The number of COVID-19 cases in the region rose again this weekend, as Gov. Tom Wolf asked for a federal disaster designation for Pennsylvania in order to get more federal aid. As cases rise, testing and medical technology continue to be top of mind for many. Unable to get tests in certain states, some are “test hopping” to get tested in others. And major labs and individuals are both working to create makeshift ventilators, valves, and other tools to help with the outbreak.

Pennsylvania’s governor yesterday asked President Donald Trump to declare his state a major-disaster area. That is key to unlocking millions of dollars in federal aid to help the state battle the sickness and economic devastation of the coronavirus. Wolf wants Pennsylvania to join 15 other states, including New Jersey and New York, that already have the designation.

The state government is feeling the financial pain of the pandemic as the Wolf administration laid off about 2,500 part-time and seasonal employees and interns, Spotlight PA reported.

Also, the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in Pennsylvania grew again yesterday. In Philadelphia, cases are “all over the city," according to a health department spokesperson. As for a projection of how many people in Pennsylvania will get infected with the coronavirus, scientific modeling is trying to find an answer. But the region is already bracing for a surge in cases and is prepping new hospital and quarantine beds. Officials warn that the peak still hasn’t arrived.

Michael Campbell, 61, had a dry cough, then chills and a 102-degree fever. He wanted to be tested for the coronavirus. He called the Montgomery County Health Department and, he said, was instructed to self-isolate in his Glenside home. But, he wanted to know for sure if he had the coronavirus.

He drove to Wilmington, took a free drive-through test, and was later notified that he tested positive. His daughter, a coworker, and a church friend are all sick.

Across the region, potentially sick people are hopping from test site to test site, hoping to find answers. And some experts say that the test hopping has the potential to spread the virus and put more people at risk.

There’s a growing online group of designers, engineers, and medical professionals trading insights on making medical equipment to help fight the coronavirus outbreak. And when Tod Corlett joined in, the industrial designer and Thomas Jefferson University professor was working on a request issued by his dean: make Jefferson a ventilator.

Three days later, he assembled a motorized prototype from pieces of metal, plastic, and wood in six hours. Hundreds of labs worldwide are working on similar tasks as fast as they can to help hospitals that face shortages.

What you need to know today

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

We’re still showing love ... but we’re just doing it a little differently these days. Thanks for the pic, @tlbtb.

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

  • 🎨“I just wanted to make a dope image,” Philly artist Charles “Chuck Styles” Edwards said about the digital painting he made of legendary rapper and deejay D-Nice, who brought together 100,000 party-goers at Club Quarantine on Instagram Live.
  • 💰Who pays when the people who oversee retirement plans bet on risky investments and end up losing big time? A recent settlement deal in a case involving a local saxophonist against a $2 billion musicians’ pension fund shows that management and labor trustees can be held responsible.
  • 🏈This year’s NFL Draft is going to be very different for teams, agents, and prospects.
  • 💐Let’s go over some gardening basics. Do you know the difference between an annual and a perennial?
  • 🚲Groups are pushing to open some Philly streets for just walking and biking.


“It’s not OK to let the majority fall behind while a minority sprint ahead: kids in private schools that made the transition to online learning, or whose parents pay high property taxes for access to the best public schools. We can’t allow this to become the Lost Year of Learning for those not at the tippy top of the economic ladder.” — writes Inquirer columnist Maria Panaritis about the troubling disparity in schools’ abilities to deliver online learning.

What we’re reading

Your Daily Dose of | Drive-In Church

Multiple churches in the Newville area of Pennsylvania held Sunday services at the Cumberland Drive-In Movie Theater. Hundreds of cars pulled in, following along on 88.7 FM. It shows how one Pennsylvania religious community is adapting to the coronavirus. You can view more pictures from the service here.