Good morning, Philly. This is what we’ve got cooking for you today.

First: A U.S. government advisory panel endorsed the widespread use of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine yesterday. Shots could begin within days, depending on how fast the Food and Drug Administration signs off.

Then: Pennsylvania will have new pandemic-related restrictions starting tomorrow, including the statewide shutdown of indoor dining.

And: Meet the Philadelphia Zoo’s new baby giraffe, Bea.

— Josh Rosenblat (@joshrosenblat,

Health workers are going door-to-door to stop the surge of COVID-19 in Camden.

Camden has recorded 259 new cases for every 10,000 residents since Nov. 9, and over 7% of its residents have contracted the coronavirus. That’s the highest infection rate of any municipality in the region with at least 2,000 residents.

To help try to contain the spread of COVID-19, health workers and police officers have been going door-to-door to inform residents about staying safe during the holidays. They’re also helping residents who have lost jobs, are dealing with food insecurity, and other issues that the pandemic has made worse.

Paschal Nwako, public health coordinator for Camden County, told my colleague Frank Kummer that vaccines for residents could start rolling out as soon as late January. The county is training city residents to help educate Hispanic and Black residents — who have been disproportionately hit by COVID-19 — as well as religious communities on vaccine safety.

Pennsylvania to shut down indoor dining, close casinos, gyms, and other entertainment venues to try to combat the fall coronavirus surge

There will be new pandemic measures taking hold in Pennsylvania this weekend. They’re Gov. Tom Wolf’s most sweeping attempt to try to fight the surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

From tomorrow until Jan. 4, indoor dining will be shut down, casinos, gyms, and other entertainment venues will be closed, retail occupancy will be lowered, and gatherings will be limited to 10 people indoors and 50 people outdoors.

Helpful COVID-19 resources

What you need to know today

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

These pics are ... cool. (See what I did there?) Thanks for sharing, @denisewalksphilly.

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!

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Stay safe, do stuff

Here is one highlight from our weekly events calendar:

  • 🎶 Foo Fighters, Lil Nas X (Music / virtual / seasonal / free) Dave Grohl’s Foo Fighters are performing their own songs plus Christmas music as part of the Amazon Holiday Plays series, hosted by “Old Town Road” rapper Lil Nas X. Miley Cyrus and Kiana Lede’s previous Holiday Plays performances are also archived through the end of the month. (Free, Dec. 15, 7:55 p.m., add to calendar)

Find more of this week’s safe kid-friendly, outdoor and arts events.


“Gun violence victims fall through cracks now made wider by a pandemic that disproportionately kills Blacks and Latinos, despite a national reckoning on racial justice that has put the spotlight on inequality in America. It’s hard not to wonder the difference that reckoning might have made had it come earlier for those who lost their lives under the same systemic racism.” — writes columnist Helen Ubiñas about the Philadelphians who have been killed by gun violence this year. You should know their names, Ubiñas writes.

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Your Daily Dose of | Philly’s new baby giraffe

Bea, a 15-month-old giraffe, made her outdoor debut yesterday in the Philadelphia Zoo’s African Plains exhibit. Bea arrived from Knoxville, Tenn. late last month and has been spending her time getting to know her “herd mates” Stella and Abigail. Bea is already 8 feet tall and weighs 300 pounds, but still has some growing to do.