The gist: White people represent nearly three quarters of those who received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in Pennsylvania (not including Philadelphia). Meanwhile, just 4% are Black and 4% are Hispanic. This racial divide is leaving many at risk as the commonwealth reopens. Plus, financial safety nets that expanded during the pandemic, like the federal government’s unemployment assistance program, excluded many pregnant people and new mothers. Read more here.

We won’t be in your inbox on Friday or Monday, but the newsletter will resume with a weekly edition on June 2. Have a great Memorial Day weekend!

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

What you need to know:

☀️ Pennsylvania will fully reopen Memorial Day, lifting COVID-19 rules. Philadelphia will fully reopen June 11.

💉 FEMA has closed its mass vaccination site at Esperanza, but Philadelphia will take over running the site at the Pennsylvania Convention Center through June 16.

🏖️ Jersey Shore businesses are praying for sun and a rebound from last year as Memorial Day approaches.

💰 Delaware announced new incentives for people to get vaccinated, including a $302,000 jackpot and rare license plates.

🦠 Pennsylvania GOP lawmakers moved to end parts of Gov. Tom Wolf’s coronavirus disaster order.

⚕️ As Black faith communities deal with COVID-19 fallout, this New Jersey deacon helps raise mental-health awareness.

😷 Here’s how the Philadelphia VA Health Care System is helping overcome vaccine hesitancy among veterans.

📰 What’s going on in your county or neighborhood? We organize recent coverage of the pandemic by local counties and Philly neighborhoods to make it easier for you to find info you care about. Sign up here to get those local headlines sent directly to your inbox on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Local coronavirus numbers

📈The Inquirer and Spotlight PA are compiling geographic data on confirmed coronavirus cases, deaths caused by the virus, and vaccinations to curb the spread. Track the latest data here.

A stark racial divide on vaccinations leaves many at risk as Pa. reopens

The same communities that were disproportionally sickened by the coronavirus are still more at risk as people shed their masks and Pennsylvania reopens. About 73% of people who have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in the commonwealth outside of Philadelphia are white, while 4% are Black and 4% are Hispanic. “We’ll have a population with much lower vaccination rates and much higher exposures, so that’s going to be a very worrisome picture,” said Dr. Usama Bilal, an assistant professor in epidemiology and biostatistics at Drexel University. Read more here.

Many pregnant workers and new mothers were left out of COVID-19 aid

Teneema Tibbs was one of many pregnant people left out of the safety nets put in place during the pandemic, an exclusion that thrust many new mothers into financial instability when they were at their most vulnerable. “I had no income. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do,” Tibbs said. “It was just a lot of stress. It’s like: Do I sacrifice us being behind on bills, or do I sacrifice the both of our health?” Read more here about how coronavirus assistance policies left out new mothers like Tibbs.

Helpful resources

You got this: Memorial Day weekend guide

The long weekend is almost here, and we’re excited. Whether you’re going to the Shore or staying closer to home, we have everything you need to make it fun. Check it out here.

🎶 The Made in America music festival will return this Labor Day weekend after it was canceled in 2020 because of the pandemic.

🎨 The Franklin Institute of Philadelphia lets kids color on the floor.

😷 “Don’t believe it when people say ‘no one wants to work anymore,’” columnist Jenice Armstrong writes.

Have a 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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