TL;DR: New Jersey’s beaches can open by Memorial Day weekend, Gov. Phil Murphy announced, but social-distancing guidelines will remain in place. “The Jersey shore is where memories are made,” Murphy said. “The last thing any of us wanted was a summertime down the shore to be a memory.”

— Allison Steele (@AESteele, health@inquirer.com)

What you need to know:

🇺🇸 President Donald Trump visited a Lehigh Valley warehouse, and said it was time for Pennsylvania to reopen. See photos of his visit here.

🛑 Bucks County is “rapidly moving” toward the first phase of reopening, according to county leaders. Gov. Tom Wolf on Friday is set to announce more counties that can progress to the “yellow” phase. Here’s how low case counts need to be for Southeastern Pennsylvania to start reopening.

💰 Another 3 million Americans filed unemployment claims last week, bringing the nationwide total to 36.5 million since the onset of coronavirus lockdowns.

🎨 Local fiction writers and an illustrator imagined what Philadelphia might be like in a 2021 post-pandemic world.

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.

Gov. Phil Murphy said he would sign an executive order to reopen New Jersey’s beaches, ending weeks of speculation among anxious Shore-goers. But beach capacity will be limited to allow for social distancing, and boardwalk restaurants will continue operating for delivery and take-out only.

Beach showers, changing areas, and restrooms will open, as well as restrooms at parks. Amusement parks will stay closed for now. But “this is not a life sentence,” Murphy said, adding that he will continue to look at easing restrictions.

As coronavirus cases spread, hospitals were told to suspend non-urgent and elective surgeries. Organ transplants are considered essential, but the complex surgeries often use many of the same resources — and in some cases the same doctors — needed in COVID-19 units. This means hospitals have had to scale back the number of procedures they can perform, and weigh a patient’s risk of dying without one.

Helpful resources

You got this: Get ready for the next ‘new normal’

We’re all adjusting to our changed world, but as businesses reopen and other restrictions are lifted, it will change again. Our staff writers compiled resources for how to start preparing for the next phase of life during a pandemic, including strategies for coping with the unknown, answers to commonly asked questions, and even some ideas for takeout to eat and drink.

⚾ What would sports events look like with smaller crowds, or no fans at all? Sports writer Mike Jensen talked to the people who are trying to figure it out.

💗 For some parents, full-time working and child-rearing has come with stress but also unexpected joy.

🎓 Many college students are struggling to manage their mental health during the pandemic. Here’s how they can get help.

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

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