TL;DR: Some students who are spending more time on computers as the coronavirus pandemic has forced learning online “are dealing with fatigue, headaches and strain in a way they didn’t when classes were face-to-face,” my colleague Kristen Graham reports. Here is how schools are adapting to manage screen time. A new Temple study aims to predict which COVID-19 patients will develop serious symptoms.

— Ellie Silverman (@esilverman11,

What you need to know:

📈 Both Pennsylvania and New Jersey are averaging more than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases a day, with much of the growth being attributed to small gatherings with family and friends.

🏥 New cases are rising in every zip code in Philadelphia, the highest case counts since mid-May, Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said Tuesday.

😷 New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said today he will quarantine after learning that he was in contact with a staff member who tested positive for COVID-19. Hours later, a second staff member tested positive for the virus.

🗳️ Unsure how to vote safely during a pandemic? Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 3. Here’s what to know about voting in Pennsylvania and in New Jersey. See who’s on your Pennsylvania ballot here.

🧪 A Penn State study says mouthwash can kill coronavirus in lab dishes. But testing in humans is needed.

📰 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 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.

School is digital, kids are overwhelmed. How do you manage screen time in the COVID era?

Students are spending more time on their computers as the coronavirus pandemic is forcing schools to do most, if not all, learning virtually. While this is fine for some kids, my colleague Kristen Graham reports that others “are dealing with fatigue, headaches, and strain in a way they didn’t when classes were face-to-face.” Here is how schools are reacting and trying to manage screen time.

Will you get especially sick from the coronavirus? This study aims to find out.

Some COVID-19 patients develop “dangerous, systemic inflammation, triggered by an overactive immune response called a cytokine storm,” my colleague Tom Avril explains. Though it remains difficult to estimate whose body will react this way, a Temple University study identified some chemical “markers" that help predict who is more susceptible. Read more here.

Helpful resources

You got this: Make a DIY air filter

Are you stuck inside all day for work in a poorly ventilated space? “Maybe a windowless room in an aging Philadelphia school building, where the lack of fresh air raises the risk of spreading COVID-19,” Inquirer health reporter Tom Avril asks. Then, follow Tom’s step-by-step instructions to make your own air filter! It’s pretty easy, he says, and much less expensive than buying one. Check it out here.

👩‍🍳 Try these simple recipes to help ease parenting during the pandemic, and while kids learn to cook.

🍽️ The Inquirer’s Craig LaBan says Ange Branca’s Malaysian dishes sizzle at her pop-up dinner series.

💰 Is your small business eligible for PPP forgiveness? Here’s why you may want to wait.

Have a social distancing tip or question to share? Let us know at and your input might be featured in a future edition of this newsletter.

What we’re paying attention to

  • Does the Constitution include the right to be protected from infection? The Atlantic examines the Third Amendment for answers.

  • The CDC expanded the definition of who is a “close contact” of an individual with COVID-19 and the Washington Post explains how this could impact schools, workplaces and other group settings.

  • “This is not a joke”: 6ABC spoke with a Philadelphia man who spent 63 days on ventilator because of a COVID-19 infection. Hear his story here.

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