TL;DR: Pennsylvania’s health department has approval to spend nearly $27 million to ramp up contact tracing efforts, warning of potentially dire consequences from community spread. And from pizza parlors to crowded beaches, who’s winning and losing down the Shore this year?

— Allison Steele (@AESteele,

What you need to know:

🛑 President Donald Trump called off plans for a Republican National Convention celebration in Florida, saying “To have a big convention is not the right time.”

🔒 After massive outcry from parents and teachers, plans to open Philadelphia’s schools for in-person learning are on hold. Meanwhile, Temple University’s faculty union said that teachers should not be required to attend classes in person.

🍎 New Jersey officials released guidelines for school districts and students on remote learning, saying that all students are eligible for online-only classes.

👐 “Social distance ambassadors” are coming to Wissahickon Valley Park this weekend to keep visitors apart and remind them of safety guidelines.

📰 What’s going on in your county? We organized recent coverage of the coronavirus pandemic by local counties mentioned in the stories to make it easier for you to find the info you care about.

Local coronavirus cases

📈The coronavirus has swept across the Philadelphia region and cases continue to mount. The Inquirer and Spotlight PA are compiling geographic data on tests conducted, cases confirmed, and deaths caused by the virus. Track the spread here.

Along with masks, social distancing, and testing, contact tracing is one of the best ways to slow the spread of COVID-19, experts say, and Pennsylvania officials are looking to outside companies for help. Though some counties have seen a rise in cases in recent weeks, experts say we still have a chance to stop the virus. But in Pennsylvania’s political landscape, where the coronavirus has become a divisive political debate, questions remain about whether people will be cooperative enough for contact tracing to work.

This summer at the Shore, tents are up for outdoor dining, drinks are flowing on the Atlantic City boardwalk, beach houses are selling fast, and amusement parks can’t find enough staff. With inside dining on hold and retail constrained, some at the Shore have figured out a way to thrive, while others barely hang on.

Helpful resources

You got this: Go Phils!

Baseball returns to Citizens Bank Park Friday at 7:05 p.m. as the Phillies kick off their 2020 season. Spitting and high-fiving are prohibited, coaches will wear masks, and fans have been replaced by cardboard cutouts and artificial crowd noise — but just three weeks ago, “none of us were sure if we were going to be able to get to this day,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said.

🏠 Need to break your lease? These are your rights as a tenant.

🎨 A Tacony artist drew a Philly block party for the cover of Highlights, the famous magazine for children.

💗 El Compadre restaurant in South Philly has transformed into the People’s Kitchen, where a roster of guest chefs cook 1,000 free meals a week for those in need.

Have a social distancing tip or question to share? Let us know at and your input might be featured in a future edition of this newsletter.

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