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Answering COVID-19 questions as guidelines shift | Morning Newsletter

And, challenging Pa.’s use-of-force law.

    The Morning Newsletter

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

We had a mix-up in this morning’s send of this newsletter. Sorry about that. Here’s today’s edition.

Hello, dedicated readers of The Inquirer Morning Newsletter.

First: Health professionals answer questions you might have about COVID-19 variants and vaccines, as well as the new mask guidelines.

Then: Meet Oronde McClain, a Philly VA psych tech and antiviolence activist who survived being shot in the head at 10 years old.

And: District Attorney Larry Krasner is contesting Pennsylvania’s use-of-force law before prosecuting a landmark officer-involved shooting case.

— Olayemi Falodun (

As some COVID-19 restrictions ramp up again, we’re bringing you an updated guide on how to navigate through the pandemic.

The effectiveness of vaccines provided by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson’s one dose vary, but research finds inoculation remains the most effective way to fight against the delta variant, the most contagious coronavirus, with most cases in the vaccinated being mild. And just about 0.004% of vaccinated people have serious symptoms after contracting COVID-19.

Still, the spread of the coronavirus among vaccinated people is inconclusive and requires further research.

Health professionals strongly suggest wearing a mask indoors and when traveling as a way to help protect yourself from getting or spreading COVID-19.

A Virtua Health medical officer says that no matter how you approach navigating the pandemic, precautions and safety measures come down to an individual’s tolerance for risk.

Sarah Gantz and Stacey Burling share what Philly-area medical professionals recommend you should keep in mind when it comes to variants, vaccines, mask guidelines, and more.

Oronde McClain suffered a gunshot wound to the back of the head right outside of a Chinese restaurant in East Mount Airy in April 2000. At just 10 years old, he became an innocent victim of a drive-by shooting.

McClain, who has 36 fragments of the bullet inside of him to this day, remains partially paralyzed on the right side of his body.

But after spending weeks in a coma while being hospitalized for months and spending years relearning motor skills, including walking and talking, McClain uses his tragic and traumatic childhood moment to inspire others.

Reporter Stephanie Farr takes you inside the life of the now 31-year-old father of five and psych tech at the VA hospital.

Reopening resources

  1. Do I need a COVID-19 vaccine booster to protect myself from delta and other variants?

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

  3. Don’t ask for someone’s vaccination status. Do this.

  4. Here’s what experts feel safe doing — and what they don’t.

  5. Find a place to beat the heat at these cooling centers.

What you need to know today

  1. A killing by Philadelphia police could change Pennsylvania’s use-of-force cases forever.

  2. A new study finds Black patients suffer a higher rate of injury during surgery and contracting avoidable hospital infections than white patients.

  3. A state board approved the city’s five-year financial plan, but there are still challenges ahead.

  4. Police are investigating the fatal shooting of a man who they say pointed a gun at the cops.

  5. Authorities arrest a wanted Lancaster County man on Capitol riot charges.

  6. Republican Craig Snyder, onetime top aide to Arlen Specter, will likely have the anti-Trump lane virtually all to himself, but how will that work out for him in next year’s race to represent Pennsylvania in the U.S. Senate?

  7. A new documentary uncovers Jehovah’s Witnesses’ sexual abuse cover-ups.

  8. Superstar gymnast Simone Biles shares the mental and emotional strains of being in the spotlight after withdrawing from the women’s Olympic team final.

  9. Check out when you can watch the Philadelphia-area athletes competing in the Tokyo Olympics.

  10. The 133-year-old Allen African Methodist Episcopal Church in Cape May is set to be renovated and added to a collection of Black heritage sites.

  11. What’s holding back the FDA from approving COVID-19 vaccines?

  12. A New Jersey man has been charged in last month’s Gas N Go fuel spill in Delaware County.

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

It’s easy to ride things out when you’re having fun. 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

🏅 Springfield’s Mike Scioscia is in the dugout again. This time he’s vying for Olympic gold. As locals go for glory, follow along with our continuously updated Philly at the Olympics calendar.

⚾ Phillies triple-A prospect Mickey Moniak has been hitting on all cylinders lately, but is the young slugger in the team’s plans or is he trade bait?


“If taking care of yourself means stepping back, then so be it. Being mentally tough for competition does not mean sacrificing your sanity,” writes columnist Elizabeth Wellington about supporting Simone Biles, who withdrew from the team and the women’s individual all-around final in the Tokyo Olympics.

  1. Columnist Will Bunch argues the importance of unions to the fabric of the U.S. economy.

What we’re reading

  1. After a staple of the Philly art community was put for sale, community members have chipped in to help its owners keep Paradigm Gallery, Billy Penn reports.

  2. Remembering a pioneer in Philly’s African dance movement.

  3. Rap star Meek Mill and WNBA standout Natasha Cloud join the “Protect Our People” campaign focused on criminal justice reform.

  4. Homeschooling is seeing a surge among Black, Latinx, and Asian students.

Your daily dose of | Delivery Guys

A Philly-based operation is getting its cut of the food delivery business dominated by Uber Eats and DoorDash, while highlighting Black- and Latinx-owned restaurants. Get to know the team behind Delivery Guys, and how they’re shaking up a multibillion-dollar industry with a homegrown app.