020

‘Halloween is on’ in New Jersey, Murphy announces

Halloween decorations on homes along the unit block of Buttonwood Street in Lambertville, N.J. in 2019.
TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer
Halloween decorations on homes along the unit block of Buttonwood Street in Lambertville, N.J. in 2019.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy delivered a sweet message Monday, announcing that Garden State residents may trick-or-treat and celebrate Halloween this year.

“Yes, Halloween is on,” Murphy said.

The state’s Department of Health released guidance Monday for the annual occasion, encouraging all people to wear masks — though costume masks don’t count, Murphy said. Those handing out candy should arrange the goodies so that they can be easily, safely accessed with limited contact. Communal bowls and placing candy directly into kids' bags are not encouraged.

The announcement offered a moment of relief for parents and children who have missed out on many activities this year. Murphy also encouraged all Halloween festivities to take place outdoors, and said that hayrides, corn mazes, and other fall activities are OK.

“You may wish to dress as a knucklehead this Halloween but we don’t want anyone to act like a knucklehead,” he said.

— Ellie Rushing

1:10 PM - October 5, 2020
1:10 PM - October 5, 2020

Philadelphia reports 263 new cases since Friday

Philadelphia announced 263 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus Monday, representing test results reported since Friday.

The city also reported 23 new probable cases, from rapid antigen tests that were reported as positive.

There have been 37,562 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in city residents since March. The city announced one additional death Monday, bringing the total number of deaths to 1,816. Of those residents who died of the virus, 49% lived in long-term care facilities.

— Laura McCrystal

12:30 PM - October 5, 2020
12:30 PM - October 5, 2020

Pennsylvania reports 672 new cases, 11 additional deaths

Pennsylvania reported 672 new coronavirus cases on Monday after adding 2,251 new cases over two days on Sunday, continuing an upswing in new cases that began the end of September.

The commonwealth is now averaging 1,054 new cases a day over the past seven days, the highest average since early May, according to an Inquirer analysis. The spike is being partially driven by a continued outbreak in Centre County linked to students at Penn State, though in recent days the number of new daily cases there have begin to decline.

The Department of Health said 187,158 coronavirus tests were administered between Sept. 28 and Oct. 4, with 7,385 positive cases — a positive test rate of about 3.9%. Overall, 5,485 Pennsylvania residents have tested positive for coronavirus since the start of the pandemic.

At least 8,227 Pennsylvania residents have now died after contracting the coronavirus, with 11 new deaths reported on Monday. Of the state’s deaths, 5,485 have occurred in residents from nursing or personal care facilities.

— Rob Tornoe

11:35 AM - October 5, 2020
11:35 AM - October 5, 2020

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, two aide tests positive for COVID-19

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, is interviewed by Fox News on Sunday.
Jacquelyn Martin / AP
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, is interviewed by Fox News on Sunday.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany is the latest member of the Trump administration to contract COVID-19.

McEnany announced in a statement she tested positive for coronavirus Monday morning while experiencing no symptoms.

McEnany delivered a press briefing to reporters on Thursday without wearing a mask, and removed her mask prior to speaking to reporters at the White House on Sunday. She said “no reporters, producers, or members of the press” were listed as close contacts by the White House Medical Unit.

“I definitely had no knowledge of Hope Hicks' diagnosis prior to holding a White House press briefing on Thursday,” McEnany said in a statement. “With my recent positive test, I will begin the quarantine process and will continue working on behalf of the American people remotely.”

Two of McEnany’s aides, Chad Gilmartin and Karoline Leavitt, have also tested positive for the coronavirus, according to multiple reports.

— Rob Tornoe

11:33 AM - October 5, 2020
11:33 AM - October 5, 2020

Experts says Philly drivers should anticipate an uptick in congestion

A view looking north on Broad Street from City Hall in Philadelphia in September.
DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer
A view looking north on Broad Street from City Hall in Philadelphia in September.

Traffic volumes in the Philadelphia region are still below pre-pandemic levels, but experts who spoke with The Inquirer anticipate a likely uptick in congestion as more people return to workplaces and once-shuttered activities, causing pollution, inequities, and financial losses, among other issues.

Some factors at play are more apparent than others, such as the perception that public transportation is unsafe, leading some riders to find new ways to get around. Other effects have yet to be fully seen, such as unemployment, long-term telecommuting policies, and even online shopping that keeps buyers off the road.

Statistics for Philadelphia are “hard to drill down,” said Christopher Puchalsky, director of policy and strategic initiatives at the Office of Transportation, Infrastructure, and Sustainability (OTIS). But he believes traffic is back to 80% or more of baseline figures. His estimate is similar to numbers from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

While many area residents remain bound to home offices, or are kept off the road because of business closures or limited-capacity openings, experts offered a bevy of suggestions for the discrepancy. No, rush-hour traffic hasn’t returned, but truck traffic is holding steady. People might not be driving into the office but are opting for road trips over air travel.

“I think people are just getting tired of being stuck in one place. They’re looking for an excuse to drive,” said Thomas Macchione, the turnpike’s manager of traffic engineering. “They may not be driving to work, but now they’re driving to do something just to get away from their house, at least while the weather is nice.”

— Patricia Madej

11:09 AM - October 5, 2020
11:09 AM - October 5, 2020

First Lady Melania Trump says she’s ‘feeling good’ and will continue to rest at the White House.

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

White House says Trump could be discharged as soon as today

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, listens as Dr. Sean Conley, physician to President Donald Trump, briefs reporters at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020.
Jacquelyn Martin / AP
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, listens as Dr. Sean Conley, physician to President Donald Trump, briefs reporters at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020.

A decision about whether to discharge President Donald Trump from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., will be made later Monday after he meets with his medical team later in the morning, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said.

“That determination has not been made yet,” Meadows said during an appearance on Fox News’s Fox & Friends when asked whether Trump would be discharged Monday. “The doctors will actually have an evaluation sometime late morning. We’re still optimistic based on his unbelievable progress … that he will be released, but that decision won’t be made until later today.”

Meadows acknowledged that there was some “real concern” about Trump’s condition on Friday that led to the decision to transport him to Walter Reed, where he said the treatment has been “outstanding.”

Meadows also played down the risk of exposure that he and Secret Service agents have faced in being around Trump, particularly during his trip Sunday to wave to supporters from a motorcade.

“A number of folks are trying to make a big deal of that,” Meadows said, arguing that “precautions” were taken.

— Washington Post

9:45 AM - October 5, 2020
9:45 AM - October 5, 2020

Gov. Murphy: Trump’s N.J. fundraiser was ‘reckless’

Gov. Phil Murphy called a fund-raiser President Donald Trump held at his New Jersey golf club late last week “reckless,” and said anyone who attended should quarantine and get tested for COVID-19.

During an interview on CNN Monday morning, Murphy said Trump should have canceled Thursday’s fundraiser in Bedminster after he learned that Hope Hicks, one of his closest advisers, tested positive for the coronavirus. Trump has since tested positive and is hospitalized at Walter Reed.

“Bedminster is a chapter in a long book of now countless chapters of indoor, close-proximity gathering with no face coverings,” Murphy said. “And the folks at the top, beginning with the president, have to set an example for the rest of our country to do the right thing.”

In a separate interview on CNBC, Murphy said the event “flew in the face” of what health experts have been saying for months, and ignored New Jersey’s own regulations about wearing masks indoors.

“This virus doesn’t care who you are. New Jersey doesn’t care who you are. If you’ve been exposed, knowingly, you’ve got to take yourself off the field,” Murphy said. “To the folks who attended that event, I hope they’re all right.”

On Sunday, New Jersey health officials said they were performing contact tracing for the event after the White House supplied the names of at least 206 people who attended the fundraiser.

— Rob Tornoe and Amy Rosenberg

9:34 AM - October 5, 2020
9:34 AM - October 5, 2020

Fauci: I haven’t been involved in the ‘direct care’ of the president

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, at a Senate committee hearing in September.
Graeme Jennings / AP
Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, at a Senate committee hearing in September.

Anthony Fauci said he has not been involved in the “direct care” of President Donald Trump, but praised the doctors and medical staff who are treating Trump at Walter Reed Medical Center.

“My colleagues that I know, including Sean Conley, are very good physicians, and they are very qualified,” Fauci said during an interview on CNN Monday morning. “So I am really confident that the president of the United States is getting the optimal care that you can get with the team over at Walter Reed.”

Fauci said studies have shown people exposed to COVID-19 can infect others one or two days before they themselves get symptoms, and can remain contagious for several days after symptoms appear. When asked by CNN anchor John Berman about Trump’s short trip in an SUV with Secret Service agents on Sunday, Fauci declined to comment.

“I don’t want to go there, John, and comment on that,” Fauci said.

Fauci said the best advice he has for people who hope to avoid being infected hasn’t changed for months: Wear a mask, wash your hands, avoid large gatherings, and do things outdoors more than indoors.

“If we do that, we will not see the kind of outbreaks that we’ve just experienced,” Fauci said.

— Rob Tornoe

9:07 AM - October 5, 2020
9:07 AM - October 5, 2020

Fauci ‘disturbed and concerned’ over level of new cases in U.S.

Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, said he is “disturbed and concerned” that the United States is still averaging more than 40,000 new COVID-19 cases a day.

“I’m actually disturbed and concerned about the fact that our baseline of infections is still stuck at around 40,000 per day," Fauci said during an interview on CNN Monday morning. "That’s no place to be when you’re trying to get your arms around an epidemic.”

Fauci warned that areas in the Midwest and Northeast have seen an increase in new cases and infections as temperatures have cooled and more people have remained indoors. He expects the trend to continue as winter approaches unless widespread steps are taken to limit infections.

“What happens is you’re going to see the surges that we’ve seen in different parts of the country, where parts come down and part go up,” Fauci said. “We’ve got to stop that trend and get everything going down as a country altogether, working together.”

— Rob Tornoe

8:50 AM - October 5, 2020
8:50 AM - October 5, 2020

Regal Cinemas to close all U.S. locations, including two Philly movie theaters

A Regal Cinemas movie theater is closed during the coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday, May 5, 2020, in New York.
Ted Shaffrey / AP
A Regal Cinemas movie theater is closed during the coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday, May 5, 2020, in New York.

Regal Cinemas, the second-largest movie theater chain in the United States, will close all its locations temporarily as coronavirus restrictions leave many markets closes and Hollywood blockbusters have been moved back to 2021, according to multiple reports.

There are 22 Regal Cinemas locations in Pennsylvania (including two in Philadelphia) and 11 in New Jersey. The chain is owned by Cineworld, which will also closes its 127 Cineworld and Picturehouse cinemas in the U.K. The closures will affect 45,000 employees, according to CNN.

“We are like a grocery shop that doesn’t have vegetables, fruit, meat,” Cineworld CEO Mooky Greidinger told the Wall Street Journal. “We cannot operate for a long time without a product.”

In Philadelphia, theaters can only have 25 people in a single screening room, and they cannot exceed 50% of their total occupancy. Movie theaters in New Jersey are limited to 25% capacity or 150 people per showing, whichever is smaller.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, being in a movie theater is considered a higher-risk activity because it involved remaining indoors in an enclosed space around strangers for at least a few hours.

— Rob Tornoe

8:00 AM - October 5, 2020
8:00 AM - October 5, 2020

Secret Service agents, doctors aghast at Trump’s drive outside hospital

President Donald Trump waves to supports outside of Walter Reed Medical Center on Sunday, driven by Secret Service agents.
Phillip Crowther / AP
President Donald Trump waves to supports outside of Walter Reed Medical Center on Sunday, driven by Secret Service agents.

Secret Service agents and medical professionals were aghast Sunday night at President Donald Trump’s Sunday evening trip outside the hospital where he is being treated for the coronavirus, saying the president endangered those inside his SUV for a publicity stunt.

A growing number of Secret Service agents have been concerned about the president’s seeming indifference to the health risks they face when traveling with him in public, and a few reacted with outrage to the trip, asking how Trump’s desire to be seen outside of his hospital suite justified the jeopardy to agents protecting the president. The president’s coronavirus diagnosis has already brought new scrutiny to his lax approach to social distancing, as public health officials scramble to trace those he may have exposed at large in-person events.

“He’s not even pretending to care now,” said one agent after the president’s jaunt outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

“Where are the adults?” said a former Secret Service member. Both spoke on the condition of anonymity out of fear of retribution.

— Washington Post

7:40 AM - October 5, 2020
7:40 AM - October 5, 2020

More than 200 people exposed to Trump during N.J. fund-raiser

A sign is seen at the entrance to Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., Friday, Oct. 2, 2020.
Seth Wenig / AP
A sign is seen at the entrance to Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., Friday, Oct. 2, 2020.

New Jersey health officials said Sunday they were performing contact tracing in connection with a recent fund-raiser for President Donald Trump, after the White House supplied the names of at least 206 people who attended the event on Thursday at Trump’s Bedminster golf club.

Trump announced that he’d tested positive for COVID-19 hours after the fund-raiser.

The state’s department of health “has reached out to these individuals to make them aware of possible exposure and recommend that they self-monitor for symptoms and quarantine if they were in close contact with the President and his staff,” the department said on Twitter.

Local health officials in Somerset County, meanwhile, “are interviewing staff members of the club and assessing the level of contact they had with the President and his staff and providing public health recommendations accordingly,” New Jersey’s health department tweeted.

— Catherine Dunn

7:30 AM - October 5, 2020
7:30 AM - October 5, 2020

Pennsylvania averaging more than 1,000 new cases a day, highest mark since May

R.N. Doreen Kolojejchick prepares a dose of the flu vaccine during the City of Wilkes-Barre Helth Department's free drive-thru flu vaccine clinic on Saturday.
DAVE SCHERBENCO / AP
R.N. Doreen Kolojejchick prepares a dose of the flu vaccine during the City of Wilkes-Barre Helth Department's free drive-thru flu vaccine clinic on Saturday.

Pennsylvania reported 2,251 new coronavirus cases over two days Sunday, continuing a steady rise in infections that began in the end of September.

The Commonwealth is now averaging 1,055 new cases a day over the past seven days, the highest average since early May, according to an Inquirer analysis.

On a positive note, hospitalizations remain low, as the increase in new cases is being driven largely by a spike in cases among people aged 18 to 22, with an ongoing outbreak linked to Penn State University in Centre County.

Overall, 163,535 Pennsylvanians have tested positive for COVID-19, and 8,216 have died — with 17 new deaths reported on Sunday.

— Rob Tornoe

7:20 AM - October 5, 2020
7:20 AM - October 5, 2020

NBC Sports broadcasters told to wear masks during Sunday’s Eagles game

Al Michaels, center, and Cris Collinsworth, left, in NBC's broadcast booth during the Eagles-49ers NFL game at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020. The Eagles won 25-20.
TIM TAI / Staff Photographer
Al Michaels, center, and Cris Collinsworth, left, in NBC's broadcast booth during the Eagles-49ers NFL game at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020. The Eagles won 25-20.

Longtime NBC announcers Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth were told to wear masks Sunday night during the Eagles' win over the San Francisco 49ers Sunday night.

“Santa Clara County officials have compelled us to wear masks during the game, and so that is the story,” Michaels said prior to kickoff, before turning to Collinsworth and asking, “I’m Al Michaels, you are?”

“I don’t know who I am,” Collinsworth responded.

Santa Clara County chief executive Jeffrey Smith told the San Francisco Chronicle he wasn’t aware of any county officials asking the NBC crew to mask up, but he endorsed the decision.

“We wouldn’t want them to end up like the president,” Smith told the newspaper.

— Rob Tornoe

7:00 AM - October 5, 2020
7:00 AM - October 5, 2020

Monday morning coronavirus roundup

  • The United States reported 49,994 new cases and at least 687 deaths on Sunday, as the number of new daily cases continues to increase heading into the fall and winter, according to Johns Hopkins University. North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and Wisconsin have all seen cases spike over the past two weeks.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) said Sunday there was no deal yet on a new round of coronavirus relief, saying Democrats are waiting to see if the Trump administration will agree to their terms.
  • The parent company of Regal Cinemas, the second-largest cinema chain in the country, will likely close all its locations in the United States due to blockbuster movie delays forced by the coronavirus pandemic, the Wall Street Journal reports.
  • Former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway announced Friday she had tested positive for COVID-19. On Sunday, her teenage daughter Claudia said she had also contracted the virus.