TL;DR: Democratic lawmakers in Pennsylvania are voicing outrage after the revelation that one of their Republican colleagues had tested positive for the coronavirus, even while party leaders advocated for the state to reopen. Elsewhere in Harrisburg, some lawmakers are asking why the state hasn’t yet tapped billions in federal relief money.
🏥 New Jersey critical care patient numbers have dropped more than 60% since the virus peaked, Gov. Phil Murphy said.
🌊 Pennsylvania state park beaches and some state park pools will reopen next week at reduced capacity.
💰Since the pandemic began, 1.9 million Pennsylvania workers have submitted jobless claims, or 29% of the workforce. In New Jersey, 1.1 million workers have sought unemployment benefits, 24% of the state’s workforce.
📈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.
The furor raises the stakes on a heated partisan split over how to legislate during the pandemic. While some Republican lawmakers said they were told of their potential exposure, Democrats say they only learned of it from a reporter, despite working in close proximity to Lewis. In a video statement, Rep. Brian Sims said, “I’m in a building right now surrounded by members that can’t go see their kids... because one of my colleagues tested positive but he was protecting his family but not protecting mine."
Pennsylvania hasn’t yet spent a dime of $3.9 billion in discretionary federal stimulus dollars intended to aid in coronavirus relief efforts. The state House and Senate have proposed separate plans to tap the money for hard-hit nursing homes and other long-term-care facilities across the state, while some federal lawmakers want the money spent on lost revenue. What happens to the money might depend on whether states get direct cash assistance from a future possible stimulus package.
Between fewer polling places, more face masks, and a massive surge in voting by mail, voting during this pandemic doesn’t look like anything we’ve seen before. From preparing for long lines to tracking your ballot, here’s what you need to know to prepare for Tuesday’s primary election. Voting by mail? Here’s how to find your closest ballot box.
✡️ Asking forgiveness from the dead: Why Jewish volunteers are washing bodies in a pandemic.
👐 We all know to stand six feet apart from each other. But what does six feet really look like?
🎨 A course at the Barnes Foundation is helping medical students learn to pause, listen, and reflect with seriously ill patients.
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