10:40 PM - November 17, 2020
10:40 PM - November 17, 2020

National Constitution Center closed until January

The National Constitution Center on the evening Nov. 5, 2020.
TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer
The National Constitution Center on the evening Nov. 5, 2020.

Following new city-imposed restrictions announced on Monday by Philadelphia, the National Constitution Center said late Tuesday night that it will be closed to the public through Jan. 1, 2021.

The center, located at 525 Arch St., follows other city museums and educational institutions that said on Monday that they also would comply with the indoor-gathering restrictions intended to counter the surge in COVID-19 cases in the region.

The center will continue to offer online programs including live classes, town halls, as well as access to its virtual museum tour and media library. Click here for more information from about center.

— Robert Moran

6:04 PM - November 17, 2020
6:04 PM - November 17, 2020

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, 87, announces he has COVID-19

Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, questions Supreme Court justice nominee Amy Coney Barrett on the second day of her Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing.
Tom Williams/Pool / MCT
Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, questions Supreme Court justice nominee Amy Coney Barrett on the second day of her Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing.

Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, the longest-serving Republican senator, announced Tuesday evening that he has tested positive for COVID-19.

Grassley, 87, said he would continue to quarantine, follow his doctors' orders and CDC guidelines, and was “feeling good.”

Grassley, had said earlier in the day that he had been exposed to the virus and was following doctor’s order and “immediately quarantine” and work virtually as he waited for results of a test.

The Iowa Republican is the president pro tempore of the Senate, meaning he presides over the Senate in the absence of Vice President Mike Pence and is third in the line of presidential succession, behind Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The president pro tempore is the senator in the majority party who has served the longest.

— Robert Moran

4:37 PM - November 17, 2020
4:37 PM - November 17, 2020

Smart thermometers could help track COVID-19 surge in Philadelphia — if used in a smart way

Philadelphia officials hope Kinsa Health's smart thermometer could be used as an early warning of COVID-19 outbreaks.
Courtesy of Kinsa Health
Philadelphia officials hope Kinsa Health's smart thermometer could be used as an early warning of COVID-19 outbreaks.

In late summer, Philadelphia health clinics gave out 5,000 internet-enabled thermometers, free, to low-income families in the hope that tracking unexpected upward blips in fevers could be used as an early warning of COVID-19 outbreaks.

Kinsa Health launched the smart thermometer network eight years ago to monitor seasonal flu. Now, with a trove of historical data and more than 2 million homes across the country in the network, the San Francisco-based company says the fever data is proving helpful for real-time detection of coronavirus spread.

Just one hiccup for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health: Most residents who took the thermometers didn’t download the mobile phone app that automatically sends data to Kinsa whenever a temperature is taken. They’re using the high-tech oral thermometers as ordinary thermometers.

“A lot of the initial batch weren’t activated to contribute fever data,” said Hannah Lawman, chief of operations for the city health department’s division of COVID-19 containment. “Only 10% were activated. Maybe they don’t realize that’s part of the usefulness.”

— Marie McCullough

2:50 PM - November 17, 2020
2:50 PM - November 17, 2020

Fauci calls for a national approach to dealing with COVID-19 surge

Anthony Fauci, cdirector of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a June news conference with members of the Coronavirus Task Force.
Susan Walsh / AP
Anthony Fauci, cdirector of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a June news conference with members of the Coronavirus Task Force.

Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, said the United States should take “a uniform approach” to dealing with the surge in COVID-19 cases and not rely on states developing their own plans.

“We need some fundamental public health measures that everyone should be adhering to, not a disjointed, ‘One state says one thing, the other state says another thing,’” Fauci told New York Times columnist and CNBC host Andrew Ross Sorkin at a DealBook virtual conference Tuesday.

Fauch also reiterated his belief that it would be better for the Trump administration to work with President-elect Joe Biden’s team, especially considering the logistical difficulties that will come distributing millions of doses of coronavirus vaccines next year.

“I’ve been through five transitions; I can say that transitions are extremely important to the smooth continuity of whatever you’re doing,” Fauci said. “We need to transition to the team that will be doing it, similar to how we’re doing it.”

— Rob Tornoe

1:45 PM - November 17, 2020
1:45 PM - November 17, 2020

Nearly half of N.J. residents said they won’t get a COVID-19 vaccine, but new data could change their minds

New Jersey residents were wary about getting a potential coronavirus vaccine in a recent survey, but opinions could change now that early data shows at least two candidates are safe and effective.

Between 36% and 47% of New Jersey residents surveyed between Oct. 18 and Oct. 24 said they would “probably” or “definitely” not take a vaccine for COVID-19 when one becomes available, according to a Rutgers-Eagleton Poll released Tuesday.

The survey was taken before positive early vaccine results were released by Pfizer and Moderna, and response rates varied depending on how the questions were asked.

“With the recent positive news from Pfizer and Moderna, it is likely that public opinion on immunization will continue to shift and evolve,” said Ashley Koning, assistant research professor and director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling (ECPIP)at Rutgers University–New Brunswick. “But right now, a large portion of New Jerseyans are still wary, which makes any future messaging encouraging vaccination that much more important.”

Of those reluctant to get a vaccine, 82% said they needed more information about how the vaccine works, and 80% cited a desire to know more about potential side effects.

Nationwide, more Americans are signaling a willingness to be vaccinated against the virus. Fifty-eight percent of people who responded to a Gallup survey between Oct. 19 and Nov. 1 said they would be willing to take a coronavirus vaccine when it became available, up from 50% in September.

Sen. Rob Portman (R., Ohio) is among the thousands of people participating in Johnson & Johnson’s phase three COVID-19 vaccine trial, which he said he enrolled in to help convince Americans to get inoculated.

“It’s one thing to have the vaccines,” Portman said on CNBC Tuesday morning, “but we’ve got to be sure that people are willing to be vaccinated.”

— Rob Tornoe

1:29 PM - November 17, 2020
1:29 PM - November 17, 2020

Philadelphia reports 1,034 new cases, 8 additional deaths

A Jefferson Health coronavirus testing site in the parking lot of Richard Allen Preparatory Charter School, in Southwest Philadelphia, Wednesday, November 11, 2020.
JESSICA GRIFFIN / Staff Photographer
A Jefferson Health coronavirus testing site in the parking lot of Richard Allen Preparatory Charter School, in Southwest Philadelphia, Wednesday, November 11, 2020.

Philadelphia reported 1,034 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus Tuesday as cases continue to surge in the city.

The city also reported eight additional deaths, bringing the total number of deaths due to COVID-19 to 1,925.

New restrictions, including the closing of indoor dining, gyms, and museums and a ban on food or drink at outdoor gatherings are scheduled to begin Friday and last at least through Jan. 1. But Philadelphia officials have urged residents to begin taking extra precautions immediately — especially by canceling social gatherings with anyone outside their own household.

— Laura McCrystal

1:20 PM - November 17, 2020
1:20 PM - November 17, 2020

Delaware tightens restrictions on gatherings, indoor dining

Governor of Delaware John Carney speaks during an October press briefing in Wilmington, Delaware.
MONICA HERNDON / Staff Photographer
Governor of Delaware John Carney speaks during an October press briefing in Wilmington, Delaware.

Delaware will limit indoor gatherings in private homes to 10 people and indoor dining to 30% capacity as the state deals with an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, Gov. John Carney announced on Tuesday.

Indoor gatherings outside of homes, including weddings, funerals, religious services, and political gatherings, will be also be limited to 30% of the venue’s capacity, capped at 50 people.

“The conditions on the ground are getting worse,” Carney said during a press briefing Tuesday. “And we need to take action targeted towards the venues where spread is occurring, which we know through the contact tracing effort that we have had for some time now.”

The new restrictions will take effect 8 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 23. Carney said he understands why local leaders in Philadelphia decided to ban indoor dining entirely, but said that looking at the conditions in Delaware, he’s trying to strike a balance between a healthy community and a healthy economy.

“It would be the worst possible thing to impose restrictions just because another state is doing it, or we think it might work,” Carney said. “We have evidence that this is where spread is occurring and that limiting exposure is what prevents the spread.”

Carney also announced that youth sports teams will be prohibited from hosting or taking part in tournaments with out-of-state teams, effective 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 1.

There are no new restrictions on public schools, which are operating in a hybrid model with a mix of in-person learning and remote instruction.

— Rob Tornoe

1:16 PM - November 17, 2020
1:16 PM - November 17, 2020

Pennsylvania strengthens mask order and quarantine requirements

Waitress Lauren Musial watches a television briefing by Pennsylvania Health Secretary, Dr. Rachel Levine, at the Penrose Diner, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020, in South Philadelphia.
Matt Slocum / AP
Waitress Lauren Musial watches a television briefing by Pennsylvania Health Secretary, Dr. Rachel Levine, at the Penrose Diner, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020, in South Philadelphia.

As coronavirus cases reach record highs in Pennsylvania, Health Secretary Rachel Levine on Tuesday unveiled a set of strengthened orders and recommendations, urging the commonwealth’s hospitals to “prepare now” for the possibility of being strained or overwhelmed in the coming weeks, telling out-of-state visitors to be tested before arrival, and ordering people to wear masks in all indoor and outdoor establishments.

Starting Friday, anyone who enters Pennsylvania must be tested at least 72 hours before arrival, and if they can or do not get a test, they must quarantine for 14 days. The order does not apply to people who commute to neighboring states for work or health care, she said, and will be largely self-enforced.

“We have no plans to be enforcing, checking for tests when people come off airplanes or when people drive into Pennsylvania,” Levine said. “We are not looking to take people to court.”

Ideally, she said, commonwealth officials would prefer no one travel to or from Pennsylvania for the holidays.

The health secretary said she has also strengthened Pennsylvania’s universal masking order, now requiring people to wear masks anywhere where people are indoors or outdoors with others who are not members of their household. Masks are required outside where it isn’t possible to maintain at least a six foot distance from others, according to the order, and inside where people from multiple households are gathering, even if they can maintain a social distance. Levine said law enforcement and business owners will be responsible for enforcing these orders.

At hospitals, Levine said administrators should make plans soon for a scenario in which they reach capacity, perhaps as early as December, but will leave it up to hospitals to determine what measures are necessary in their region. These steps may include moving up elective procedures to protect certain patients heading into the winter, she said, or suspending such surgeries if the hospital is strained.

Hospitalizations are rising, with 2,737 people hospitalized with the virus as of Tuesday, and at this rate, Levine said Pennsylvania will run out of ICU beds by December, according to modeling from the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation.

On colleges and university campuses, administrators should implement and enforce routine testing and quarantine procedures, especially as students come and go from holiday and semester breaks, she said.

She said she “rejects” the idea that these orders, if not enforced by the state, would amount to empty rhetoric that some residents ignore, saying “these are requirements.”

But “how Pennsylvania does in terms of this pandemic … is actually going to come down to the actions of every single Pennsylvania,” she said. “We all are blessed to have freedoms in this country, but with freedom comes responsibility.”

Levine’s announcements came on a day the commonwealth set a pandemic record with 5,900 additional confirmed cases reported Tuesday. It was the fifth time in the past six days that Pennsylvania has recorded more than 5,000 cases.

— Erin McCarthy

12:45 PM - November 17, 2020
12:45 PM - November 17, 2020

Jury duty in Philadelphia suspended due to spike in COVID-19 cases

Jury duty in Philadelphia has been suspended until at least January, the First Judicial District announced Tuesday, citing the upswing in COVID-19 cases and new restrictions put in place by the city on Monday.

Residents who have received a juror summons do not have to report as scheduled and will be given credit for at least one year, the courts said.

On Monday, the New Jersey Supreme Court ordered a suspension of jury trials in criminal and civil cases in response to the state’s coronavirus surge. In-person grand jury panels will go online, and virtual grand juries have been established in all 21 counties.

— Rob Tornoe

12:09 PM - November 17, 2020
12:09 PM - November 17, 2020

Pennsylvania reports 5,900 new cases, 30 additional deaths

The Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium conducted free COVID-19 tests as well as flu shots at Salem Baptist Church of Roslyn on Woodland Road in Abington, PA on Nov. 12, 2020.
CHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer
The Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium conducted free COVID-19 tests as well as flu shots at Salem Baptist Church of Roslyn on Woodland Road in Abington, PA on Nov. 12, 2020.

Pennsylvania added more than 5,000 new COVID-19 cases for the fifth time in six days as the commonwealth continues to experience a spike in infections.

The Department of Health reported 5,900 new cases on Tuesday, setting yet another pandemic high. The commonwealth is now averaging 5,265 new cases a day over the past seven days, according to an Inquirer analysis.

Across Pennsylvania, the percent positivity rate last week on tests conducted between Nov. 6 and Nov. 12 was 9.6%, up sharply from the 6.9% positivity rate reported the previous week. On Tuesday, 2,575 patients were hospitalized, up from 1,827 a week ago.

Overall, 275,513 Pennsylvania residents have tested positive for COVID-19, and at least 9,355 have died, with 30 new deaths reported on Thursday. Of the commonwealth’s deaths, 6,086 have occurred in residents from nursing or personal care facilities.

— Rob Tornoe

10:45 AM - November 17, 2020
10:45 AM - November 17, 2020

Two popular Philly cheesesteak spots closed due to COVID-19 cases

Joe’s Steaks and Soda Shop is closing its Fishtown and Torresdale locations after two staffers tested positive for COVID-19, owners announced on Facebook Tuesday morning.

Unfortunately, we must temporarily close our stores again due to Covid-19. Thank you everyone for your support and stay safe. We will see you again soon.

Posted by Joe's Steaks + Soda Shop on Tuesday, November 17, 2020

It’s the second time Joe’s had to close due to coronavirus cases. Back in June, both locations shut down for several days after a staffer tested positive.

John’s Roast Pork was also forced to shut down temporarily on Friday after relatives of two employees tested positive for COVID-19, owner John Bucci told the Inquirer.

The staffers themselves tested negative, but remain quarantined. John’s will remain closed until Tuesday, Nov. 24, Bucci said.

Beginning on Friday, Philadelphia will once again ban indoor dining due to a sharp rise in new COVID-19 cases. Outdoor dining may continue, but tables will be limited to parties of four people who live in the same household.

The new restrictions will remain in effect until at least Jan. 1, city officials said Monday

— Rob Tornoe and Michael Klein

10:00 AM - November 17, 2020
10:00 AM - November 17, 2020

Hospitalization rates rising in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware

— Dominique DeMoe

9:45 AM - November 17, 2020
9:45 AM - November 17, 2020

SEPTA faces potential service cuts and layoffs due to impact of COVID-19

SEPTA General Manager Leslie Richards rides the Broad Street Line at NRG Station after holding a press briefing on the return of Sports Express service for Sunday's Eagles-Ravens game on Friday, Oct. 16, 2020.
HEATHER KHALIFA / Staff Photographer
SEPTA General Manager Leslie Richards rides the Broad Street Line at NRG Station after holding a press briefing on the return of Sports Express service for Sunday's Eagles-Ravens game on Friday, Oct. 16, 2020.

Ridership on SEPTA buses, trolleys, Market-Frankford, Broad Street, and Norristown High Speed Lines was down about 70% from pre-pandemic levels in October. Regional Rail is much worse off — running with about 85% fewer riders than usual, with little expectation of figures rebounding any time soon.

SEPTA anticipates an operating revenue shortfall of about $350 million by the end of its fiscal year in June.

Without additional federal relief to stem losses from the pandemic as well as long-term funding solutions to ensure SEPTA’s longevity, extreme measures — including service cuts, layoffs, and fare increases — are on the table.

“I cannot state clearly enough that every option will be considered,” said SEPTA General Manager Leslie Richards. “That is both on the cuts side, as well as on how we need to make changes. We simply cannot afford to approach it in any other way.”

In testimony to lawmakers in August, Richards outlined a bleak future for SEPTA if Harrisburg doesn’t boost its funding. Maps shared with officials showing possible Regional Rail cuts can’t be found on SEPTA’s website.

— Patricia Madej

8:30 AM - November 17, 2020
8:30 AM - November 17, 2020

800 Bucks County nurses go on strike over ‘dangerous’ staffing levels

Stacy Cipollone on strike along with other registered nurses who protest outside their employer, St. Mary Medical Center, in Langhorne, PA, Tuesday, November 17, 2020.
JESSICA GRIFFIN / Staff Photographer
Stacy Cipollone on strike along with other registered nurses who protest outside their employer, St. Mary Medical Center, in Langhorne, PA, Tuesday, November 17, 2020.

Nearly 800 nurses at a Bucks County hospital went on strike Tuesday morning over what they describe as dangerously low staffing levels that prevent them from providing high-quality care to patients.

The nurses, who are represented by Pennsylvania health care union PASNAP, say they have no choice but to strike now as they fear the staffing situation will only grow more dire since COVID hospitalizations and deaths are expected to rise this winter.

Low staffing, they say, is tied to low wages.

“Nurses are literally fleeing to other hospitals 20 minutes away where they can make $6 to $7 more an hour,” said nurse Kathy McKamey, who’s worked at St. Mary for 10 years.

In a statement, officials from Trinity Health, the Catholic health system that owns St. Mary, said it will hire “qualified, professional agency nurses” during the strike so that St. Mary can remain open.

The strike is planned for Tuesday and Wednesday but PASNAP nurses will not be allowed back to work until Sunday because Trinity Health officials say that’s how long it will take to safely transition work away from the replacement nurses.

— Juliana Feliciano Reyes

7:40 AM - November 17, 2020
7:40 AM - November 17, 2020

New COVID-19 restrictions go into effect in New Jersey

New restrictions prohibiting indoor gatherings of more than 10 people went into effect Tuesday at 6 a.m. in New Jersey, as the state attempts to slow the spread of the virus.

According to an executive order signed by Gov. Phil Murphy Monday night, there are a number of exceptions, which include:

  • Weddings, funerals, memorial services, and religious and political activities will continue to be limited to 25% of the capacity of the room in which the gathering takes place, up to a maximum of 150 individuals.
  • Indoor sports events and practices will be permitted to exceed the 10 person limit only for players, coaches, and referees, but may not exceed 150 individuals.
  • Legislative and judicial proceedings are not subject to the indoor gatherings limits.

Gov. Phil Murphy also announced the state’s limit on outdoor gatherings will be lowered from 500 to 150 people beginning Monday, Nov. 23.

“What we’re doing today we know will cause some people to readjust their Thanksgiving plans,” Murphy said of the order to limit parties to 10 people. “We’re urging everybody to keep their Thanksgiving plans as small as possible. The smaller the gathering is, the less likely it is that someone is infected.”

Murphy said he hoped not to impose additional restrictions on indoor dining, sports, or other businesses, but acknowledged it was possible if people continue spreading the virus through indoor gatherings and house parties.

— Rob Tornoe, Allison Steele and Erin McCarthy

7:00 AM - November 17, 2020
7:00 AM - November 17, 2020

Philly reimposes restrictions as cases soar and hospitalizations double

A pedestrian walks by the marquee of the Ritz movie theater on Walnut Street in Philadelphia, Pa. on November 16, 2020.
DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer
A pedestrian walks by the marquee of the Ritz movie theater on Walnut Street in Philadelphia, Pa. on November 16, 2020.

Philadelphia will close indoor restaurant dining, gyms, and museums starting on Friday and will require office workers to work remotely in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus as new cases surge.

The new restrictions will last through Jan. 1, and include limits on outdoor gatherings and a ban on public and private indoor gatherings — making it a violation of city regulations for residents to hold holiday gatherings with anyone outside their own households.

Philadelphia had an average of more than 650 new cases of COVID-19 per day in the week that ended Saturday, Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said — the highest weekly average since the start of the pandemic. Farley said case counts are doubling every 17 days, hospitalizations have doubled in the past 11 days, and the positivity rate of tests is rapidly increasing.

— Erin McCarthy

6:40 AM - November 17, 2020
6:40 AM - November 17, 2020

Pennsylvania and New Jersey continue to see cases soar and hospitalization rise

CAMcare nurse manager Naima Adams (right) uses a nasopharyngeal swab to perform a coronavirus (COVID-19) test on a man at CAMcare Health Corp. 817 Federal St., Camden, N.J. on Nov. 16, 2020.
ELIZABETH ROBERTSON / Staff Photographer
CAMcare nurse manager Naima Adams (right) uses a nasopharyngeal swab to perform a coronavirus (COVID-19) test on a man at CAMcare Health Corp. 817 Federal St., Camden, N.J. on Nov. 16, 2020.

With nearly 10,000 new infections reported in Pennsylvania between Sunday and Monday and New Jersey coming off a weekend that saw its two top highest counts of new daily cases ever, leaders on Monday across the region urged renewed intensity in the face of pandemic fatigue.

“Maybe you think people aren’t getting sick anymore or dying anymore,” said New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, addressing younger people as he urged residents to pick up contact tracers' calls. “These are the cold facts. More and more people are fighting for their lives against COVID-19 as we sit here, and we are now seeing an increase in the numbers of people who are dying.”

Pennsylvania reported 4,476 additional confirmed cases Monday, along with 5,199 cases recorded Sunday. The statewide positivity rate has increased to 9.6% from 6.8% last week, according to state data. Hospitalizations are also continuing a steady climb, with 2,440 people hospitalized with the coronavirus as of Monday, said Health Secretary Rachel Levine.

New Jersey reported 2,232 cases and 14 deaths on Monday. The rate of transmission in the state is now 1.4, meaning each infection is leading to more than one new case.

Here’s where things stand through Tuesday, according to an Inquirer analysis of data from each local health department:

  • Pennsylvania: Averaging 5,045 new cases a day, a 58% increase over last week’s average (3,186 a day) and 340% higher than last month’s average (1,146 a day).
  • New Jersey: Averaging 3,577 new cases a day, a 60% increase over last week’s average (2,238 a day) and 252% higher than last month’s average (1,016 a day).
  • Delaware: Averaging 327 new cases a day, a 48% increase over last week’s average (228 a day) and 165% higher than last month’s average (127 a day).

— Rob Tornoe

6:30 AM - November 17, 2020
6:30 AM - November 17, 2020

More people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the U.S. now than at any point during pandemic

In June, Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, predicted the United States could see upwards of 100,000 new COVID-19 cases a day. Nearly five months later, the country is now averaging more than 150,000 new cases a day as infections climb across the country. The United States has surpassed 100,000 new cases a day for 11 straight days.

More than 73,000 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in the United States on Monday, the most at any time during the pandemic and 13,000 more than this time last week, according to the COVID Tracking Project.

Overall, more than 11 million Americans have contracted COVID-19, and at least 246,000 have died. Deaths in the United States are running at more than 1,100 per day on average, an increase of over 50% from early October.

— Rob Tornoe

6:15 AM - November 17, 2020
6:15 AM - November 17, 2020

Tuesday morning roundup: Biden warns ‘more people may die’ due to Trump’s delays

President-elect Joe Biden answers questions about COVID-19 from Wilmington, Delaware on Monday afternoon.
ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP / MCT
President-elect Joe Biden answers questions about COVID-19 from Wilmington, Delaware on Monday afternoon.
  • President-elect Joe Biden warned that “more people may die” from COVID-19 if President Donald Trump doesn’t begin to allow his administration to work with the incoming president’s team on the plans for the mass distribution of coronavirus vaccines. “If we have to wait until Jan. 20 to start that planning, it puts us behind,” Biden said Monday. “More people may die if we don’t coordinate.”
  • Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, who had previously belittled mask orders, has implemented a statewide mask mandate as cases and hospitalizations continue to climb.
  • Scott Atlas, Trump’s top coronavirus advisor, is under fire after telling Michigan residents to “rise up” against the state’s new COVID-19 restrictions.
  • Scott Gottlieb, the former head of the Food and Drug Administration, said the combination of at least two effective coronavirus vaccines “could effectively end this pandemic in 2021.
  • Some patients in Wichita, Kan., are being held in emergency rooms while waiting for beds to open up. “I hate using that word, but it’s getting to the crisis level,” the county’s health officer said, according to the Wichita Eagle.