TL;DR: In a bid to halt the spread of the coronavirus, Pennsylvania Health Secretary Rachel Levine ordered alcohol sales at bars and restaurants to shut down at 5 p.m. Thanksgiving eve, one of the busiest nights of the year for the service industry. Improvements in medical care and COVID-19 treatments are thought to have helped limit the recent death toll, but the demographic shift is clear — with 18-to-29-year-olds lately accounting for the largest share of new cases across all age groups.

— Kelly O’Shea (@kelloshea, health@inquirer.com)

What you need to know:

🏥 Pennsylvania Health Secretary Rachel Levine warned Monday that the commonwealth could run out of ICU beds by next week if trends in COVID-19 cases continue.

❄️ In the spring, Philadelphians held on to a small hope that things would get better soon, but what lies ahead seems worse. Here’s how Philadelphians are bracing for a long coronavirus winter.

👶 A huge study led by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia confirmed that COVID-19 is rare in kids, but more severe among children of color.

🔒 With indoor dining shut down, and no additional financial relief in sight from the government, some Philadelphia restaurateurs have chosen to close until 2021 or until restrictions are eased.

🧓🏼 Ten months into the pandemic, the coronavirus is still seeping into long-term care facilities where our most vulnerable citizens live, despite intense efforts to keep it out. How is COVID-19 still getting to residents?

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.

Pa. bans beer and liquor sales at restaurants, bars on Thanksgiving Eve

In a bid to halt the spread of the coronavirus, Health Secretary Rachel Levine ordered alcohol sales at bars and restaurants to shut down at 5 p.m. Thanksgiving eve, one of the busiest nights of the year for the service industry. The edict is set to expire at 8 a.m. Thanksgiving Day. “When people get together in that situation, it leads to the exchange of fluids that leads to the increase in infection,” Gov. Tom Wolf said. Restaurant and bar owners decried the restriction as “yet another blow” to an already battered industry.

Why fewer people are dying of COVID-19, even as cases surge

Since the start of the pandemic, younger people have been far more likely to survive infection, and for many weeks, they have accounted for the bulk of new cases. Improvements in medical care and COVID-19 treatments are thought to have helped limit the recent death toll, but the demographic shift is clear — with 18-to-29-year-olds lately accounting for the largest share of new cases across all age groups. Yet with colder weather upon us and more people gathering indoors, infectious disease experts warn that the rise in infection is once again leading to more deaths, especially among the old and vulnerable.

Helpful resources

You got this: Online classes in Philly to take this fall

This far into quarantine, most of us are probably going a little stir crazy — but luckily, we can still pick up new skills thanks to a flood of online classes. Whether you’re looking to work on your dance moves, get some historical holiday cheer, or teach the kids a little bit of acrobatics, you’re in luck. My colleague Nick Vadala rounded up a few of the best online classes from Philly groups that you can sign up for right now.

🎄 This week’s top family activities across the Philly region include light shows and a princess brunch in an igloo.

🎁 Trying to find the perfect present for the food lover in your life? Here are 6 food gifts you can get only in Philly.

😳 COVID-19 shaming, like sex shaming, is bad for public health, a local sex educator writes.

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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