TL;DR: Pennsylvania has reported more than 1,000 new cases for nine consecutive days and the data shows increases across age groups — a trend the commonwealth’s health secretary said points to “the start of the fall resurgence.” People can be reinfected with the coronavirus, a new study suggests, and although it is hard to say how rare this is, these cases raise a series of questions “about the strength and length of natural protective immunity; the role of vaccines in strengthening immunity; and hopes for ‘herd immunity,'” my colleague Marie McCullough explains.

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

What you need to know:

📚 Coronavirus outbreaks have halted in-person classes at several Philly-area schools and some Philly students may not set foot in a classroom this school year.

🇺🇸 President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden will hold overlapping town halls Thursday night instead of a second presidential debate after Trump declined to participate in a virtual format. Biden’s town hall will take place in Philadelphia.

😷 Melania Trump says her and President Trump’s teenage son, Barron, tested positive for the coronavirus but has no symptoms.

🏈 Eagles fans will be allowed back into Lincoln Financial Field after Philadelphia loosened restrictions on crowd size limits. The state’s health secretary says fans “should feel safe” returning.

🍽️ Can outdoor dining persist in wind and rain? Some restaurants have design innovations that might help.

💰 The Small Business Administration’s loan forgiveness prompts relief, but also confusion about timeline and rules. Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Wednesday that a new economic relief bill is unlikely before the election.

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

Pennsylvania has reported more than 1,000 new cases of the coronavirus for nine consecutive days and the data shows increases across age groups — a concerning trend that Health Secretary Rachel Levine said seems to point to “the start of the fall resurgence” of the coronavirus. Around the country, Levine said, “it really is small gatherings that tend to be driving this, and I feel like we’re seeing that in Pennsylvania.” Despite the increase, Levine said officials do not plan to shut down businesses or issue a stay-at-home order like the one last spring.

A report published this week details how a 25-year-old man, who had no known immune problems, was sickened with a mild case of COVID-19 in April, but a month later was diagnosed again and needed hospitalization and oxygen. The report’s authors say there have been at least three other confirmed cases published worldwide and although it is hard to say how rare reinfection is, these cases raise a series of questions “about the strength and length of natural protective immunity; the role of vaccines in strengthening immunity; and hopes for ‘herd immunity,'” my colleague Marie McCullough explains. Read more here.

Helpful resources

You got this: Keep wearing a mask

My colleague Grace Dickinson spoke to experts who explained why it is still important to wear your mask, social distance, and regularly wash your hands when seeing someone outside of your household — even if one of you already had the coronavirus. Some of those reasons include: We don’t know how long immunity lasts and a person could feel better but still be a carrier. Read more here.

🎶 Fans are allowed back at Eagles games. But don’t expect Philly concerts to return anytime soon.

🦠 Coronaspeak has gone viral, and the English language may never be the same.

🍸 Need a drink? Apple, pumpkin, and tahini give these cocktail recipes a fall remix.

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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