Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

COVID-19 testing across the Philly region, explained | Morning Newsletter

And the rise of the non-alcoholic cocktail

    The Morning Newsletter

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

Welcome to the first day of winter. It’s certainly feeling like it, with temperatures again reaching only into the 40s.

Today we look at demand far outweighing supply for at-home COVID-19 tests. And we’ve got details on where you can grab a free test in Philly.

Also, we look at the rise of the non-alcoholic cocktail in Philly to see what the buzz — or lack thereof — is all about.

— Kerith Gabriel (@sprtswtr,

With Christmas fast approaching and people hoping to visit loved ones without the fear of COVID-19, at-home rapid test kits are flying off the shelves. In Philly, the Health Department is giving away tests at pop-up locations across the city.

🤔 How many tests is the city giving out?

The Health Department has a goal of giving out 24,000 kits before Christmas. In addition to the nine sites, testing kits are being distributed to the city’s homeless population.

🤔 What are the lines like?

There’s the rub. On Monday, sites were reporting that they gave out all the kits they had in a matter of hours. City officials encouraged anyone who waited for a test on Monday to try other locations later this week.

🤔 How many do you get?

The city is giving out two kits per person and four per household, said Matt Rankin, a Health Department spokesperson.

Our reporters Sarah Gantz, Aubrey Whelan, and Rob Tornoe have been on top of this one. Have a question? Connect with The Inquirer health team.

What you should know today

  1. Philly public school advocates are calling on the PPA to drop its demand for more than $11 million it says the school district owes.

  2. Olney Charter School was forced to go virtual for the rest of the week after teachers called out following the death of a 17-year-old student who died of COVID-19.

  3. New Jersey officials are pleading with residents to get tested and boosted with case counts in the state the highest they’ve been since January.

  4. Radnor-based Community Energy Inc. sold its solar energy development business to Fortune 500 energy giant AES Inc.

  5. Jalen Hurts could be taking snaps tonight for the Eagles while rival Washington is still without its top two quarterbacks.

  6. A Swarthmore student weighs in on another public health crisis.

  7. The Bucks County man whose wife’s social media posts tipped off authorities to his involvement in the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.

  8. And music critic Dan DeLuca takes a look at the best reissued musical albums and tracks of the year.

  9. Local Coronavirus Numbers: Here’s your daily look at the latest COVID-19 data.

“If you care about hospitality, you should be catering to non-drinkers, too.” Those aren’t my words, but those of Philly-based chef and restaurateur Nicholas Elmi. It’s a mantra that’s picking up steam in a number of bars and restaurants offering “zero proof” sections on their menus.

Patrons who don’t drink are lauding the feeling of inclusion. And the move is aligning more with people realizing the health benefits of abstaining from alcohol.

Check out this enlightening report that might have me looking at the zero-proof portion of the menu to see how these non-alcoholic jawns stack up.

🧠 Philly Trivia Time 🧠

The Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia has been doing its own rendition of the “Nutcracker Suite.” This year’s version of the show, titled the “Harlem Nutcracker,” shared an occasion equally as momentous for Philly’s jazz community. Today’s question: Do you know the significance of this year’s show? Here’s a hint: It celebrates a centennial. This story offers the answer and a look at the history of this jazz classic.

Photo of the day

Thanks for spending some time with me and The Inquirer. I’ll catch you all tomorrow. ✌️