TL;DR: Some Philadelphians are waiting weeks before receiving their coronavirus test results, while public health experts recommend people who do get tested should received their results within 24 to 48 hours because while waiting for results, they could potentially expose others in the community to the virus. “It took 17 phone calls and I was on hold for hours. By the 14th day, I still hadn’t gotten my result back,” one Philadelphian told my colleague Bethany Ao. Check out the app that helps jobless workers avoid hours of busy signals at the Pa. unemployment office.
What you need to know:
😷 As cases across the country rise, President-elect Joe Biden said he will urge every American to wear a mask while in public for the first 100 days of his term.
🏥 Pennsylvania’s health secretary expressed “significant concern” as some counties have run out of ICU beds. Pennsylvania reported more than 11,000 new cases both Thursday and Friday.
✈️ A new program for COVID-19 testing started at Philadelphia International Airport Friday.
🦠 At least 60 inmates are infected at the Cumberland County Jail, almost 20% of the facility’s population, and local leaders are now requesting state intervention, saying they have no confidence jail officials can manage the spread.
🏀 The Temple basketball team is working out, with restrictions, during its 14-day quarantine period.
📚 ‘It’s not boo-boos and Band-Aids’: COVID-19 thrust school nurses onto the frontline.
📰 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.
Some Philadelphians are waiting weeks before receiving their coronavirus test results, my colleague Bethany Ao reports. Public health experts recommend that people who do get tested should received their results within 24 to 48 hours because while waiting for results, they could potentially expose others in the community to the virus. “It took 17 phone calls and I was on hold for hours. By the 14th day, I still hadn’t gotten my result back,” one Philadelphian said. Read more here.
Some jobless workers told my colleague Christian Hetrick that they’ve dialed the Pennsylvania’s unemployment office hundreds of times in a day, tried dialing on multiple phones at once, or waited weeks for answers via email. Also struggling to reach the office, Nigel Smith, a 24-year-old freelance computer coder who lives in Allentown, decided to make a program to do it for him. He created a web browser extension that badgers the agency’s online chat bot until someone answers, and it has been downloaded more than 1,800 times. Read more here.
Symptoms of COVID-19, flu, common cold, and allergies can overlap. How to tell the difference.
These principles of social distancing can help you figure out what you can and can’t do.
The coronavirus is mainly transmitted through the air. Here’s how to tell if your ventilation is OK.
What to consider if you’re thinking about traveling this winter.
You got this: Stay safe, do stuff
Here is one highlight from our weekly events calendar:
PFS Drive-In at the Navy Yard (Movies / in-person / drive-in / family friendly / multi-day) The Philadelphia Film Society’s drive-in movies can accommodate up to 200 cars per screening. Holiday programming includes screenings of A Christmas Story, Dec. 5; Polar Express, Dec. 10 (to benefit Philabundance); Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Dec. 12; Love Actually, Dec. 17, and Elf, Dec. 19. ($7-$12, screening to Polar Express is free with a donation, through Dec. 19, 6 p.m., filmadelphia.org, map, add to calendar)
Have a social distancing tip or question to share? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org and your input might be featured in a future edition of this newsletter.
What we’re paying attention to
There have been few coronavirus outbreaks in youth sports, but ice hockey has been different. The Washington Post explains why.
Election officials across the country have violated their own COVID-19 restrictions. Vice reports on all of these violations, calling it the “COVID Hypocrites Hall of Shame?” Check it out here.
The New York Times reports how 700 epidemiologists are living now, like going to the grocery store or seeing friends outdoors, and what these experts expect for the future.
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