TL;DR: Voting by mail is really important this year because it allows voters to avoid exposure to the coronavirus. But, as President Donald Trump continues false attacks on mail voting, the U.S. Postal Service has sent letters warning that voters could be disenfranchised to 46 states — including Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Additionally, Philadelphia is going to contribute to a national plan for distributing a COVID-19 vaccine, when it’s ready.

— Lauren Aguirre (@laurencaguirre,

What you need to know:

🦠 Black Americans are nearly three times as likely to contract COVID-19 and twice as likely to die from the virus compared with white Americans, according to a new report.

♻️ Philly says it’s catching up on trash and recycling. But one neighborhood is fed up and renting trucks.

🏛️ After receiving criticism, Pennsylvania State University said it would provide an alternate legal agreement to students who are returning to campus. The original required students “assume any and all risk” from COVID-19.

🏡 Philly-area college students signed leases for fall housing months ago. Now, they’re still legally required to pay — even if they aren’t coming back to campus.

🏈 High school sports in Pennsylvania are still in limbo. The PIAA is continuing to push for fall sports after meeting with Gov. Tom Wolf, who recommended that competition be postponed.

🍁 Canada announced Friday that its border with the United States will remain closed to non-essential travel for at least another month.

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

Gov. Phil Murphy announced Friday that New Jersey’s election will mostly be conducted with mail ballots, just like it was for the state’s primary. He also said politicization of the U.S. Postal Service is “beyond repugnant.” In Pennsylvania, top elections officials expressed “great confidence” in the state’s vote-by-mail system after the U.S. Postal Service warned that mail ballots might not be delivered on time to meet state deadlines.

Federal health officials are turning to Philadelphia, along with four states, to create a plan for distributing a COVID-19 vaccine. Philly is the only city by itself contributing to a plan that could become a model nationwide. The plan would cover timelines for vaccine delivery and how to prioritize who gets it first. There isn’t an approved vaccine yet, but experts say it’s not too soon to figure out the logistics of distributing it to people who would need it the most.

Helpful resources

You got this: Store, sell, and donate clothes you’re not wearing now

During this time of social distancing, you’re probably not wearing as many outfits from your closet as you usually would, for various reasons. So what do you do with all the clothes you’re just not wearing? My colleague Elizabeth Wellington guides you through some steps to organize your clothes, and maybe get rid of pieces you don’t need anymore.

🍦 Looking for something sweet? Here’s a list of frozen treats to try, including ice cream hoagies.

🚗 The drive-in concert craze is coming to Citizens Bank Park. A new series kicks off Sunday in South Philly.

☀️ Get more tips, advice, and ideas on how to do summer in 2020 with our guide.

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.

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