Hi everyone! I’m Ellie Silverman, a reporter on the Inquirer’s breaking news team. We’re revamping our nightly coronavirus newsletter to give you a deeper look at how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting your lives. We’ll have the stats for you on the number of cases in the region, the latest news about testing, medical breakthroughs, and government orders, and a few stories that will take your mind off of the outbreak.
TL;DR: Gov. Tom Wolf wants you to stay home if you live in one of seven Pennsylvania counties. I’ll tell you what that means and whom it impacts. He also announced statewide school closures that (for now) last into April. In medical developments, the race to find a vaccine is moving quickly but still seems to be more than a year away. And, in major international news, the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo are looking like they’ll be postponed.
📈There have been hundreds of reported coronavirus cases in the Philadelphia region. Track the spread here.
🏠 Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf ordered people to stay at home if they live in Philadelphia, Allegheny, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Monroe, or Montgomery Counties.
🎒Wolf also announced all Pennsylvania K-12 schools will remain closed at least through April 6. New Jersey schools are closed indefinitely.
🗳️ Pennsylvania is poised to move the state’s primary election from April 28 to June 2.
🏅A member of the International Olympic Committee says the the 2020 Tokyo Olympics are expected to be postponed due to the new coronavirus pandemic.
As of Monday afternoon, here’s how many cases have been confirmed in the Philadelphia area:
The counties hardest hit by the spread of the new coronavirus will soon be facing more severe restrictions. Gov. Tom Wolf’s stay-at-home order requires you to stay inside, unless you need to make an essential trip, like going to the grocery store or seeking medical help.
The order, which goes into effect at 8 p.m. and last two weeks, applies to Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery Counties in the southeast, Monroe County in the northeast, and Allegheny County in Western Pennsylvania.
“Before we can recover, Wolf said Monday, “we must survive.”
Scientists are racing to develop a vaccine for the new coronavirus, but even at their most rapid pace, the end result could be a year and a half away.
Though this may seem like an extremely long time to all of us who are not scientists, my colleague Tom Avril reports that 18 months would actually be the fastest development of a vaccine yet. It usually takes years, even decades, to design a vaccine, prove that it’s safe and that it works and, create a manufacturing facility to mass produce the vaccine.
And a vaccine isn’t the only thing the medical community is racing for. An intensive care doctor wrote for The Inquirer about desperately needing more vital medical technology such as ventilators. Also, the families of Philadelphia’s health-care workers are facing painful choices and anxiety as their relatives become the first responders to the outbreak.
🐶Thanks to you, more homeless animals are being saved around Philly than ever.
🏒 Who runs the Flyers? These women are behind Gritty’s voice and the Rage Room.
🥊 We asked people to watch the same movie this weekend, Rocky, and talk about why they loved it, or in some cases didn’t. Here’s what they said.
Going on a walk or getting some exercise is allowed under the stay-at-home order. Our architecture columnist Inga Saffron writes about the importance of parks and how they can be a place where “we can demonstrate our social connectedness only by coming together in the same place — at least six feet apart.”
Have a social distancing tip or question to share? Let us know at email@example.com and your input might be featured in a future edition of this newsletter.
If you’re a senior citizen, immunocompromised, or have an underlying medical condition, you may not feel safe to leave your home to get groceries. Eighteen-year-old Jasleen Gill wants to help.
“We should practice social distancing, but now is also the time to come out and help," Gill said. “We as the younger generation have to take care of the older generation."