The gist: Coronavirus cases in Philadelphia and New Jersey keep declining, leading local officials to ease coronavirus restrictions as we head into the summer. Read more here on the new guidelines. The Philadelphia region is home to the “Godfather of Vaccines,” an 88-year-old man named Stanley A. Plotkin who is now a consultant to COVID-19 vaccine makers. Read more about him here.

— Ellie Silverman (@esilverman11,

What you need to know:

🏥 Vaccine hesitancy is high among Pennsylvania Republicans, but few party leaders are doing much to change skeptics’ minds.

💉 Rowan University students is requiring all students get vaccinated against COVID-19 by July 31 and are offering an incentive: a $500 credit for their fall course registration.

📚 Libraries still quarantine books, even as cases drop and vaccinations rise.

📸 See photos of in-person commencement ceremonies that have resumed at Temple University.

🏙️ Part of a Center City hotel high-rise is about to open, hoping for a post-pandemic visitor rebound.

😷 Pennsylvania is dropping its vaccine provider map in favor of the federal government’s website.

📰 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.

Philadelphia and New Jersey eased coronavirus restrictions today

Declining new coronavirus cases in Philadelphia and New Jersey have led local officials to ease coronavirus restrictions as we head into the summer. Starting today, Philadelphians can now attend indoor weddings and eat meals inside at more-crowded restaurants, and in New Jersey, customers can sit at the bar for the first time in more than a year. Read more here for a breakdown of the new guidelines.

Meet the local 88-year-old ‘Godfather of Vaccines’

Stanley A. Plotkin earned the nickname “Godfather of Vaccines” after an illustrious career in Philadelphia, helping develop vaccines for rotavirus, rabies, Lyme disease, and cytomegalovirus. Now, he’s a consultant to COVID-19 vaccine makers. “I’m glad I can still contribute,” he said. Read more about him here.

Helpful resources

You got this: Celebrate a Mom

Mother’s Day is Sunday and if you still need ideas for how to celebrate the matriarchs in your life, we’ve got you covered. Check out our guide here for gifts from buying chocolate, making plans for an outdoor event, or a self-care gift, and more.

💉 You can drink, but don’t go on a bender after your vaccine. Here’s why.

🎭 A guide to navigating the newly renovated Philadelphia Art Museum.

🥡 Buy wontons for a good cause, and other ways to support AAPI groups in Philly.

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

Enjoy getting our journalism through email? You can also sign up for The Inquirer Morning Newsletter to get the latest news, features, investigations and more sent straight to your inbox each morning Sunday-Friday. Sign up here.