TL;DR: Philadelphia will shut down indoor dining, gyms, and museums, and ban public and private gatherings, starting Friday and lasting through Jan. 1. Dramatic early results for a second COVID-19 vaccine were announced Monday, with manufacturer Moderna Inc. saying the drug appeared to reduce the chance of illness by 94.5%.

— Kelly O’Shea (@kelloshea,

What you need to know:

🛑 New Jersey will implement new COVID-19 restrictions, prohibiting indoor gatherings of more than 10 people and outdoor gatherings of more than 100 people. Gov. Phil Murphy said the restrictions on indoor gatherings go into effect Tuesday at 6 a.m.

🦠 About half of people with the coronavirus in Philadelphia now don’t know how they got it, Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said Monday.

😩 After a polarizing presidential election, civil unrest and an ongoing pandemic, burnout is increasing among Americans. Philadelphians are no exception.

🤷 As coronavirus cases surge across Pennsylvania, Health Secretary Health Levine said the commonwealth has no plans for further restrictions at this time.

🍴Philadelphia restaurant owners see the city’s renewed indoor-dining ban and updated outdoor dining restrictions as a major setback, and say it could spell doom to the business.

🎒 The Lower Merion School District is switching to all-virtual instruction Tuesday due to rapidly increasing cases of the coronavirus, including among students and staff.

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

Philadelphia to shut down indoor dining, gyms, and museums through Jan. 1

Philadelphia will close indoor restaurant dining, gyms, and museums starting on Friday and will require office workers to work remotely in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus as new cases surge. The new restrictions will last through Jan. 1, and include a ban on public and private indoor gatherings — making it a violation of city regulations for residents to hold holiday gatherings with anyone outside their own households. The new regulations will not permit fans at sporting events and will limit capacity of all outdoor gatherings. They also require high schools and colleges to hold classes virtually. Read more here.

Second coronavirus vaccine tops 90%, and is easier to store

Dramatic early results for a second COVID-19 vaccine were announced Monday, with manufacturer Moderna Inc. saying the drug appeared to reduce the chance of illness by 94.5%. The findings come a week after Pfizer Inc. said its vaccine seemed to reduce the rate of disease by more than 90%. Both companies say that within weeks, they intend to seek U.S. government approval to distribute their products on an emergency basis to the broader public. What’s more, Moderna said its drug would be easier to store, not requiring the ultra-cold temperatures of the Pfizer product. Anthony S. Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Monday "the results of this trial are truly striking.”

Helpful resources

You got this: Drooling for Thanksgiving

My colleague Jamila Robinson shares a recipe for a pumpkin cheesecake tart in a gingersnap crust that is sure to please your Thanksgiving dessert table. With a crust made from crushed store-bought cookies and a filling that comes together right in your food processor or blender, it’s so easy, you could say it’s a pie.

🍩 Curiosity Doughnuts, which snagged a James Beard Award nomination two years ago, is opening a takeout shop in South Philadelphia.

🦖 Christmas at Diggerland, prehistoric “monsters” on the Parkway, and other activities for Philly families this week.

✈️ Travel data for Thanksgiving finds some Philadelphians are looking for someplace sunny, while many others will stay home.

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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