How’s it going, Inquirer readers? Welcome to the weekend.

Glad you chose to get your Friday going with The Inquirer Morning Newsletter.

First: Amid growing calls for vaccine mandates, universities in the Pennsylvania system say they have no such powers.

Then: Most nursing homes in Pennsylvania have yet to meet the state Health Department’s 80% mark of staff vaccinated, and no mandate is in place.

And: HVAC technician demand is increasing just as quickly as the temperatures are rising.

— Olayemi Falodun (morningnewsletter@inquirer.com)

Pennsylvania’s state colleges say they can’t require vaccines. Some faculty think politics are at play

Faculty at more than a dozen Pennsylvania state universities are concerned about the state’s higher-education system not mandating vaccinations for students and staff.

But Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education leaders point to the lack of a state law that would allow them to require the COVID-19 vaccine.

While there is a 2002 state law that allows state institutions of higher learning to mandate meningitis vaccines, there has been no legislation on COVID-19 vaccination.

Reporters Susan Snyder and Andrew Seidman uncover the vaccination divide at 14 state universities, and why some see politics at play.

Pa. nursing homes need 80% of staff vaccinated or will undergo testing, Health Department says — but it’s not a mandate

The Pennsylvania Department of Health says nursing homes need to aim to have 80% of staff vaccinated by Oct. 1.

According to the state health officials, less than 13% of nursing homes statewide, excluding Philadelphia, have yet to meet or go beyond the 80% benchmark.

The state did not mandate vaccination for the workers, but said nursing homes that don’t reach the benchmark will have to test unvaccinated workers regularly.

Reporters Justine McDaniel, Erin McCarthy, and Stacey Burling explain the new goal, which drew mixed reactions.

Reopening resources

What you need to know today

  • The heat blanketing the region this summer, especially as of late, has air conditioners working overtime, leading to an increased market for HVAC work.

  • Gov. Tom Wolf has issued two new orders to address spending on travel “perks” by top PSERS executives, after an April report by The Inquirer uncovering the unchecked travel expenses of 40 or so members of the investment office.

  • There’s a boom in people and diversity in Philly, according to the latest census. But city and state officials wonder about an undercount.

  • Before you head to the game, get familiar with the Eagles’ and Phillies’ adjusted attendance protocols after the city’s new COVID-19 mandates.

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

The heat is on, but relief is also on the horizon. Thanks for sharing.

Tag your Instagram posts with #OurPhilly, and we’ll pick our favorite each day to feature here and give you a shout-out.

That’s interesting

🦸🏾‍♂️ A new addition to your Sixers is now a certified hero after rescuing his 2-year-old son, who fell into the family pool.

🍦Here’s an ice cream truck handing out samples before the Brooklyn-based franchise opens up shop in Philly.

🎲 Find out why you can roll the dice at Hollywood York Casino without having cash on you.

🎨 The immersive Van Gogh show that has frustrated local ticket buyers revealed its “secret location”: The Tower Theater in Upper Darby.

Opinions

“And this time the feeling of uncertainty feels worse because I feel like there is nothing I can do except mask up and turn down drinks with the unvaccinated,” writes columnist Elizabeth Wellington about the challenges of coping amid recent pandemic changes.

  • Pennsylvania is tapping into a rekindled passion for public lands after recent passage of a conservation law, write Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick and Stephanie Wein of PennEnvironment for The Inquirer.

  • Columnist Will Bunch explores the importance of a particular sector of the population that the Biden administration should not ignore.

What we're reading

  • If you’re looking to get some good workouts in despite the heat, Philly Mag has some wellness tips.

  • An antiviolence advocate is using carpentry to help engage Philly teens. The Philadelphia Tribune reports on the 20-week program.

  • Batman’s Boy Wonder is coming out in a new comic, CNN reports.

Photo of the day

Sometimes you have to chill, and give it a rest.