TL;DR: A quarter of Philadelphia residents know someone who has died of COVID-19, half the population struggled to pay bills or had other financial hardship, and more than half worry they could catch the coronavirus at work, according to a new Pew survey. During the pandemic, more than 260 licensed child-care programs across Pennsylvania permanently closed and advocates warn that many more providers will be pushed to the breaking point this fall and winter.

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

What you need to know:

🏥 Hospitals in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware are starting to see an uptick in COVID-19 admissions, according to state data. Philadelphia hospitals have not seen an uptick in hospitalizations — at least, not yet.

🏟️ Pennsylvania is loosening restrictions on large event gatherings beginning Friday. On Sunday, the Philadelphia Union will become the first Philadelphia-area sports team to allow fans in the stands.

📈 Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware have started October with coronavirus cases at the highest level since the end of spring. Public health experts said community transmission was not a surprise as cold weather nears.

👩‍🏫 C olleges across the region are beginning to announce plans for the spring semester. West Chester University president Chris Fiorintino said Wednesday that students will continue to learn mostly remotely through the spring.

📋 Preliminary results of an audit of Gov. Tom Wolf’s coronavirus business waiver program found it was inconsistent and confusing, creating an unfair playing field for companies across Pennsylvania.

🦠 Pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly & Co. is seeking emergency-use authorization to provide its antibody drug to high-risk patients with mild or moderate cases of COVID-19.

📰 What’s going on in your county? We organized recent coverage of the coronavirus pandemic by local counties 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.

A quarter of Philadelphia residents know someone who has died of COVID-19, half the population struggled to pay bills or had other financial hardship, and more than half worry they could catch the coronavirus at work, according to a new Pew survey of 1,025 Philadelphians. And the coronavirus' associated hardships have had a disproportionate impact on the city’s nonwhite residents. Just 17% of respondents said they believed their family would return to their pre-pandemic way of life within the next six months or sooner, and a quarter said things would “never get back to the way they were before.” Read more here.

Between March and the beginning of September, more than 260 licensed child-care programs across Pennsylvania permanently closed. More than 400 other licensed programs remain temporarily closed. Those closures represent just a fraction of the roughly 6,500 licensed child-care programs that remain open with help from the CARES Act. But as funding dries up, advocates warn that many more child-care providers will be pushed to the breaking point this fall and winter. “It could be disastrous,” one industry expert said.

Helpful resources

You got this: A taste of fall

Nothing says fall like hot, crispy apple cider doughnuts. Fortunately, there’s no need to wait until the next apple-picking season to enjoy these fall favorites when you can make your own. My colleague Jamila Robinson shares a simple approach to making your own apple cider doughnuts at home.

👀 When should we mind our business right now? My colleague Elizabeth Wellington offers some questions to help figure out when you should step in or step away.

🚴 Need a bike? This Audubon, N.J., man gives kids free, refurbished bikes in memory of his daughter.

🎼 Good news: The Philadelphia Orchestra has been named “orchestra of the year” by a U.K.-based classical music magazine.

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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