TL;DR: At least 1,800 seniors at long-term care facilities in Philadelphia have been infected by the coronavirus, and nine city nursing homes had 50 or more cases by mid-April, according to city records obtained by The Inquirer. More than half of the people who have died of coronavirus in Philadelphia have been residents of nursing homes.

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— Chris Palmer (@cs_palmer, health@inquirer.com)

What you need to know:

💰Seven northeastern states, including Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, will band together to purchase $5 billion in personal protective equipment to safeguard against future supply shortages, officials announced Sunday.

👐 In New Jersey this weekend, several state parks were declared “overrun," leading to warnings and parking lot shutdowns.

🛑 As cases continued to mount in Southeastern Pennsylvania, the state’s health secretary said Saturday that it was “impossible to judge” when the region might move into the first phase of reopening.

Local coronavirus cases

📈As of Sunday evening, there are thousands of reported cases in the Philadelphia area. Track the spread here.

As the coronavirus has swept through Philadelphia, it has taken root in almost all of the city’s long-term care facilities, infecting at least 1,800 seniors since March 20, according to city records obtained exclusively by The Inquirer.

The consequences have been catastrophic: At least nine Philadelphia nursing homes had 50 or more cases by mid-April, and as of Saturday, 374 nursing home residents had died of the virus — accounting for more than half of Philadelphia’s COVID-19 deaths.

The economy’s rapid slide has created uncertainty for school districts across the region, with many leaders wondering how much tax revenue they might lose as businesses remain closed and unemployment skyrockets.

Upper Darby is scaling back plans to hire reading specialists and guidance counselors for its elementary schools, while officials in Cheltenham think their anticipated budget hole could triple.

One researcher estimated that financial woes from the coronavirus could eliminate 9,000 teaching jobs in Pennsylvania, about 6% of the state’s teachers, and more than 10,000, or 7%, in New Jersey.

Helpful resources

You got this: How to (safely) enjoy the outdoors

A man does jumping jacks along the Schuylkill and under the Twin Bridges in the East Falls section of Philadelphia on Saturday.
CHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer
A man does jumping jacks along the Schuylkill and under the Twin Bridges in the East Falls section of Philadelphia on Saturday.

After a dreary April, this weekend’s weather marked a spectacular beginning for May. Even in this age of social distancing, public officials have encouraged people to safely enjoy the outdoors for exercise, recreation, and to get a mental health break. Here’s our guide on how to hike, camp, golf, and more — all while remaining responsible and safe.

🚴 Where you can get your bike fixed in Philly during the pandemic.

👌 How to make your own disinfecting wipes.

☕ Brew yourself something different: Here’s how to make a latte without an espresso machine.

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

  • As the coronavirus ravaged the country in April, President Donald Trump “repeatedly embraced fantasy cure-alls and tuned out both the reality that the first wave has yet to significantly recede and the possibility of a potentially worse second wave in the fall," the Washington Post reports.
  • Kaiser Health News: The federal government has spent $36 billion converting to electronic health records, but the pandemic has exposed significant shortcomings with the system.
  • With their previously-busy schedule suddenly on hold, The Roots and their manager have been re-thinking how to connect with audiences. They spoke to Fast Company.

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