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Could your boss make you get vaccinated? | Morning Newsletter

And, the BlackStar Film Festival starts today.

    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, resolute readers of The Inquirer Morning Newsletter.

First: Can bosses insist you get a COVID vaccine? Yes, but with caveats.

Then: Philly officials continue to urge people to wear masks when in public but are stopping short of reestablishing a mask mandate or restrictions.

And: See what the BlackStar Film Festival, celebrating 10 years, means for Black and brown creatives.

— Olayemi Falodun (

More employers are requiring workers to get vaccinated, especially in health care and public sectors. But many company leaders are split on the question.

There is legal precedent for requiring vaccines. But employers must make reasonable accommodations for those workers who take medical and religious exemptions.

Reporter Erin Arvedlund looks at what many companies are doing in the Philadelphia area.

  1. Upper Merion Area School District will require teachers and staff to get vaccinated or wear a mask and submit to routine COVID-19 testing this fall, the school board decided this week.

Philadelphia has so far stopped short of measures enacted in other states and cities, such as requiring vaccines for government workers or mandating verification of vaccination status to dine indoors or go to a gym — as New York City announced Tuesday.

Philadelphians should get vaccinated and mask up, due to an uptick in new coronavirus cases, acting Health Commissioner Cheryl Bettigole said Tuesday. More than half the adult population in Philly is vaccinated, but the rate of new cases among young people, who also have the lowest vaccination rates in the city, is rising fastest.

Reporter Laura McCrystal covers how Philly officials look to curb the spread of the virus with recommendations, instead of restrictions.

Reopening resources

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

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

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

  4. Should you laminate your vaccination card?

  5. You should probably replace your fabric face masks.

What you need to know today

  1. Spirit Airlines cited operational problems behind the massive cancellation of 40% of flights that left many Philly-area travelers stranded this week.

  2. A 51-year-old Lindenwold man bragged to his coworkers at a Camden County UPS hub about joining in on the Jan. 6 Capitol riots. Authorities say they helped turn him in.

  3. The scent- and sun-covering products you’re putting on your body are making air pollution worse, according to a new study from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

  4. Penn State faculty are pushing for the university to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations to address concerns after the death of two students due to coronavirus-related complications.

  5. An Olney native authored a guidebook for those trying to navigate life with cancer.

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

A bird in-house is better than two on the fence. Thank you 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

🏀 The Sixers got themselves a new center to play a backup role, but he’s a noted rival of superstar Joel Embiid.

🚴‍♀️ Ready for today’s reason not to give up? A former “inside kid” learned how to ride bikes after trying with nearly disastrous results for decades.

🍝 Two staple Italian restaurants in Philly are closing after decades.


“His reported actions — in working aggressively with both friends in the Justice Department and with Trump at a time when the results of a clean election were under attack, and as Trump was encouraging his supporters to criminally disrupt the Jan. 6 certification at the Capitol — call into question his very legitimacy to hold office,” writes columnist Will Bunch, laying out the case for why Congressman Scott Perry of Pennsylvania’s 10th District deserves scrutiny.

  1. A Central Bucks doctor, Anusha Viswanathan, recounts how she was verbally bullied at a school meeting about COVID-19 policies related to her child and other schoolchildren returning for in-person lessons.

  2. The U.S. women’s soccer team, which has seen historic dominance and success, isn’t playing in the gold-medal game at the Tokyo Olympics this year, but that’s no reason to fire the manager. Sports reporter Jonathan Tannenwald says the goal should be to keep USWNT manager Vlatko Andonovski.

What we're reading

  1. A Bethlehem Catholic graduate and Penn State alum is headed to the shot put finals at the Tokyo Olympics, the Morning Call reports.

  2. Despite being diagnosed with a rare condition that made her legally blind, Philadelphia-area singer-songwriter Danie Ocean continues to rock out and inspire others to persevere. She talked to Philadelphia Weekly ahead of her band performing Aug. 14 at Clem Macrone Park in Bryn Mawr.

  3. Tuesday marked Equal Pay Day for Black women, and Fortune explained why that’s a problem for everyone.

  4. Major cities are looking to retire their use of ShotSpotter, a gunshot detection system, Vice reported.

  5. WWE released 72-year-old wrestling icon Ric Flair, who has suffered from various health complications in recent years, People noted.

Your daily dose of | Stars

The BlackStar Film Festival, which champions Black, brown, and indigenous filmmakers, kicks off today and is celebrating its 10-year anniversary. Maori Karmael Holmes, the festival’s founder, talked to Elizabeth Wellington about keeping the mission going.