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How new vax and mask mandates affect you | Morning Newsletter

And, fed charges in SEPTA fraud scheme.

    The Morning Newsletter

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

Hello, keen readers of The Inquirer Morning Newsletter.

First: Here’s a detailed breakdown of the new COVID-19 vaccine and mask measures for Philadelphians.

Then: The pandemic has researchers taking a deeper look into grief.

And: A list of charges emerge following a federal crackdown on former SEPTA employees.

— Olayemi Falodun (

Philly officials rolled out a new list of coronavirus restrictions, but how will they affect daily plans starting today?

The major new addition requires everyone to wear masks indoors and extends to all businesses and institutional centers without a vaccination mandate.

Scientists are also weighing how much impact the new mask mandate will have on curbing the spread of the virus.

Businesses across the city have expressed cooperation with the new requirements, but there remains concerns about timing, given the spike in delta variant cases.

Reporters Jillian Wilson and Oona Goodin-Smith lay out the details of the latest COVID-19 restrictions.

Losses in life are never easy, and the pandemic has further pushed grief to the forefront for many people — including a Philadelphia school counselor.

Alexis Washington’s job puts her in front of children learning how to cope with a world in flux due to a global health crisis, while dealing with the impact of remote learning and rising violence in the city.

In addition, she herself is still adjusting to life after losing her father on the same day George Floyd lost his life at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer, sparking a summer of social unrest.

Reporter Stacey Burling looks into how what Washington — like others — is experiencing has experts curious on the compounding effect of grief amid the pandemic.

Reopening resources

  1. If you lost your vaccine card, here’s what to do.

  2. Have your card in hand? Here’s what to do with it — and what not to do.

  3. Here’s what Philly experts are thinking about the COVID-19 risk, while the delta variant’s outdoor transmission is still unclear.

  4. Track the latest data on COVID-19 cases in the region.

  5. Before you go out to eat, here’s a list of Philly restaurants requiring vaccination proof to dine in.

  6. Oh, and are you in need of a mask upgrade?

What you need to know today

  1. Federal prosecutors announced charges related to multiple former SEPTA maintenance managers, who are accused of receiving cash bribes and personal goods, from gold to even a puppy, in a fraud scheme.

  2. After spending 37 of his 50-year imprisonment in solitary confinement, a Black man’s 1970 murder conviction has been vacated. Take a look behind the scenes of the flawed criminal justice process that jailed him.

  3. District Attorney Larry Krasner filed motions to hold the Police Department in contempt for withholding information connected to alleged police misconduct and officer disciplinary records.

  4. With more than $1 billion available in rental assistance in Pennsylvania, get the intel on the application process for tenants and the new eviction ban.

  5. Here’s how Starbucks baristas won their National Labor Relations Board case after saying the chain illegally firing them for attempting to unionize.

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

Perfect time to go for a ride. 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

🏠 Meet the great-grandmother who recently got into investing in Philly real estate and is building a financial foundation for her family.

🍸 Look no further than these spots for the best cocktail bars in Philly.


“Requiring masks indoors and mandating vaccines for city employees are the rights steps. The city admirably strived for nuance with these restrictions, but the ‘if this, then that’ approach on masks could create confusing and new problems, especially for parents,” writes The Inquirer Editorial Board, which is independent of the newsroom, about the city’s new coronavirus restrictions.

  1. The hostility toward transgender athletes is being shown on the field as state lawmakers mull legislation related to transgender people participating in sports, writes Brittney Miller, a transgender athlete, and Sara Steinman, a director of wellness, athletics and recreation at Delaware County Community College. The two detail their recent experiences as teammates in the City of Brotherly Love Softball League.

  2. The popular Diner en Blanc is back for 2021, but columnist Jenice Armstrong, who attended the last in-person in 2019, explains why this year’s planned event will have to go on without her.

What we're reading

  1. WHYY explores a new “traffic playground” in North Philly.

  2. Get familiar with a ComiCon this weekend that highlights Black superheroes. Metro Philadelphia takes you behind the scenes.

  3. De La Soul’s catalog is coming to streaming services.

  4. Vice uncovers what happened after the Keystone XL pipeline project was shut down.

Photo of the day

Catch the Eagles’ first preseason game tonight.