TL;DR: Indoor youth and high school sports in New Jersey will be banned starting Friday for the rest of the year, and the limit of people allowed to gather outdoors will be reduced to 25, from 150, both efforts to suppress an ongoing surge of new cases of the coronavirus, Gov. Phil Murphy announced. Temporary restaurant closings are piling up with the approach of winter. Among the latest temporary shutdowns are two South Philadelphia bar-restaurants.

— Kelly O’Shea (@kelloshea, health@inquirer.com)

What you need to know:

👨‍👧‍👧 New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy encouraged anyone who spent Thanksgiving with non-household members to get tested, but said anecdotal evidence suggested most residents kept celebrations small.

💉 Moderna said it would ask U.S. and European regulators Monday to allow emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine as new study results confirm the shots are more than 94% effective at preventing serious illness.

🏫 Pennsylvania Health Secretary Rachel Levine said the commonwealth does not plan to require school children to be vaccinated against coronavirus before returning to classrooms in the 2021-2022 school year.

🥡 Restaurants have played all their cards against the pandemic. With restrictions tightening again just as the holiday season arrives, what strategies will they try to survive this winter?

🩺 Pennsylvania on Monday set a pandemic record for hospitalizations, with 4,405 people hospitalized across the commonwealth, 970 of whom were being treated in intensive care units.

🏀 St. Joseph’s men’s basketball team is pausing all activities for 14 days after a positive COVID-19 test among its organization.

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

N.J. tightens restrictions on outdoor gatherings, indoor sports

Indoor youth and high school sports in New Jersey will be banned starting Friday for the rest of the year, an effort to suppress an ongoing surge of new cases of the coronavirus, Gov. Phil Murphy announced. He said he hoped it would be temporary, acknowledging the health benefits of team sports. College and professional sports are exempted. Additionally, effective next Monday, the state’s limit on the size of outdoor gatherings will drop from 150 to 25, with exceptions made for weddings, funerals and other protected activities.

The latest Philly restaurants to close temporarily

Temporary restaurant closings are piling up with the approach of winter, as prospects fade for outdoor dining. The effects of government restrictions are particularly acute in Philadelphia, which on Nov. 20 banned all indoor dining. Among the latest restaurants and bars to announce temporary shutdowns are two South Philadelphia bar-restaurants on opposite ends of the dining spectrum: the posh Le Virtu, which wrapped till 2021 effective Nov. 29, and Devil’s Den, a casual bar that will mark its last call outside Dec. 6 and plans a series of pop-up shops. Both are expected to return in 2021 when restrictions ease.

Helpful resources

You got this: Pizza for a good cause

The buzziest pizza operation in Philadelphia right now might be Good Pizza, a passion project run by Ben Berman, a 27-year-old graduate student at Wharton. He bakes 20 New York-style pies in his Center City apartment’s electric oven and then gives them away. All you have to do is donate money, which he sends to his favorite causes. My colleague Mike Klein spoke with Berman about going viral on Instagram after a post from Barstool Sports.

🧀 My colleague Craig Laban says these ornaments make perfect gifts for Philadelphia cheese lovers.

🎭 The Arden’s beloved Frog and Toad is getting a limited run online — plus more family fun this week.

⛸️ A blogger visited Philadelphia’s Christmas Village last week and asks: How can the city tell us we’re safer at home then invite us to come gather at City Hall?

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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