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Chester County quit a $13 million antibody test program | Morning Newsletter

And Philly officials say it could take days to clear homeless encampments.

    The Morning Newsletter

    Start your day with the Philly news you need and the stories you want all in one easy-to-read newsletter

Chester County spent $13 million to launch a coronavirus antibody testing program, and then quietly put it on hold. In Philly, the city loosened restrictions on outdoor gatherings, and conflict over homeless encampments is continuing. Officials are planning for a “multi-day operation” to clear them.

And you have a few things to look forward to, including the Eagles season opener this weekend, a new Bruce Springsteen album, and probably actual snow this winter (if that’s your thing).

— Lauren Aguirre (@laurencaguirre,

Chester County made headlines in early April by adopting coronavirus antibody tests, which appeared to be a promising new tool. The plan was to start by testing first responders and health-care providers to see how many of them had developed disease-fighting antibodies to the virus.

The program began in May, but just a month later, it was quietly put on hold. Internal emails and interviews with people involved show that the newly developed antibody tests might have been giving wildly inaccurate results.

A day after the deadline for residents of several protest encampments to clear out passed, Philly city officials said the “resolution” of the camps will likely be a “multi-day operation." Dozens of people experiencing homelessness are living in the camps that were organized beginning in June to negotiate with city leaders on housing policy, but talks have stalled.

Mayor Jim Kenney said he is looking to resolve the situation amicably, but organizers and some residents have said they will stay in the camps until their demands are met.

What you need to know today

  1. Philadelphia loosened restrictions on outdoor gatherings, allowing up to 150 people, but the city will keep indoor dining capacity low for now.

  2. City Council voted yesterday to expand access to paid sick leave for low-wage workers, including gig workers.

  3. Black patients are twice as likely to die of treatable health conditions compared with white patients, according to a new report. The disparity is in line with a national trend that analysts fear is worsening due to COVID-19.

  4. A decade of tourism growth for Philly has crashed during the pandemic, a new city report shows.

  5. Devereux will undergo an independent safety audit of its children’s programs after an Inquirer investigation that detailed lapses in supervision, training, and care that led to a history of sexual abuse of children.

  6. A Pennsylvania congressional candidate’s ad misrepresents one of our fact-checks about his opponent’s position on police funding. Here’s what we actually wrote.

  7. Luxury discount retailer Century 21 is going out of business, shuttering one end of Philly’s Fashion District.

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

This is a really neat shot. Thanks for sharing, @seandergen.

Tag your Instagram posts or tweets with #OurPhilly and we’ll pick our favorite each day to feature in this newsletter and give you a shout out!

That’s interesting

  1. 🦅 The Eagles season opener is Sunday. Here’s a look at how the game could play out.

  2. ❄️ Will Philly get snow this year? This is what La Niña means for the hurricane season and winter forecasts.

  3. 🎶 Bruce Springsteen has a new song and his 20th studio album is coming in October.

  4. 🥪 Cosmi’s Deli, a South Philly hoagie landmark, has reopened after a dispute between the shop’s landlord and a business partner.

  5. 👩‍💻 BalletX fan favorite Caili Quan is now a choreographer by way of Zoom.


“The current state of the country has created a deep need for trusted community information, education, and connection that AAMP [African American Museum in Philadelphia] was founded to provide. Now more than ever, AAMP is an integral asset to Philadelphia that should receive greater support in the city’s solution to create a truly more equitable city.” — writes Lindsay Tucker So, former assistant director of Philadelphia’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy, about how the museum is wildly underfunded.

  1. Why rejecting the Sixers' arena is a grownup moment for Philadelphia, writes Inquirer architecture critic Inga Saffron.

  2. As an eviction crisis looms, Philly courts must take swift action beyond a two-week delay, writes the Inquirer’s Editorial Board.

What we’re reading

  1. The Los Angeles Times has a profile on an L.A. architect who designed a 9/11 memorial that literally sings.

  2. These Philly yoga teachers were laid off during the pandemic, so they formed their own studio. Philadelphia Magazine has more.

  3. Millions of Americans don’t have internet access. Vox dives into what it would take to fix that.

Your Daily Dose of | The Upside

Anthony Luton is a Vietnam veteran from West Philly. He served in the Air Force and struggled with depression for years after. He’s been through addiction and homelessness, too. Luton was well on his way to earning a college degree in behavioral health in his 60s, but he didn’t want to wait to help people. So he opened the doors of his own home to other veterans in an offer of fellowship and peace.