As a public service, The Inquirer is making this article and other critical public health and safety coverage of the coronavirus available to all readers.

TL;DR: New Jersey now has the second-highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States, behind only New York. That could prove even more troubling, as Pennsylvania and New Jersey won’t have enough life-saving ventilators for the most critically ill patients. In national news, lawmakers in Washington seem close to reaching a nearly $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus deal to help workers and businesses impacted by the coronavirus. But, while President Donald Trump says he wants the country opened up “by Easter,” local officials disagree.

Make sure you check Inquirer.com/coronavirus for the latest news and please feel free to tell your family and friends to sign up. Also, thank you to everyone who emailed me yesterday, I appreciate your story ideas and feedback. Keep 'em coming.

— Ellie Silverman (@esilverman11, health@inquirer.com)

What you need to know

🏠 Philly officials say it is too early to predict when the coronavirus stay-at-home order will be lifted.

🏥 New Jersey now has the second-highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in United States, with its cases doubling every one or two days.

💰Lawmakers in Washington inch forward on a nearly $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus deal to help workers and businesses.

🇺🇸 President Donald Trump wants the country opened up “by Easter,” saying "this cure is worse than the problem.”

Local coronavirus cases

📈As of Tuesday night, there are hundreds of reported cases in the Philadelphia area. Track the spread here.

  • PHILADELPHIA: 252 confirmed cases (up from 128 on March 23)
  • SUBURBAN PA: 333 confirmed cases (up from 273 on March 23)
  • SOUTH JERSEY: 120 confirmed cases (up from 85 on March 23)

There are only 2,000 ventilators in Pennsylvania and 1,700 in New Jersey, meaning if we continue to see a surge in coronavirus cases, hospitals won’t have enough ventilators to save the most critically ill patients. My colleagues Jason Laughlin and Wendy Ruderman report on the potential consequences of this inadequate supply, and how it mirrors what is happening across the country.

“It’s a frighteningly low number," Jeremy M. Kahn, professor of critical care medicine and health policy and management at the University of Pittsburgh, said of Pennsylvania’s numbers.

This is one of the reasons why steps like social distancing, and in some cases, a lockdown, are crucial, my colleague Marie McCullough reports. It may be too late considering the escalation of cases in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, but Meghan Lane-Fall, an intensive care doctor, anesthesiologist, and researcher at Penn Medicine, wrote it could still help "give everyone who falls to this virus the best chance.

You can read more from Dr. Drew Harris, a population health and health policy analyst at Thomas Jefferson University about how flattening the coronavirus curve goes way beyond science.

More and more testing sites are popping up around the region. But for most, you can’t just show up. Some hospitals may only accept referrals from doctors in their networks, other sites require you to make an appointment. In any case, you should call your primary care doctor, if you have one, and tell them about your symptoms.

If you have common coronavirus symptoms, which can include a dry cough and fever, and are a medical worker or at a high-risk (age 65 and older, immunocomprised, or have an underlying medical condition) you are more likely to be able to get a test.

But if you are not feeling sick, you do not need to get a test, Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said Friday near the new site outside Citizens Bank Park.

“If you don’t have symptoms, " Farley said, “you don’t need a test. Don’t bother coming here."

Let’s take a quick break

🐶 Forget dog vs. mailman. These dogs have nothing but puppy love for delivery people.

🏀 Here are the top 10 buzzer-beater videos from 2019-20 high school basketball season.

🍕What’s Craig LaBan cooking? A pizza recipe from Philly’s own Joe Beddia.

Social distancing tip of the day: Take fitness classes at home

You might not be able to go to your favorite yoga instructor’s class or hit the gym with your friends, but you can stream classes right from your home. Here’s a list of classes and how to stream them.

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.

What we’re paying attention to

It’s not all horrible

The drag show must go on, even when we aren’t allowed to gather together, my colleague Stephanie Farr reports. It’s becoming “Dragged Into A Computer,” a virtual drag show featuring eight drag kings and queens from across the city and airing at 8 p.m. Wednesday on West Philly drag queen Swan Flambé’s Facebook page. The organizers are asking people to pay a donation/entry fee of $10 via Venmo to @swanflambe. The money will go toward the performers and the Philadelphia Performance Artists’ Emergency Fund.

“I wanted to support the vision of that fund and also keep the spirit of queer performance alive while having gatherings wasn’t possible,” said Robyn Bonacci, who portrays Swan Flambé. “I figured if ever there was a time to do this, it’s now.”

Helpful resources

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