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Pa. prisons face a deadly ‘full-blown resurgence’ of COVID-19 | Morning Newsletter

Plus your Pa. mail ballot update

    The Morning Newsletter

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

Good morning from The Inquirer newsroom.

First: Coronavirus outbreaks could possibly be reverberating in prison systems throughout the state.

Then: The Pennsylvania mail ballots that arrived after Election Day are far too few to change the election’s outcome.

Plus: Immigrants respond to the hope and the obstacles awaiting a Joe Biden presidency.

— Ashley Hoffman (@_ashleyhoffman,

Advocates and prisoners are sounding the alarm about jail coronavirus outbreaks across the state. Many of the prisoners have been on lockdown through all of this, and apparently there’s a struggle to achieve transparency around cases. With a population this vulnerable, they fear it could get seriously hazardous.

Votes are still being counted even though the race has been called. Recall that all along, we knew it would take beyond Election Day to tally every vote, and some ballots needed a closer review for one reason or another. Poll workers are whittling away at the pile and only 10,000 mail ballots arrived after Election Day.

Reporter Jonathan Lai writes that even if the Supreme Court threw every last one of them out, there are too few to alter the election results.

Philly’s immigrants, allies, and advocates shared their cautious optimism about the incoming administration’s potential changes to immigration rules.

In Biden, they see someone whom they can hold to account. They hope a Biden presidency will allow people to come and stay here safely after the halt of Trump’s ultimately unsuccessful attempts to put an end to DACA.

What you need to know today

  1. The COVID-19 surge is getting even worse in Pa. and N.J. and we’re bringing you the latest all day, every day. Also: CHOP recommends Philly-area schools close amid coronavirus surge.

  2. President-elect Joe Biden observed Veterans Day in Philly with a visit to the Korean War Memorial.

  3. Now comes the reckoning with what went wrong after polls significantly underestimated Trump’s support again. One possible clue? A question about summer vacations. Reporter Jonathan Tamari can explain.

  4. Each year our food team puts out an annual dining guide, but as they began to consider what a 2020 guide would look like, one question kept coming up: How are Philadelphians eating now? Our 2020 dining guide is accessible now for subscribers and included in all home delivery print editions.

  5. Gabriel Escobar, who has served as The Inquirer’s editor and vice president, was promoted to our top editor position, responsible for the news operation as it chronicles life across the Greater Philadelphia region during a period of historic disruption and profound change.

  6. President Donald Trump’s latest false attacks targeted Al Schmidt. The response from Republican leaders in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania? Only silence.

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

We love this shot of neighbors banding together for something to brighten up our lives. Thanks for sharing, @bellvistan.

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

  1. 🏥 The pandemic brought health-care access inequalities to the forefront. And with that in mind, this South Philly rowhouse is becoming a primary care clinic with free access for the Black community.

  2. 🇺🇸 Black Philadelphians who lived through the 1960s discuss what Trump’s continued trust among his supporters means for race relations now.

  3. 🇬🇧 Did the British plunder your house during the Revolutionary War? The answer you’ve been waiting for is probably here.

  4. 🥔 These 4 holiday recipes, including a wild rice dressing with sage sausage, can help you embrace Indigenous cultures this Thanksgiving.

  5. 🏡 How the pandemic has dramatically altered home buyer and seller behaviors in some unexpected ways.

  6. 🌹 Found someone worth going out on a date with? It’s risky business. For one thing: the pandemic. And another thing: You may never see them again. We turned to experts to figure out what to ask before you meet up in you know, a cool way.


“It’s gratifying that the first Black and Asian female vice president to be sworn in publicly acknowledges not only her ethnicity but Black women’s role in getting her to where she is.” — columnist Jenice Armstrong writes about the hope she has for Kamala Harris’s vice presidency to usher in progress for long-overlooked Black women.

  1. Akira Drake Rodriguez, assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania, writes that we should be listening to our educators who actually log time in classrooms when it comes to the issue of how to reopen schools.

  2. Democratic Committee Person for the 21st Ward Rebecca Poyourow writes about the strategies that helped raise voter turnout in the ward for this election with the voter education effort.

What we’re reading

  1. In time for the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims' arrival, the National Geographic brings even more of the story of the Pilgrims and the Native Americans into focus.

  2. The Philadelphia Tribune is talking about the tough Thanksgiving planning decisions facing families with college students this year.

Your Daily Dose of | Gardens

Winter may be coming, but South Philly’s special garden plots in the works give us something to look forward too.

Growing Home Gardens, the community garden project 10 years in the making, is underway on the 700 block of Emily Street. The Nepali Bhutanese immigrants who tend to their produce-filled plots have enjoyed growing ingredients like Kermit eggplant and Ho Chi Minh hot pepper from donated seeds. Now, thanks to funding, the gardens are getting spruced up.

Spring 2021 never looked so good.