In the Philadelphia region, in New Jersey, and across the country, the spread of the coronavirus continued yesterday, affecting local schools, businesses, and forcing the leading Democratic presidential candidates to cancel their post-primary day rallies.

For more reporting on the coronavirus, visit, where our digital coverage is free as a public benefit. Also, if you want our latest stories sent to your inbox every evening, you can sign up for our Coronavirus Updates newsletter.

In Philadelphia, officials announced the city’s first presumed case of the coronavirus and cancelled the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade.

In the Pennsylvania suburbs outside of Philly, Montgomery County became the first local municipality to confront a case in which officials haven’t been able to trace how the patient became infected. This could represent the state’s first instance of community spread. Pennsylvania’s state total is at 14, with all but two cases concentrated in the southeast.

In New Jersey, three more people tested presumptive positive for the coronavirus, bringing the state total to 15. That includes a married couple in Burlington County. The North Jersey man who passed away had a history of health problems, officials said, and regularly traveled back and forth to New York for work.

Across the country, the stock market rebounded, but testing might not be expanding fast enough to contain an undetected spread.

Payroll Professionals Inc. and its owner, Myles Hannigan, stole from dozens of small businesses, nonprofits, and corporations across the Philly region between 2009 and 2015. The thefts left them stuck with millions in sudden tax debts they quietly amassed over the years. One federal prosecutor described the scam as “one of the most extreme abuses of trust” he has ever seen.

The victims include a Philadelphia animal shelter, a food bank in Chester, a suburban Roman Catholic parish, and the Philadelphia Mural Arts program. And those are all alongside scores of small, family-run businesses whose owners are now struggling with the devastating financial consequences.

What you need to know today

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

A sign that spring is nearly here. Thanks for the shot, @westofbroad.

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


“However, I strongly believe that local governments should immediately and decisively make some likely unpopular moves. We haven’t paid attention to the lessons from the catastrophe unfolding in other countries. We need politicians with the guts to close all schools, mandate that sporting and entertainment events are canceled, and coordinate a response with neighboring areas.” — writes Varun Verma, M.D., the medical director of hospitalists at Jefferson Cherry Hill Hospital, about our politicians’ responses to the spread of coronavirus.

What we’re reading

Your Daily Dose of | The Log

At a time like this, the world needs “The Log” and its sequel, “The Log 2: Another Year," writes reporter Jason Nark about a pair of “no-budget, meditative nature films made in the wilds of Pennsylvania’s vast forest.” There’s no plot. The main character is a tree trunk that fell across a creek. And its supporting actors include a chubby bear who slips off the makeshift bridge, a great blue heron hunting, and a bobcat using the log as its scratching post.