TL;DR: Pennsylvania officials announced new coronavirus restrictions this week to go effect tomorrow and last until Jan. 4, the strictest regulations since the commonwealth’s springtime stay-at-home order. Read a breakdown here. At least a dozen gyms and restaurants around Pennsylvania have said they plan to stay open in violation of the new regulations.

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

What you need to know:

🚫 Delaware also enacted new COVID-19 restrictions, which include a nightly curfew for restaurants and bars and capacity reductions for retail stores and businesses.

🚨 A surge of new COVID cases in Philadelphia left more than 500 cops unable to work last week, according to department data.

😷 An outside advisory committee to the U.S. Food Food and Drug Administration has recommended Pfizer’s vaccine for emergency use authorization, clearing the way for final FDA approval soon. And the vaccine is expected to arrive in New Jersey within days, meaning that healthcare workers will start receiving the vaccines next week.

🏥 In the Philly area, COVID-19 cases are rising fastest in Camden. Health workers are going door-to-door to stop the surge.

📰 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.

New indoor dining, social gatherings restrictions begin

Pennsylvania officials announced new coronavirus restrictions this week that ban indoor dining, further restrict social gatherings, and shut down a host of indoor entertainment venues. The new rules go into effect tomorrow and last until Jan. 4. They’re the strictest regulations in Pennsylvania since the springtime stay-at-home order. These new restrictions affect indoor dining, gatherings, school sports, indoor entertainment like casinos and theaters, retail stores, and places of worship. Read a breakdown here.

Some small business owners plan to defy newest shutdown order

At least a dozen gyms and restaurants around Pennsylvania have said they plan to stay open in violation of Gov. Tom Wolf’s new restrictions set to take effect Saturday as coronavirus cases and hospitalizations continue to surge. Small business have been hit particularly hard by pandemic-related closure orders and some said it is cheaper to pay fines instead of closing.

Helpful resources

You got this: Stay safe, do stuff

Here is one highlight from our weekly events calendar:

  • 🎶 Foo Fighters, Lil Nas X (Music / virtual / seasonal / free) Dave Grohl’s Foo Fighters are performing their own songs plus Christmas music as part of the Amazon Holiday Plays series, hosted by “Old Town Road” rapper Lil Nas X. Miley Cyrus and Kiana Lede’s previous Holiday Plays performances are also archived through the end of the month. (Free, Dec. 15, 7:55 p.m. amazon.com, add to calendar)

Find more of this week’s safe kid-friendly, outdoor and arts events.

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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