The gist: In Philly’s suburbs, the people who need COVID-19 vaccines the most may be the toughest to reach. Here’s how outreach workers in the suburbs are helping homeless residents get vaccinated. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy doubled-down on the state’s indoor mask mandate Monday, while some businesses in Pennsylvania lifted restrictions.

— Kelly O’Shea (@kelloshea,

What you need to know:

🔓 Capacity limits for events in Pennsylvania eased Monday, increasing indoor-capacity limits from 25% to 50%, and limits for outdoor events from 50% to 75%, for all counties outside of Philadelphia.

🏫 All New Jersey schoolchildren will be taught in person this fall, Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday, adding that parents would not be allowed to choose full-time remote instruction if their school’s buildings are open.

🚍 SEPTA is lifting passenger capacity limits beginning June 1, the agency announced Monday. Passengers will still be required to wear masks on trains and inside stations.

❓ Is it ethical to ask if someone is vaccinated? My colleague Elizabeth Wellington asked experts to share tips for how best to navigate that conversation.

📉 The average number of COVID-19 cases per day in the United States has dropped 53% since the middle of April as more people get vaccinated, according to an Inquirer analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University.

🌍 President Joe Biden said Monday the United States would share an additional 20 million vaccine doses with the world in the coming six weeks. The announcement comes on top of the administration’s prior commitment to share about 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine by the end of June.

📰 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.

N.J. doubles-down on indoor mask mandate, while Pa. businesses lift masking restrictions

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy dug in his heels on keeping the state’s indoor mask mandate for now, but said it would be lifted “in the not so distant future,” as more people get vaccinated. Noting the state’s plummeting case numbers, Murphy asked for more patience as the virus continues to recede. “I just don’t want to get burned,” he said. Meanwhile, the CDC’s relaxed guidance adopted by Pennsylvania meant businesses like Herseypark can allow fully vaccinated people to enter the park without a mask. But two other local theme parks — Six Flags and Sesame Place — will continue to require all guests to wear face masks, with a few exceptions. And on Monday, Target joined other major retailers in allowing fully vaccinated people to shop without wearing a face mask “except where it’s required by local ordinances,” such as in Philadelphia. The city is expected to have a decision on updated mask guidance “within days.”

In Philly’s suburbs, the people who need COVID-19 vaccines the most may be the toughest to reach

In Bucks County and the other suburban communities that ring Philadelphia, homeless residents tend to be less visible and harder to reach than in such urban centers as Philly and Camden, where there are more centralized services. Yet these are some of the counties’ most vulnerable people, as many suffer from other health conditions that put them at particular risk for the virus. Here’s how outreach workers in the suburbs are breaking down barriers that keep homeless residents from getting vaccinated.

Helpful resources

You got this: To mask or not to mask

Confused by the new mask rules? Use this simple flowchart to help make sense of the latest advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

🍓 From Tree House Tots to a Strawberry Festival, here are the best kids events in Philly this week.

🦗 Spotted lanternflies are hatching and here to stay in Philly region.

🤩 A Malvern theater company’s online production is 70 minutes of science, sadness, wonder, and love.

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.