Coronavirus Primer

This curation of articles is intended to help readers of The Post better understand issues involved in the 2020 COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic across Pennsylvania. Click on any headline to read a story at its source.

April 10, 2021

Hundreds vaccinated Friday at new Pottstown clinic
Hundreds of people were vaccinated against the COVID-19 coronavirus Friday on the first day of the new vaccination site opened at Bethel Community Church of Pottstown. (Phoenix, Reporter and Item)

Montgomery County reports 263 new coronavirus cases as surge continues
As the 57th week of the coronavirus pandemic in Montgomery County came to a close on Friday, officials reported 263 additional county residents tested positive for the virus — the sixth day this week that the county recorded 200 or more cases. (Montgomery Media)

Much fewer Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines available next week
Southeastern Pennsylvania counties have seen gains in the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine allotment this week. Next week, those gains will be wiped out. (KYW NewsRadio)

April 9, 2021

COVID cases shut down Boyertown High School
Boyertown High School students will learn virtually Friday after seven new student COVID-19 cases were reported to the district. It announced closure of the building in a message sent to parents Thursday afternoon. (Reading Eagle)

Exercise blossoms for seniors with vaccinations, lifting of state restrictions
At Sanatoga Ridge Community near Pottstown, there’s been a recent increase in traffic in the community center and fitness rooms, now that residents of the senior living community have been vaccinated and state restrictions are lifted. That’s happening elsewhere, too. (Delaware County Daily Times)

April 8, 2021

Montgomery County sees influx of vaccine, opens new clinics in Lansdale and Pottstown
Montgomery County’s Office of Public Health received 21,000 additional doses of vaccine this week from the state and officials will open two new vaccination sites, in Pottstown and Lansdale, on Friday. (Montgomery Media)

April 7, 2021

COVID-19 vaccination clinic to open in Pottstown
A group of local organizations have joined together to sponsor a COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Bethel Community Church in Pottstown. The site will open Friday, April 9 at 9 a.m. (WFMZ-TV)

Montgomery County reports 225 coronavirus cases, more hospitalizations
More than 200 Montgomery County residents tested positive for the coronavirus, three more people died from the virus and the number of COVID-19 hospitalized patients increased as the spring surge of the virus continues, according to the latest daily data compiled by county health officials. (Phoenix, Reporter, and Item)

April 6, 2021

Coronavirus positivity rate surges in Montgomery County and SE Pa.
The coronavirus positivity rate surged in all seven Southeast Pennsylvania counties, including Montgomery County where it increased more than two percentage points from the previous week, according to the latest week-to-week data compiled by state health officials. (Phoenix, Reporter, and Item)

April 5, 2021

Montgomery County to debut new vaccine registration system to eliminate line-jumping
The county moving to a new online system to handle its vaccine clinic operations and appointments. It expects to offer users a better experience, and will eliminate link-sharing problems. (WHYY)

April 4, 2021

100,000 Montgomery County residents fully vaccinated against COVID-19
As the 56th week of the coronavirus pandemic in Montgomery County came to a close, more than 200 additional people tested positive for the virus and more than 100,000 residents had been fully vaccinated. (Phoenix, Reporter, and Item)

April 1, 2021

Montgomery County to receive additional vaccine from state
While Montgomery County officials remain concerned about a surge of COVID-19 cases in the county, they received some welcome news from state officials — more vaccine is coming to the Southeast Pennsylvania region. (Phoenix, Reporter, and Item)

Pennsylvania accelerating vaccine eligibility starting April 5; all adults eligible April 19
Pennsylvania is drastically expanding eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine. The state Wednesday said it is accelerating its push to get currently eligible people immunized if they have not yet received shots: law enforcers, firefighters, grocery workers, and food and agriculture workers. (KYW NewsRadio)

Suburban counties breathe ‘huge sigh of relief’ as Pa. scraps plan for regional vaccination sites
Pennsylvania’s Department of Health has announced it’s scrapping a much-despised plan to establish two mass PEMA sites to handle vaccination in the populous counties around Philadelphia. (WHYY)

March 30, 2021

Pennsylvania schools to get $4.9B in federal pandemic aid
Pennsylvania schools will get nearly $5 billion from the federal COVID-19 aid package, the Wolf administration announced Monday. (Associated Press)

Montgomery County reports nearly 600 new cases of coronavirus, 3 deaths
Nearly 600 Montgomery County residents tested positive for the coronavirus and three more people died from the virus during the most recent three-day period, according to the latest county data. (Montgomery Media)

Providers race to schedule all Pennsylvanians for COVID-19 vaccination by March 31 deadline
COVID-19 vaccine providers in Pennsylvania are scrambling get everyone who is eligible for a shot scheduled. The state’s deadline to make sure everyone is signed up looms on March 31. (KYW NewsRadio)

CDC extends eviction ban through June as 30% of Pa. households fall behind on rent
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has extended a nationwide ban on evictions through June. Before Monday’s announcement, the hold on lockups was due to expire in two days. (WHYY)

March 29, 2021

Utility companies urge action as Pa. shutoff moratorium nears end
PA utility companies can once again cut off your service if you’re behind on your bills, starting Thursday. A state moratorium on utility shutoffs during the pandemic ends after March 31. (KYW NewsRadio)

COVID-19 pandemic making college choice especially difficult
May 1 is college decision day, the deadline for incoming freshmen to commit to a school. For this year’s high school seniors, the decision is especially difficult. Campus life is a shell of what it was before the pandemic. (KYW NewsRadio)

March 27, 2021

501 Vaccinated Friday at Pottstown Middle School
Life-saving vaccines, 501 does of them, arrived in Pottstown Friday evening thanks to a joint effort by the NAACP of Pottstown and The Medicine Shoppe pharmacy of Boyertown. (Digital Notebook)

Montgomery County passes 50,000 coronavirus case mark
As the 55th week of the coronavirus pandemic in Montgomery County ended, the county reached a milestone: it passed the 50,000 mark in the number of positive cases recorded since the virus surfaced. (Phoenix, Reporter, and Item)

Wolf administration refuses to release details of wasted COVID-19 vaccine doses
The Wolf administration is refusing to disclose details of wasted coronavirus vaccine doses, including how many have been discarded by each provider, citing a decades-old law that it has frequently used to shield the public from scrutinizing its pandemic response. (Spotlight PA)

March 26, 2021

COVID-19 cases in Pa. nursing homes drop by 87 percent after mass vaccinations
Coronavirus vaccinations of the elderly during an initial rollout in mid-December fueled an 83-percent nationwide drop in new cases in nursing homes by early February. In PA, the decline was 87 percent. (Phoenix, Reporter, and Item)

United Way survey seeks to understand pandemic impacts on Pa. families
United Way of Pennsylvania is conducting a short and confidential COVID-19 Impact Survey to assess the financial and household burdens that the pandemic has caused on state families. (Phoenix, Reporter, and Item)

March 25, 2021

Suburbs are playing hand dealt by the state for vaccines, officials say
Leaders of the counties bordering Philadelphia are still frustrated with the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution and allocation, but they’re moving forward the best they can. (KYW NewsRadio)

Pennsylvania ranks 17th in the nation for COVID vaccine distribution
Pennsylvania currently ranks 17th in the nation for the percent of people who have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Last month it ranked 30th. (

March 24, 2021

Montgomery County reports 102 coronavirus cases, one death
More than 100 Montgomery County residents tested positive for the coronavirus and one person died from the virus, according to the latest daily data reported Tuesday by county health officials. (Phoenix, Reporter, and Item)

‘Dry eye’ affecting more people during pandemic, ophthalmologist says
First there was “maskne,” people complaining about skin breakouts due to wearing face masks. Now dry eye is a complaint affecting more people during the pandemic. One major culprit? Again, face masks. (6ABC-TV)

As thousands of unemployment claims expire, Pa. residents refile, wait on federal benefits
Thousands of Pennsylvanians have or will reach the end of their state unemployment benefits this month and next. They’re approaching one-year anniversaries of the date they first lost work in the pandemic. (Spotlight PA)

March 23, 2021

Montgomery County reports 388 new coronavirus cases, 10 deaths during three-day period
Nearly 400 Montgomery County residents tested positive for the coronavirus and 10 more people died from the virus during the most recent three-day Saturday through Monday period, county data shows. (Montgomery Media)

Pennsylvania eases mask mandate for vaccinated people
Pennsylvania has eased its mask mandate to allow people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to gather with other vaccinated people without masks or social distancing, state health officials said Monday. (Associated Press at WHYY)

Americans have piled on the pounds during the COVID-19 pandemic
Researches found adults gained nearly two pounds per month during a four-month stretch that corresponded with the most stringent lockdowns last year. That could add up to 20 pounds a year. (Philly Voice)

March 22, 2021

Teachers and students are working through a ‘mass trauma’ together
As more students and teachers return to classrooms across the country, experts worry about how the pandemic will not only affect learning, but also emotional and intellectual development. (KYW NewsRadio)

Doctor uses super strength to lift spirits at vaccination event
Dr. Mayank Amin is known as Dr. Mak to those in his community, and “Superman” at a weekend vaccine clinic in Montgomery County. He said he wears the cape to keep people’s spirits up. (WFMZ-TV)

March 20, 2021

COVID-19: Faulty Video Service Disrupts Visitation Time in PA Prisons
Bad audio, dropped video, and app crashes are disrupting limited time now offered to Pennsylvania correctional facility inmates and their families. Prisoner, family, and advocacy agency complaints are being heard across Pennsylvania about faulty video software supplied by a company called Polycom. Philadelphia Neighborhoods)

March 19, 2021

No-cost transportation to vaccine appointments available for Montgomery County residents
Help is available for Montgomery County residents who may lack transportation to get to a coronavirus vaccination clinic when it’s their turn to receive the vaccine, according to county officials. (Phoenix, Reporter, and Item)

Suburban counties ready to amp up distribution of COVID-19 vaccine if only Pa. could supply it
As leaders from each of the four counties bordering Philadelphia go back and forth with the Wolf administration over vaccine supply concerns, they have a simple message: They’re ready and waiting. (KYW NewsRadio)

Essential, unemployed, overstretched: How the COVID economy crashed on women
Some call it the “triple whammy.” Others, the “one-two-three punch and a kick.” In Pennsylvania, as in the rest of the country, working women have faced unique precarity and hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic. (WHYY)

During height of coronavirus pandemic, Pa. lawmakers still cashed in big on meals, lodging
An analysis of legislative records found lawmakers requested and received $726,877 from the beginning of March — as the pandemic emerged — through the end of 2020 as reimbursement for lodging and meals while traveling to and from the Capitol or other meetings across the state. (Spotlight PA)

March 18, 2021

Federal stimulus packages provide funding relief for Montgomery County
The passage of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 offers additional relief for Montgomery County with opportunities to stretch the stimulus dollars over time. (Montgomery Media)

New website puts pressure on governor to let Pa. events industry get back to work
Leaders in the Pennsylvania catering industry have created a website to put pressure on the governor to allow events to be held safely throughout the state. (KYW NewsRadio)

March 17, 2021

Pennsylvania legislature will vote remotely as coronavirus spreads
The Pennsylvania House passed temporary rules Monday allowing its 203 members to vote remotely,as cases of the coronavirus continue to increase. (Spotlight PA)

March 16, 2021

Montgomery County reports 319 coronavirus cases, 1 death during latest three-day period
Montgomery County averaged about 105 coronavirus cases per day during the most recent three-day reporting period, according to the latest county data available Monday. (Phoenix, Reporter, and Item)

Phoenixville Schools to Offer Classes 5 Days a Week
The Phoenixville School Board voted 7-2 Monday night to allow a return to in-person learning for five days week, as well as an option for students to remain virtual for five days a week. (Digital Notebook)

March 15, 2021

Montgomery County looking to open vaccination site in Pottstown
The county is working with Pottstown Borough to identify a vaccination site location able to administer 750-1,000 vaccinations daily that could be reached without a car,” according to Montgomery Commissioners Chairwoman Valerie Arkoosh. (Phoenix, Reporter, and Item)

Meet the volunteers helping Montco seniors register for COVID-19 vaccines
Montgomery County is looking for more volunteers to assist seniors with computer literacy and internet issues pre-register for the COVID-19 vaccine. (WHYY)

March 14, 2021

Montgomery County officials say race, ethnicity data important for vaccine rollout
Montgomery County officials urge residents who pre-register to receive a COVID-19 vaccine to identify their race or ethnicity in order to assist health officials in determining if vaccine is being administered equitably in the county. (Phoenix, Reporter, and Item)

March 13, 2021

Friday Update: Montgomery County reports 118 new coronavirus cases, 3 deaths
As the 53rd week of the coronavirus pandemic in Montgomery County came to a close on Friday, officials reported more than 100 county residents testified positive and three more individuals died from the virus. (Phoenix, Reporter, and Item)

COVID-19 pandemic worsens financial distress for private liberal arts colleges
Many private liberal arts colleges are struggling to survive amid the coronavirus pandemic. Enrollment is down, and they depend more on room and board revenue than larger universities. (KYW NewsRadio)

March 12, 2021

Montgomery County reports 102 coronavirus cases, two more deaths
More than 100 Montgomery County residents have tested positive for the coronavirus and two more individuals have died from the virus, according to the latest data that tracks daily virus cases. (Phoenix, Reporter, and Item)

March 11, 2021

Collegeville restaurant remembers those in need during pandemic
As restaurant sales nose-dived during the pandemic, Collegeville’s Chow Bistro co-owner Maitai Doughty found a way to survive as well as nourish its charitable side by offering free food to those in need.

Boyertown-area pantry makes push for more donations
Preston’s Food Pantry in Boyertown is participating in a campaign with an area bank to match donations this month. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the need in the community has increased drastically.

March 9, 2021

Officials in Philly suburbs clash with Pa. Health Department over vaccine allotment
A showdown is brewing between Montgomery, Bucks, Chester and Delaware counties and the Pennsylvania Department of Health over its allotment of COVID-19 vaccines, compared to less-populated counties in the rest of the state. (6ABC-TV)

Thousands of people will have to re-apply for unemployment in Pennsylvania
Thousands of Pennsylvanians entering a second calendar year as unemployed due to the pandemic will have to re-file the unemployment claims to receive benefits, the Department of Labor & Industry said. (WPXI-TV)

March 6, 2021

Montgomery County launches mobile vaccine program for elderly
As Montgomery County health officials launched a mobile COVID-19 vaccination program for some elderly residents, they also reported on Friday that nearly 150 additional county residents tested positive for the virus. (Phoenix, Reporter, and Item)

March 5, 2021

Montco starved for COVID-19 vaccines but making progress, says official
Montgomery County is not getting enough vaccine supply from the state, but they’re still making good progress in distribution efforts, says Commissioner Dr. Val Arkoosh. (KYW NewsRadio)

Pennsylvania extends nursing-home virus response program
Wolf administration officials said Thursday that Pennsylvania will extend a key feature of its response to coronavirus outbreaks in nursing homes, albeit on a scaled-down model after federal funding ran out in December. (Associated Press)

‘Good news for our schools,’ Montgomery County official praises plan to vaccinate teachers
Montgomery County officials welcomed the state announcement this week that it’s setting aside an allotment of one-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine for teachers and other school employees. (Phoenix, Reporter, and Item)

March 4, 2021

Pennsylvania teachers, school staff to get 1-dose vaccine
With growing emphasis on getting students back in schools during the pandemic, teachers and school staff will receive the first doses delivered to Pennsylvania of the newly approved one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine, under Gov. Tom Wolf’s plan released Wednesday. (Associated Press)

Federal investment in small businesses could revive economy after the pandemic
Grant and loan programs are among recent efforts to support businesses reeling from revenues lost during the pandemic. New research finds that federal agencies get a bigger bang for their buck when they channel grant dollars into smaller startups rather than large companies. (Indiana University)

March 3, 2021

Montgomery County reports 13 coronavirus deaths over four days
As Montgomery County neared the one-year anniversary of the coronavirus surfacing in the county, officials on Tuesday reported nearly 500 daily new positive cases of the virus and more than a dozen new virus-related deaths during the latest four-day period. (Phoenix, Reporter, and Item)

Wolf all but confirms Pa. teachers will be priority for J&J vaccine
A plan to prioritize teachers for the vaccine, leaked in the form of an e-mail, says Pennsylvania is in line for 94,000 doses of J&J vaccine. An official announcement will come Wednesday. (KYW NewsRadio)

March 2, 2021

Report finds 20% of Pennsylvania restaurants could close within 3 months
Pennsylvania restaurants are faring worse during the pandemic than many of their industry peers across the country, according to new data jointly released by the National Restaurant Association and Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association. (Philadelphia Business Journal)

Pennsylvania lifts out-of-state travel restrictions, increases event limits
Gov. Tom Wolf said the state is doing away with a requirement that people who are traveling to Pennsylvania from another state, as well as Pennsylvania residents who are returning home from out of state, must test negative for the virus within 72 hours prior to arrival. (6ABC-TV)

March 1, 2021

Big Drive-Thru Vaccine Distribution Site Under Construction In King Of Prussia
A big drive-thru vaccine distribution site is under construction in King of Prussia. Crews are assembling carports at the former site of Babies R Us near the King of Prussia Mall. (CBS3-TV)

Feb. 27, 2021

Tower Health expands COVID-19 testing in Gilbertsville
Tower Health is making changes at two of its urgent care centers. A dedicated COVID-19 testing site at the urgent carein southwest Reading is now closed permanently. Its Gilbertsville urgent care center will be open longer for COVID-19 testing. (WFMZ-TV)

Feb. 26, 2021

PA Receives Largest Weekly Shipment Of Vaccine Doses Yet
Pennsylvania received its largest weekly shipment of first doses yet, an increase of more than 42,000 over last week, officials said. (Patch)

Pa. acting health secretary grilled by lawmakers on inconsistent vaccine rollout
Members of the Pennsylvania House Appropriations Committee grilled acting Health Secretary Alison Beam Thursday over the state’s fumbles with the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. (KYW NewsRadio)

Feb. 25, 2021

Pennsylvania lawmakers ask feds to waive school test mandate
The chairs of Pennsylvania’s state Senate Education Committee on Wednesday asked the Biden administration to waive this year’s requirement for school standardized testing because of the pandemic. (Associated Press)

Montgomery County hotline helps seniors make vaccine appointments
Montgomery County residents who don’t have the internet or technical skills to navigate the county’s online COVID-19 vaccination site can now pre-register for a vaccine appointment by telephone thanks to a network of volunteers. (Phoenix, Reporter, and Item)

Pa. sees record rise in revenue for online gambling — and addictive behaviors
Pennsylvania has seen an increase in internet gambling revenue as the coronavirus pandemic carries on. But for some players, this popular method of gambling is also bringing about some new vices. (KYW NewsRadio)

Feb. 24, 2021

Montgomery County reports three coronavirus deaths, 110 new positive cases
As the risk of community spread of the coronavirus appears to be shrinking in Montgomery County, officials reported on Tuesday that more than 100 individuals tested positive for the virus and three more people died from the virus. (Phoenix, Reporter, and Item)

Half of U.S. college students battling anxiety or depression, study finds
The mental health of young American adults continues to be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. In a national survey of nearly 33,000 college students, half screened positive for anxiety or depression. (Philly Voice)

Shusterman hosting COVID-19 vaccine Town Hall March 2
State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-157th, of Schuylkill Township, will partner with local health officials to host a vaccine telephone town hall at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 2. (Phoenix, Reporter, and Item)

Feb. 22, 2021

Pennsylvania sees decline in COVID-19 cases since December
As Pennsylvania works to straighten out issues with its vaccine administration, there’s some good news regarding COVID-19 case counts. Statewide, the positivity rate of COVID-19 tests is at 6.5%. (KYW NewsRadio)

Feb. 19, 2021

Montgomery County may have to delay some second vaccine shots
Montgomery County faces a COVID-19 vaccine shortage and some scheduled second doses may be delayed. Residents who have registered may have to wait 12 weeks before getting an appointment date, the county said. (WFMZ-TV)

COVID-19 Relief Package Includes Expansion of Health Care Coverage
Democrats in Congress plan to use the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill to advance President Joe Biden’s campaign promises to make affordable health care available to more Americans, reversing the Trump-era decline in the number of people with health insurance. (Stateline)

Feb. 17, 2021

Montgomery County reports 507 coronavirus cases, three deaths over four-day period
As Montgomery County marked the 50th week that the coronavirus has been present in the county, officials on Tuesday reported more than 500 daily new positive cases of the virus and three more virus-related deaths during the latest four-day period. (Main Line Media News)

Feb. 16, 2021

Coronavirus positivity decreases in Montgomery County and five neighboring counties
The coronavirus positivity rate continued to trend downward ever so slightly in Montgomery County and in five of the six neighboring counties, according to the latest data compiled by state health officials. (Phoenix, Reporter, and Item)

A COVID-19 vaccine for children inches closer as AstraZeneca launches trial
As school districts across the country continue to face tough decisions about how to reopen safely, clinical trials to test COVID-19 vaccines on children are ramping up. (Philly Voice)

Feb. 15, 2021

The inside story of how Pennsylvania failed to deliver millions in coronavirus rent relief
Pennsylvania’s first effort to help renters was doomed from the start, according to a review of thousands of emails obtained under the state Right-To-Know Law. Housing officials were not consulted on the details, and warned of serious problems before it launched. (Spotlight PA)

Long-term social isolation can be detrimental to youth development, expert says
The inability for young people to spend time with friends, have a normal school year or engage in their extracurricular activities is hurting their social development, says addiction counselor Gregory Koufacos. (KYW NewsRadio)

Feb. 13, 2021

The most frequently asked questions about Pa.’s frustrating vaccine rollout
A Q&A event Thursday with health experts and advocates from across the state addressed some of the most pressing and frequently asked coronavirus vaccination questions. (Spotlight PA)

Feb. 12, 2021

Some Boyertown School District staff get COVID vaccine through local pharmacy
On Wednesday, 243 staff members in the Boyertown School District got their first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine thanks to Ed Hudon, owner of the Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy in Boyertown. (Eagle)

Montgomery County reports 172 daily new positive cases of coronavirus
As COVID-19 testing and vaccine distribution programs continue in Montgomery County, health officials reported 172 daily new positive cases of the virus on Thursday. (Reporter)

Feb. 11, 2021

Montgomery County launches COVID-19 hotline
People with general questions about COVID-19 or the vaccine can now call Montgomery County’s new COVID-19 hotline. The county board of commissioners announced the new hotline in a virtual COVID-19 briefing Wednesday. (WFMZ-TV)

Montgomery County cancels COVID vaccine clinic for the week amid short supply
Faced with a shortage of COVID vaccines, Montgomery County has canceled its first-dose vaccine clinics for the rest of the week. (Bucks County Courier Times)

Related to the above: State Tells Pharmacies They Won’t Receive Vaccines This Week (CBS-TV)

Feb. 10, 2021

Montgomery County authorizes $24M for rental, utility assistances amid coronavirus pandemic
Nearly 3,000 Montgomery County renters impacted financially by the COVID-19 pandemic will soon find some relief as local leaders authorized more than $24 million in federal funding for the Montgomery County Federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program. (Mercury)

Feb. 9, 2021

Montgomery County coronavirus positivity rate continues downward trend
The coronavirus positivity rate continued a downward trend in Montgomery County while Chester County’s positivity rate increased slightly, according to the latest data for southeastern Pennsylvania compiled by state health officials. (Times Herald)

Pa. struggles with vaccine rollout; Lack of targeted outreach leave communities behind
The state’s patchwork approach has left particularly at-risk residents and communities at a tremendous disadvantage. Older Pennsylvanians, who are supposed to be among the first in line to get the vaccine, are struggling with clunky and disjointed online sign-ups. (Spotlight PA)

Feb. 8, 2021

Montgomery County Parents Hold Rally To Fight For Return To In-School Instruction
Parents who want their children to return to the classroom rallied outside the Pennsylvania State Education Association regional office Saturday, contending the teachers’ union is “strong-arming” teachers and influencing school boards to keep schools closed. (CBS3-TV)

Douglassville Hotel cut off from alcohol sales by troopers for COVID violations
The Douglassville Hotel on Old Swede Road has been temporarily banned from selling alcohol after it was found to have been in violation of state COVID-19 restrictions. (Berks-Mont News)

Feb. 6, 2021

Chaotic vaccine scheduling forces some to find other ways to enter the system
The frenzy to get vaccinated is causing some people to go to extreme measures to get an appointment, Montgomery County officials indicated. (KYW NewsRadio)

Feb. 4, 2021

Montgomery County official chides social media users for sharing links to vaccine
Characterizing it as unethical, Montgomery County officials say some residents are sharing COVID-19 vaccine appointment links on social media at a time when the county is dealing with a scarcity of vaccine. (Phoenix, Reporter, and Item)

Feb. 2, 2021

Without a Ride, Many in Need Have No Shot at COVID-19 Vaccine
While state and local governments have been busy planning for and distributing vaccines, many have left out an important piece: how to provide transportation to people who can’t get to those sites. (Stateline)

Jan. 30, 2021

Could a centralized vaccine signup ease Pa.’s rollout pains? Here’s the answer
The state is relying on a patchwork of individual health-care providers to create and manage their own scheduling, causing frustration among some residents. (Spotlight PA)

COVID-19 pandemic isolation hits younger adults harder than older adults, US Census finds
A new survey indicates living alone during the coronavirus pandemic may have a greater mental health impact on young adults than on older adults. (KYW NewsRadio)

Blame game begins over Pennsylvania’s slow vaccine rollout
Republicans fault the administration of Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf for Pennsylvania’s slow COVID-19 vaccine rollout. Wolf himself says insufficient supply is the real culprit. That sets up a fresh political fight over who’s to blame for frustrations of eligible residents trying to get inoculated. (Associated Press)

Jan. 28, 2021

First case of U.K. coronavirus variant confirmed in Montgomery County
Montgomery County health officials have identified the county’s first documented case of a more contagious coronavirus variant that was first identified in the United Kingdom. (Phoenix, Reporter, and Item)

PA senior-living facilities haven’t received vaccine as widened eligibility, low supply slow rollout
After a sluggish start, the vast majority of nursing homes in Pennsylvania have hosted at least one COVID-19 vaccine clinic for residents and staff. But the same can’t be said of personal care homes and assisted living facilities, where thousands of people have died of coronavirus. (Spotlight PA)

Jan. 27, 2021

COVID-19 has impacted many people’s mental health — including therapists’
COVID-19 has impacted many people’s mental wellness, and therapists are no exception. With more need during the pandemic comes more demand for services, causing some providers to burn out. (KYW NewsRadio)

Jan. 26, 2021

Montgomery County reports two coronavirus deaths, 771 new positive cases over three days
Montgomery County officials reported 771 individuals tested positive for the virus, and two additional people died from the virus, during the latest three-day period ending Monday. (Phoenix, Reporter, and Item)

Coronavirus positivity rate continues downward trend in Montgomery County, six neighboring counties
Montgomery County and six neighboring counties continued to show downward trends in coronavirus percent-positivity rates, according to the latest data compiled by state health officials. (Phoenix, Reporter, and Item)

COVID-19 is changing the way clinical trials are conducted
Virtual clinical trials of new medicines, made necessary by the coronavirus pandemic, are making it easier for more people to participate from their homes, at their own convenience. (KYW NewsRadio)

Jan. 25, 2021

Latest on coronavirus in Pa.: 205 more deaths as total cases number nearly 800K
The Pennsylvania Department of Health reported 5,785 new coronavirus cases and 205 more deaths on Saturday. Across Pennsylvania, 799,957 people have contracted COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic about a year ago. (PennLive)

Want kids back in school? There’s a PAC for that
Throughout the pandemic, a group of Philadelphia-area parents has been pushing local schools to reopen for in-person learning. Now they have a political action committee to raise money and flex their newfound political muscle. (WHYY)

PA Labor Department to resume pandemic unemployment program payments
The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry says unemployment benefits will resume for residents making claims under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. They had been delayed for weeks due to computer problems. (WTAE-TV)

Jan. 23, 2021

Biden Eviction Moratorium Called ‘Good Start’
One of President Joe Biden’s first actions in office is extending the federal moratorium on evictions, but civil-rights advocates believe it should go further. Comments by Ian Thompson, senior legislative representative, American Civil Liberties Union. (Public News Service)

Jan. 21, 2021

Montgomery County officials say more coronavirus vaccine needed to keep up with demand
Availability of coronavirus vaccine is still limited, Montgomery County officials said, despite Pennsylvania Department of Health changes to COVID-19 vaccine distribution guidelines announced earlier this week. (Phoenix, Reporter, and Item)

Jan. 20, 2021

Spring-Ford to Return to In-Person Classes Feb. 4
For families who want it, Spring-Ford’s upper grades will return to in-person education four days a week starting Feb. 4, its school board unanimously agreed Tuesday during a special meeting. (Digital Notebook)

Pa. Expands Vaccine to Residents 65 and Older, and Those with High-Risk Conditions
Pennsylvania health officials announced Tuesday that anyone 65 and older or in high-risk health categories is now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, following similar moves in states like New Jersey. (NBC10-TV)

Montco officials hope virtual town hall will tackle vaccine hesitancy in Black communities
The Montgomery County Board of Commissioners is teaming up with the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium to host a virtual town hall Thursday to tackle vaccine hesitancy in Black communities. (KYW NewsRadio)

Montgomery County records 1,278 new positive coronavirus cases, no deaths, over 4-day period
Montgomery County officials reported that more than 1,200 county residents tested positive for the coronavirus during the latest four-day period ending Tuesday. (Montgomery Media)

Jan. 19, 2021

Frustration, Confusion Mounting As Some People Receiving Vaccine Before Their Turn
There is growing frustration and confusion about COVID-19 vaccinations. Officials say supplies are short but people are getting the vaccine even though it’s not their turn. (CBS3-TV)

Jan. 18, 2021

Post-holiday donations, Montgomery County food pantries enter winter amid coronavirus pandemic
Food pantries are navigating an increasing need across Montgomery County as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact daily life. Now that the holiday season has concluded and the harsh winter months progress, organizations need to keep up with the demand of those in need. (Reporter)

Local school districts can apply for millions of dollars in federal stimulus funds
Some K-12 school districts and charter schools in the state affected by the COVID-19 pandemic will be eligible to apply for a portion of $2.2 billion in federal stimulus funds. (WFMZ-TV)

Jan. 15, 2021

COVID-19 In Pennsylvania: Temporary Waiver Allows Pharmacists To Administer Vaccine
Pennsylvania is allowing pharmacists to administer the COVID-19 vaccines once they are available to the public. Governor Tom Wolf approved a temporary waiver that will allow pharmacists to administer the shot without a doctor’s order. (KDKA-TV)

Pennsylvania Constitutional amendment limiting governor’s emergency powers passes committee
Republican lawmakers in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives wasted little time this week advancing a bill that would amend the state constitution to limit the governor’s emergency powers. (Main Line Media)

Jan. 14, 2021

Virtual town hall aims to boost vaccine confidence
Concerned by those with doubts about the efficacy and safety of the new vaccines to battle the COVID-19 virus, area leaders held a virtual town hall Tuesday seeking to address those concerns. (Phoenix, Reporter, and Item)

Jan. 12, 2021

Online town hall Tuesday looks to build COVID vaccine trust
A panel of local health experts and community leaders will host a virtual town hall Tuesday evening (tonight) from Pottstown aimed at building trust in the coming COVID-19 vaccines. (Montgomery Media)

When will it be your turn to get the coronavirus vaccine? Here’s a guide
With the holidays over, officials say, vaccination efforts are expected to ramp up. So we’re all wondering: When will it be my turn? Here’s an interactive guide to determine an answer. (WHYY Radio)

PA, NJ to start distributing extra $300 unemployment benefit this week
Starting this week, Pennsylvania and New Jersey will start to distribute an extra weekly $300 in federal funds to residents receiving unemployment assistance, but they’re still waiting for guidelines on how to continue to run the pandemic assistance program. (KYW NewsRadio)

Jan. 11, 2021

For some, vaccine distribution still brings confusion and concern
Many people are confused and concerned about when and how they’ll get the COVID-19 vaccine. One Montgomery County EMS director shares how he figured out and got clarity on the process. (KYW NewsRadio)

Jan. 9, 2021

Pennsylvania updates COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan
Pennsylvania on Friday released an updated coronavirus vaccine plan that makes more people eligible for shots in the initial phases of the rollout. Health care workers and nursing home residents remain at the front of the line. (Associated Press)

Jan. 8, 2021

Officials Encourage School Districts Resume In-Person Classes For Elementary Students
Pennsylvania health officials said Thursday the first COVID-19 variant case in the commonwealth has been confirmed in Dauphin County. They also said elementary school students should return to school, but not middle or high school students. (CBS3-TV)

Jan. 7, 2021

‘Today we take the fight to the virus’: Montco opens first COVID vaccine clinic
Even behind their masks, it was clear health care workers in Montgomery County were smiling from ear to ear Wednesday after receiving their doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. (WHYY Radio)

Jan. 6, 2021

Montgomery County records 26 coronavirus deaths over 7-day period
As doses of the coronavirus vaccine continue to be administered in Montgomery County, officials reported that nearly 2,500 individuals tested positive for the virus and 26 more people died from the virus during the latest seven-day period ending Tuesday. (Phoenix, Reporter, and Item)

Pa. lags nation in people tested per day, is nowhere near level needed to suppress the virus
Suppression testing would require the state to increase daily testing nearly four times over, but that’s the only way to use it as a tool to actually slow down the virus. (Spotlight PA)

Jan. 5, 2021

Pennsylvania has administered fewer than half of its allocated COVID-19 vaccine doses
As of Monday morning, only 42 percent of coronavirus vaccine doses shipped by U.S. health agencies across Pennsylvania — more than 320,000 — have been administered to people. (KYW NewsRadio)

Pennsylvania health secretary Levine sees vaccination effort moving into high gear in 2021
About 130,000 health care workers and other high-priority people have received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccinations since they began to arrive in mid-December. The state’s top health officer said she expects the effort to ramp up considerably. (Philadelphia Business Journal)

Jan. 3, 2021

COVID-19 puts suburban medics in situation they rarely see
As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, paramedics in the Philadelphia suburbs are in a situation they rarely see. Local hospitals are on divert, forcing them to take patients further away. (KYW NewsRadio)

Penn State researchers develop at-home ‘smell tests’ to detect COVID-19 cases
Loss of smell is one of the more unique and jarring symptoms of COVID-19. Researchers out of Penn State and elsewhere are working to use that to their advantage and develop a self-administered scratch-and-sniff smell test to detect COVID-19. (Philly Voice)

Jan. 2, 2021

COVID-19: Students With Special Needs, Teachers, and Families Handle Rocky Transition to Virtual Learning
The pandemic has meant an abrupt change for members of the community receiving special education services. Families whose children participate in special education programs have spent the past semester developing new routines to manage virtual schooling. (Philadelphia Neighborhoods)

Wolf to let some COVID-19 lockdown measures expire on Monday
Additional restrictions that were imposed in Pennsylvania almost three weeks ago to combat the COVID-19 pandemic will expire as expected early next week, Gov. Tom Wolf said. (Associated Press)

Dec. 30, 2020

8 Berks County restaurants among 22 state is petitioning Commonwealth Court to close and fine
Restaurants in Boyertown and Oley are among 22 that the state Department of Health has asked the Commonwealth Court to close and fine for defying Gov. Wolf’s restrictions on indoor dining. (Reading Eagle)

Montco reports 34 deaths, raising toll above 1,000
Montgomery County officials and the Office of Public Health Tuesday reported 34 COVID-19 deaths in the county from Dec. 23-29. Over the past week, 2,357 additional people tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the countywide total to 32,441 cases and 1,002 deaths. (Montgomery Media)

Puppy scams soar amid pandemic; Pennsylvania AG issues warning
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro recently issued a warning about scams increasing in frequency, including “pet sale scammers” who are posing as online retailers, charging hundreds or thousands of dollars for a puppy or kitten. (KYW NewsRadio)

Dec. 29, 2020

Unemployment benefits and one-time checks: What to know about the new stimulus in Pa.
Most taxpayers are set to receive a one-time payment of $600 and several unemployment programs will be restarted now that President Donald Trump has signed the second coronavirus stimulus bill. (WHYY Radio)

Montgomery County frontline workers receive COVID-19 vaccine
Countywide, 2,000 paramedics, nurses, and healthcare employees are set to get the first doses of the vaccine this week, after what man in the professions say is a very tough year. (WFMZ-TV)

Dec. 28, 2020

COVID-19 vaccines now rolling out to nursing homes in Pa., NJ
The effort to vaccinate nursing home residents and workers begins in Pennsylvania and New Jersey on Monday. In Pennsylvania, Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine says, facilities will have access to the Pfizer vaccine. (KYW NewsRadio)

Montgomery County grants another extension of disaster declaration amid coronavirus pandemic
A previously issued emergency disaster declaration was extended for the fifth consecutive time during a Montgomery County Board of Commissioners meeting amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. (Montgomery Media)

Dec. 26, 2020

‘We will be open’: Berks County restaurants ordered to close for violating COVID dine-in restrictions remain defiant
Claiming they are being treated unfairly and need to remain open to stay afloat, owners of several Berks County restaurants recently ordered to close for violating state COVID-19 restrictions say they will not be shutting their doors. (Reading Eagle)

Dec. 23, 2020

Montgomery County Reports 2,609 New COVID-19 Cases, 27 Deaths In Past Week
Montgomery County officials on Tuesday reported COVID-19 test results and deaths from Dec. 16-22: during the past week, 2,609 additional people tested positive for coronavirus and 27 people died of COVID-19. Countywide totals have now reached 30,085 cases and 968 deaths. (Montgomery County)

Zoom lifts time limit on free calls for the holidays
While the holidays will look different for everyone this year, Zoom is ensuring people around the world can stay connected. The video call company announced that it will lift the time limit on free calls during the holidays. Free calls are typically capped at 40 minutes. (Philly Voice)

Pa. misses deadline to spend $108M in rent, mortgage relief from CARES Act
Pennsylvania tenants and homeowners missed out on roughly $108 million of $175 million in federal coronavirus relief because state programs distributing the funding made it too hard to access. (Spotlight PA)

Dec. 22, 2020

Pottstown man builds COVID-safe Christmas hangout in elderly parents’ garage
Some people have no idea what to get their parents for Christmas. Ken Sachar from Pottstown is not one of those people. He turned his parents’ garage into a plexiglass pandemic-safe Christmas wonderland. (WFMZ-TV)

Levine describes next phase of COVID-19 vaccine delivery, while urging safety during holidays
Pennsylvania’s health secretary says more than 17,000 healthcare workers across the state were vaccinated against the coronavirus last week. She says, with another vaccine getting the green light, they’re expecting more than 228,000 doses this week. (KYW NewsRadio)

Dec. 21, 2020

‘Sigh of relief’: Montgomery County frontline workers receive first doses of area’s coronavirus vaccine
After months of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of medical professionals were given some of the first doses of the vaccine Friday morning in Montgomery County. (Phoenix, Reporter, and Item)

AAA issues rare advisory: Stay home for holidays
An organization that tracks and promotes travel is advising people not to go anywhere for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays because of the COVID-19 pandemic. (KYW NewsRadio)

Dec. 20, 2020

Pennsylvania spent $35M on plastic face shields in early ’20
Nearly a third of the $110 million that Pennsylvania spent on personal protective equipment and ventilators in the early months of the pandemic went toward face shields, a relatively niche item for which there wasn’t as much demand as for other kinds. (Associated Press)

Optimism high for health care workers as COVID-19 vaccine is distributed
As the area waits for a second COVID-19 vaccine to be distributed, health care professionals have already begun getting inoculated with the first vaccine to receive FDA approval. Some considered the occasion momentous. (KYW NewsRadio)

Dec. 18, 2020

Over 1,200 vaccine shots given in Pennsylvania; more coming
More than 1,200 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to health care workers at 16 Pennsylvania hospitals, the state health secretary said Thursday. Others across the state are waiting to receive more than 96,000 doses by the end of the week. (Associated Press)

Coronavirus: Tracking The Spread
A live coronavirus tracker, with daily compilations from multiple sources, including state and county health departments, to provide a more comprehensive picture of the coronavirus in the region. (Spotlight PA)

Dec. 17, 2020

Montgomery County hospitals receiving coronavirus vaccine this week
While the rising number of daily coronavirus cases and hospitalizations continues to be a concern in Montgomery County, officials reported some good news — the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are arriving at county hospitals this week. (Phoenix, Reporter, and Item)

As teachers quarantine, Philly-area schools hunt for substitutes
“It’s a major development that’s affecting the ability of schools to open,” said Dan Domenech, executive director of the American Association of School Administrators. (Inquirer)

Dogs might be able to smell COVID-19 and help limit its spread
Dogs are known to detect explosives, drugs and other public safety hazards. But can they consistently sniff out people who have COVID-19? Researchers around the world are trying to find out. (Philly Voice)

Dec. 15, 2020

Montgomery County’s coronavirus positivity rate continues to surge
Montgomery County’s coronavirus percent-positivity rate continued to rise as the county entered the 41st week of the pandemic, according to the latest data from state health officials. (Phoenix, Reporter, and Item)

Dec. 14, 2020

COVID-19 Vaccine Shipments Begin in Historic US Effort
Federal officials say the first shipments of Pfizer’s vaccine will be staggered, arriving in 145 distribution centers – including Philadelphia International Airport – on Monday. (NBC10-TV)

Dec. 13, 2020

Restaurants fear governor’s sudden indoor dining ban will cause vast unemployment, permanent closures
Restaurant insiders are concerned about the impact of Gov. Tom Wolf’s sudden decision to eliminate indoor dining through the holiday season. The temporary ban, which starts Saturday, is sure to cause a spike in unemployment. (KYW NewsRadio)

Parents band together for kids with special needs as they navigate remote learning
While students are adjusting to remote learning, students with special needs are finding it even more difficult — a worry for parents as the coronavirus pandemic rages on. A Facebook group is trying to help. (KYW NewsRadio)

Judge denies motion to toss Pennsylvania mask mandate
Pennsylvania may continue enforcing its mask mandate and perform contact tracing, a federal judge decided Friday, ruling against two families who claim the pandemic measures violate their constitutional rights. (Associated Press)

Dec. 10, 2020

Pottstown Schools to Cancel All In-Person Teaching
With the increasing number of coronavirus cases endangering safety, Pottstown Schools Superintendent Stephen Rodriguez announced Wednesday that all in-person classes will be stopped for the rest of the year, starting Monday, Dec. 14. (Digital Notebook)

More coronavirus hospitalizations now in Montgomery County than in spring
As the latest surge of the coronavirus grips the region, there are currently more people hospitalized with the virus in Montgomery County than were hospitalized during the initial spring surge, county officials revealed on Wednesday. (Phoenix, Reporter, and Item)

Gov. Wolf feeling well in quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said Wednesday he has tested positive for COVID-19 and is isolating at home. The second-term Democrat said a routine test on Tuesday detected the coronavirus. (6ABC-TV)

Dec. 9, 2020

Montgomery County records 499 new coronavirus cases, five more deaths
Montgomery County officials reported on Tuesday that another 499 individuals in the county tested positive for the coronavirus. (Phoenix, Reporter, and Item)

Group of Pennsylvania nursing home organizations suing Gov. Tom Wolf over missing coronavirus funds
Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration deprived Pennsylvania’s nursing homes of funds needed to fight COVID-19, under a lawsuit filed Tuesday by three organizations that collectively control over 900 nursing homes in the state. (Philly Voice)

Dec. 8, 2020

New measures aimed at slowing COVID-19 spread could be coming
Without giving specifics, Gov. Tom Wolf said the state is considering new measures that could be announced in the coming days if new cases continue to climb. He said they won’t be as restrictive as orders earlier this year. (KYW NewsRadio)

Coronavirus positivity rate surges in Montgomery County and six neighboring counties
Montgomery County and each of its six neighboring counties recorded increases in their coronavirus percent-positivity rates as the fall surge of the virus continued to grip the region, according to the latest data from state health officials. (Phoenix, Reporter, and Item)

Dec. 6, 2020

Pa. sees new record single-day case count as officials await vaccine approval
COVID-19 case counts continue to soar across the country, with no exception in Pennsylvania. State health officials again reported record numbers on Saturday. (KYW NewsRadio)

Dec. 5, 2020

Montgomery County Schools Make Mixed Decisions on Reopening
The Montgomery County Health Department’s mandate for virtual learning in county school districts is set to expire on Monday. It’s left districts to decide whether they will reopen for hybrid or in person learning. The districts’ decisions have made some parents relieved and others upset. (6ABC-TV)

Member of Boyertown School District coronavirus task force resigns, loses job after comments at meeting
A member of the Boyertown School District’s COVID-19 pandemic task force has resigned, and has been fired from a job with Lehigh Valley Health Network, after downplaying the danger of the disease during virtual meetings with school district staff. Officials declined to identify the individual. (Reading Eagle)

Pa. hospitals on the brink of a staffing crisis as COVID-19 surges
Hospitals in two regions of Pennsylvania are struggling to maintain the staff needed to care for soaring numbers of COVID-19 patients, as the state reported more than 11,400 new cases Thursday, shattering the previous record. (Spotlight PA)

Coronavirus-inspired pet names gaining popularity, survey finds
The coronavirus pandemic has influenced just about every aspect of our lives — including what we name our new pets. A poll by Rover discovered the top pet names of 2020, and the trends certainly reflect our new environment. (KYW NewsRadio)

Dec. 4, 2020

Pa. health officials concerned about growing strain on hospitals
Positive COVID-19 cases in Pennsylvania peaked Thursday at more than 11,000, a record high since the start of the pandemic. State health officials say they are concerned about shortages of hospital beds and staffing. (KYW NewsRadio)

Dec. 2, 2020

Coronavirus continues to spread in Montgomery County
Montgomery County’s coronavirus positivity rate remained at a level last week that indicated community spread of the virus continues, according to state health officials. (Phoenix, Reporter, and Item)

Virtual opportunities to connect children to a healthier life at home
Some local fitness outlets are offering virtual options for children to help them stay active and give them the opportunity to partake in anything from yoga and karate to mindfulness. (Phoenix, Reporter, and Item)

Dec. 1, 2020

Despite COVID-19 spike, key school decisions will remain in local hands
Pennsylvania’s number of deaths and hospitalizations connected to COVID-19 is the highest since the pandemic began, but state officials say decisions like in-person or virtual schooling will remain in local hands. (KYW NewsRadio)

Wolf vetoes GOP-backed bill on limiting COVID-19 liability
Pennsylvania’s governor on Monday rejected a bill that would have made it harder to sue schools, health care providers and other businesses for coronavirus-related claims. (Associated Press)

Pennsylvania expands virus app to school-age phone users
Pennsylvania’s coronavirus exposure notification app can now be used by mobile phone users as young as 13 as health officials work to stop the virus’ spread in schools, officials said Monday. (Associated Press)

PA Officials Concerned, As Over 4,400 People Hospitalized With Coronavirus
Pennsylvania reported more than 4,200 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, as well as 32 new deaths. Officials are also concerned about the rising rate of hospitalizations in the commonwealth. (CBS3-TV)

Nov. 30, 2020

Source: Pa. lawmaker gets a positive test at Trump meeting
A Pennsylvania state senator abruptly left a West Wing meeting with President Donald Trump after being informed he had tested positive for the coronavirus, a person with direct knowledge of the meeting said. (Associated Press)

Why employers find it so hard to test for COVID-19
Some large companies, like Amazon, have launched regular testing, but many businesses deem it too burdensome (Philly Voice)

Montgomery County Parents Hold Another Rally Sunday Over Schools Going Virtual During Pandemic
Parents in Montgomery County were planning another rally Sunday over the closure of their schools during the pandemic. The Open Our Schools car rally is organized by Voice for Choice. (CBS3-TV)

Nov. 29, 2020

Pennsylvania adds more than 8,000 new COVID-19 infections Saturday
The surge in new COVID-19 cases in Pennsylvania continued on Saturday as state health officials reported more than 8,000 new positive tests. (FOX29-TV)

More families are discussing end-of-life planning as COVID-19 cases rise
With the death toll now over a quarter million Americans and health officials issuing stark warnings about the coronavirus’s spread, studies show more people are thinking about end-of-life decisions and seeking advice on advance care planning in case they get critically ill. (Philly Voice)

Nov. 27, 2020

County Food Pantry Assistance Program established amid coronavirus pandemic
Montgomery County and the MONTCO Anti-Hunger Network teamed up to launch the initiative aimed at allocating up to $1 million from the CARES Act to local food pantries’ needs and “increased demand during the COVID-19 pandemic.” (Montgomery Media)

Many Pennsylvanians not cooperating with COVID-19 contact tracers
Too many COVID-19 positive Pennsylvanians are refusing to cooperate with case investigators doing contact tracing or quarantine themselves, making it difficult to contain the virus, according to a health official. (Philly Voice)

Nov. 25, 2020

Thanksgiving could make or break US coronavirus response
As PA’s governor and mayors grapple with an out-of-control pandemic, they are ratcheting up mask mandates and imposing restrictions on gatherings that have been blamed for accelerating the spread of the coronavirus. Officials are banking on voluntary compliance. (Associated Press)

Nov. 24, 2020

Wolf shuts bars on Thanksgiving eve to fight COVID-19 spread
Last call for Pennsylvania bars will be at 5 p.m. on Wednesday to cut COVID-19 transmission during what is normally a night of heavy public drinking, Gov. Tom Wolf announced Monday. (Associated Press)

Nov. 23, 2020

Pa. budget doesn’t raise taxes or bail out industries hit by the coronavirus
The Pennsylvania legislature has passed a spending plan that avoids tax increases and major cuts, and relies on about $1.3 billion in coronavirus relief aid to balance the books. (Spotlight PA)

Nov. 22, 2020

Montgomery County designates $2.6M in CARES Act funds for programs amid coronavirus pandemic
Montgomery County has designated up to $2.6 million in federal funding to provide monetary assistance as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt the local economy and create burdens on several programs. (Montgomery Media)

Temple University doctors seek COVID-19 test participants
Temple University is looking For COVID-19 vaccine test participants as COVID vaccines are expected to come soon. If you’re selected, you’ll get the potential vaccine or a placebo and go about your daily routine. (6ABC-TV)

Nov. 20, 2020

Pa. health officials: Masks, social distance in foreseeable future; vaccine in 3 phases
Pennsylvania’s health secretary said the first vaccine from Pfizer could roll out in a month; the second, from Moderna, by year-end or early next year. But supplies will be limited to start, so the plan is to distribute the vaccine in three phases. (KYW NewsRadio)

Remaining coronavirus cash to prop up Pa. state budget rather than help ailing industries
The action comes after outside groups like restaurants and hospitals have for months urged Pennsylvania lawmakers to use more of the relief funds to support them. (Spotlight PA)

Coronavirus prevents crowds from seeing Punxsutawney Phil
The coronavirus pandemic means Groundhog Day won’t be the same in a Pennsylvania town long associated with a prognosticating rodent. Punxsutawney Phil and his inner circle on Feb. 2 will deliver the prediction virtually by means of a live internet stream and website. (Associated Press)

Nov. 19, 2020

Parents Sue Montgomery Co. Over Plans to Close Schools 2 Weeks Around Thanksgiving
(Video) Some parents have sued Montgomery County over a decision to close down schools for two weeks starting Nov. 23, as schools, parents and families disagree on how to keep everyone safe in a pandemic. (NBC10-TV)

With $1.3 billion in coronavirus cash left to spend, the Pa. government might be the big winner
A long line of service providers and industries — including restaurant owners — are still seeking coronavirus bailouts, but increasingly fear the cash might go toward the state’s budget. (Spotlight PA)

Virus surge places strain on Pennsylvania’s contact tracers
Pennsylvania’s contact tracing system is under strain as the explosion of new COVID-19 cases overtakes health workers’ ability to keep up, hampering efforts to slow the spread. (Associated Press)

Zoom announces no 40-minute limit on video calls this Thanksgiving
Zoom said it will lift its timed meeting limit on Thanksgiving so family gatherings limited by the coronavirus pandemic “don’t get cut short.” It’s anticipating a lot of people signing on Nov. 26. (Philly Voice)

Nov. 18, 2020

Students at Pottsgrove High School Reflect on Year So Far
Students have had to alter their expectations for school and get used to a new kind of school-life balance, adapting to new technologies and a less social experience, while also trying to keep a positive outlook. (Philadelphia Neighborhoods)

Phoenixville, OJR districts diverge on closing during COVID-19 surge
Two Chester County school boards have chosen very different paths in the face of the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the county. Phoenixville will return to all virtual learning Nov. 23; Owen J. Roberts voted to continue to operate part-time, in-person classes. (Phoenix, Reporter, and Item)

Coronavirus cases close Daniel Boone High School
Due to an outbreak of COVID-19, Daniel Boone High School in Birdsboro has canceled in-person instruction until Dec. 1, school district officials announced. The closing impacts only the high school, they added. (Reading Eagle)

Pennsylvania sharpens mask mandate, orders virus testing
Pennsylvania is strengthening its mask mandate and will require out-of-state travelers to test negative for the coronavirus before arrival, health officials announced Tuesday, taking additional steps to address a sharp increase in infections and hospitalizations. (Associated Press)

Nov. 17, 2020

Feds reject PA plan to spend coronavirus stimulus money on school property tax relief
School districts are now waiting for payments that were due in October. It leaves them them on the hook at a time when many are already struggling with large local revenue losses and cost increases for items like cyber charter school tuition. (Spotlight PA)

Monday’s new COVID-19 cases top 4,400 in Pa.; health secretary urges virtual holiday celebrations
The Pennsylvania Department of Health reported more than 4,400 new coronavirus cases in the state on Monday morning, and the health secretary asked Pennsylvanians to “answer the call” to help curb the spread of COVID-19. (Philly Voice)

Pennsylvania officials say there are no plans for statewide COVID-19 closures
Coronavirus cases continue to climb in Pennsylvania, but health officials say they have no plans to enact blanket mitigation efforts, like the red-yellow-green zones enforced during the spring surge. (KYW NewsRadio)

Nov. 16, 2020

Montco parents protest return to online education in front of county commissioner’s home
Parents in Montgomery County unhappy about the decision to move all schools to a remote format for two weeks protested outside the home of the chair of the county commissioners. (KYW NewsRadio)

Wolf, Murphy meet with fellow Northeast governors to discuss regional COVID-19 restrictions
Northeast governors including PA’s Tom Wolf planned to meet this weekend over how the neighboring states can work together to combat the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Philly Voice)

Nov. 15, 2020

Protesters To Demand Montco Schools Open, Thousands Sign Petition
Demonstrators plan to gather outside Montgomery County Commissioner Val Arkoosh’s home in Wyndmoor Sunday to protest the recent decision to close schools to in-person instruction for two weeks. (Patch)

The Pendulum Was Swinging Toward Reopening Schools. Then Came the Surge
For now, the national COVID-19 surge that is overwhelming hospitals in some states has stalled any further movement toward opening classrooms. Scores of schools are closing in hard-hit states. (Pew Stateline)

Nov. 14, 2020

Lockdowns aren’t the answer to Pa.’s surging coronavirus cases, health officials and experts say
Officials say the state is in a different place than 6 months ago, but without more testing, contact tracing, and efforts to isolate sick people, cases — and deaths — will continue to rise. (Spotlight PA)

Nov. 12, 2020

Montco health officials to vote on whether schools should go all virtual
The Montgomery County Office of Public Health has a vote scheduled for Thursday that could have an impact on in-person schooling across the county. (KYW NewsRadio)

CHOP strongly recommends schools in Philly region go virtual amid COVID-19 surge
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia issued a broad recommendation Wednesday encouraging schools in places where the coronavirus is quickly spreading again to cease in-person instruction in favor of virtual learning. (Philly Voice)

Pennsylvania sets daily high in coronavirus cases with 4,711 new infections
The coronavirus pandemic continued its resurgence across Pennsylvania on Wednesday as health department officials announced a new daily record of positive infections. (FOX29-TV)

Nov. 10, 2020

Montgomery County in ‘substantial’ level of coronavirus transmission
Montgomery County’s coronavirus positivity rate increased last week to a level that indicates the virus is spreading in local communities, leading state health officials to list the county has having “substantial transmission and concerning percent-positivity.” (Phoenix, Reporter, and Item)

Nov. 9, 2020

President-elect Joe Biden announces coronavirus task force made up of physicians and health experts
President-elect Joe Biden on Monday announced the members of his coronavirus task force, a group made up entirely of doctors and health experts, signaling his intent to seek a science-based approach to bring the raging pandemic under control. It includes a University of Pennsylvania physician.

Nov. 7, 2020

Montgomery County officials carve out Thanksgiving guidance amid pandemic
With the Thanksgiving holiday just weeks away and the fall surge of the coronavirus pandemic gripping the region, Montgomery County health officials have carved out some safer, alternative ways to celebrate the holiday. (Phoenix, Reporter, and Item)

Pennsylvania records highest single-day increase of new COVID-19 cases
For the first time ever, Pennsylvania has seen a daily increase of more than 3,000 new cases of the coronavirus. On Friday, state health officials reported nearly 3,400 additional positive cases. (KYW NewsRadio)

Nov. 6, 2020

Here’s who in Pa. will get a coronavirus vaccine first when one is approved
State health officials still cannot say when a coronavirus vaccine will be available, but plans for how one will be distributed and who will get it first are coming into focus: health-care personnel, frontline and emergency workers, and those working with vulnerable populations. (Spotlight PA)

Online wine, liquor sales up nearly six-fold due to pandemic, Pa. says
Online earnings from the sale of wine and liquor in Pennsylvania increased nearly six-fold this year compared to last, mostly due to a spike in online shopping during the coronavirus pandemic. (KYW NewsRadio)

Nov. 3, 2020

In Pennsylvania, COVID-19 is now a rural, urban, and suburban problem
The coronavirus is spreading in Pennsylvania’s rural counties, along with smaller cities and the big metropolitan areas. Only a few sparsely populated counties have still seen little of it. (Inquirer)

Despite rising virus numbers, Pa. officials say in-person voting safe, with precautions
As the daily number of coronavirus cases in Pennsylvania continues to grow, officials are encouraging in-person voters to go with a COVID-19 kit. (KYW NewsRadio)

Nov. 2, 2020

Pennsylvania seeing highest daily increases of COVID-19 since start of pandemic
The Pennsylvania Department of Health says daily increases in new coronavirus cases are the highest they have been since the beginning of the pandemic. (FOX29-TV)

New payment policies put hurt on Pa. child care providers
Child care providers across Pennsylvania are struggling amidst the coronavirus pandemic. A lot of their financial woes stem from new payment practices implemented recently through the state’s Office of Child Development and Early Learning. (KYW NewsRadio)

Nov. 1, 2020

Amid pandemic, a growing number of people who are waiting longer than usual to go to hospital
As the pandemic continues, there’s a growing number of cases of people not seeking care for other health problems, for instance, people not getting care in emergency situations. (KYW NewsRadio)

Getting a flu shot may help prevent you from getting COVID-19, study shows
Doctors often urge people to get their flu shots around this time of year, when the weather gets colder and more people get sick. This year, there may be an additional reason to get a flu shot. (Philly Voice)

Oct. 30, 2020

As coronavirus cases increase, MontCo officials urge residents to avoid indoor Halloween parties
Seeing signs of a fall surge of COVID-19 cases in Montgomery County, officials pleaded with county residents to avoid having indoor Halloween parties this weekend. (Phoenix, Reporter, and Item)

Levine: Avoid holiday gatherings to slow spread of virus
Get a smaller bird this year. That’s the advice of Pennsylvania health secretary Dr. Rachel Levine, who is urging residents to avoid gathering with friends and family on holidays such as Thanksgiving to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. (Associated Press)

Oct. 27, 2020

Fewer virus patients aiding Pennsylvania case investigators
A growing majority of people contracting the coronavirus in Pennsylvania are not answering basic questions that would help case investigators trace the source of the infections, state health officials said Monday. (Associated Press)

Oct. 26, 2020

Pennsylvania COVID-19 cases still spiking, on pace to surpass first peak
Pennsylvania is averaging 1,668 new COVID-19 cases a day and rising, while new cases in New Jersey are up 36% compared to last week. (Inquirer)

Oct. 25, 2020

Experts weigh in on how to safely celebrate Halloween in time of COVID-19
Centering on positives will help children handle the changes. Some ides: dressing up with your kids, holding a virtual costume party, making treats, playing games, watching a Halloween-themed movie or even reading stories a book out loud. (KYW NewsRadio)

PA Virus Cases Are Increasing at April’s Pace, Health Dept. Says
Pennsylvania is seeing spikes in coronavirus cases that are comparable to April, when the virus reached its first peak. The state health department said Saturday 2,043 new positive virus cases were confirmed since Friday. (NBC10-TV)

Oct. 24, 2020

Surge in dementia-related deaths linked to COVID-19 restrictions
Deaths from dementia and Alzheimer’s rose 20% this summer, and health experts suspect the surge is another side effect of COVID-19 restrictions. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said roughly 61,000 deaths were reported from June and September, most attributed to memory loss diseases. (KYW NewsRadio)

Oct. 23, 2020

Surge in Berks coronavirus cases scuttles Boyertown’s plans for in-person classes
An increase in the rate of coronavirus infections in Berks County has scuttled the Boyertown Area School District’s plans to expand in-person instruction for its younger students next week. (Mercury)

Montgomery County prothonotary opens landlord/tenant office to handle eviction appeals
Saying the COVID-19 pandemic has placed many renters at risk of being evicted in the midst of a public health emergency, the office of the Montgomery County Prothonotary has opened a satellite office with the specific purpose of assisting residents with landlord/tenant appeals. (Phoenix, Reporter, and Item)

Wolf offers $20 million relief plan for bars and restaurants
The state intends to waive liquor license fees in 2021 for more than 16,000 restaurants and bars, clubs, caterers and hotels, said Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, who recently vetoed Republican legislation that would have loosened pandemic restrictions on the food and beverage sector. (Associated Press)

Oct. 21, 2020

Whole Foods Market predicts 10 food trends we’ll see in 2021
In the supermarket chain’s sixth annual trend predictions, it claims post-COVID interest in health and wellness is expanding. Consumers are looking specifically for products that support the immune system. (Philly Voice)

Pa. officials: Domestic violence cases rose after stay-at-home order lifted
New information from the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services shows the number of domestic violence cases in the state rose after state officials lifted the stay-at-home order. (KYW NewsRadio)

House fails to override Wolf’s restaurant capacity veto
The state House narrowly failed Tuesday to override last week’s veto by Pennsylvania’s governor of a bill that would have let restaurants reopen at full capacity in some circumstances. (Associated Press)

Oct. 20, 2020

Without centralized support, blue-collar students will lag further as wealthy families thrive
As the pandemic pushes schools across the country to move to online curricula, experts say they expect to see academic achievement gaps widen between students from high-income and low-income families. (KYW NewsRadio)

Fall COVID-19 surge has arrived in Pennsylvania and US, health experts say
COVID-19 cases continue to soar across the country and one top infectious disease expert warned Americans that the next few months will be the “darkest of the pandemic.” (6ABC-TV)

Oct. 19, 2020

Judge strikes down Trump plan to slash food stamps for 700,000 unemployed Americans
Chief U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell blocked the first of three such planned measures to restrict the federal food safety net. (Inquirer)

Oct. 18, 2020

COVID-19 travel advisories updated for Pennsylvania, New Jersey as cases surge
People living in Pennsylvania and New Jersey during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic now have an extended list of states to be wary of when traveling. (Philly Voice)

Pennsylvania reports 2nd-highest COVID-19 total of pandemic
Pennsylvania reported 1,857 new COVID-19 cases Saturday, the second-highest daily total since the beginning of pandemic, days after officials said the commonwealth was seeing a “fall resurgence” of the coronavirus. (Associated Press)

Wolf vetoes bill to let restaurants operate at full capacity
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf vetoed a Republican-sponsored bill Friday that would have let restaurants and bars reopen at up to full capacity, saying it would have jeopardized public health and safety. (Associated Press)

Oct. 16, 2020

Virus plays role: nearly one in three millennials suffer from mental health conditions
COVID-19 could be making things worse. More than 90 percent of adults in the the study published by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association said the pandemic is negatively impacting them. (Philly Voice)

New Pennsylvania COVID-19 numbers paint concerning picture of fall resurgence
New numbers from Pennsylvania health officials paint a concerning picture of the fall resurgence in coronavirus. The state now reports nearly 1,600 added cases, with a statewide total above 177,000. (6ABC-TV)

Oct. 15, 2020

Montgomery County To Expand Testing Capacity At 4 Busiest Sites
Montgomery County officials announced Wednesday that coronavirus testing will be expanded at its four busiest locations at some point next month. (Patch)

Pennsylvania confirms virus resurges; no plans for lockdown
Pennsylvania is “at the start of the fall resurgence” of COVID-19, the state’s health secretary said Wednesday, but does not plan to reimpose a stay-at-home order or shut down businesses again. (Associated Press)

Oct. 14, 2020

PA loosens rent relief rules; Eagles to have fans in stands
Pennsylvania is extending the application deadline and changing the rules of a key rent and mortgage relief program to boost participation by landlords and keep more people in their homes during the pandemic. (Associated Press)

Oct. 13, 2020

Coronavirus positivity rate stable in Montgomery County, surges in Berks
Montgomery County continues to have the lowest coronavirus positivity rate in southeast Pennsylvania while Berks County’s positivity rate surged, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health. (Phoenix, Reporter, and Item)

Hundreds of Pa. child-care centers have closed, and some fear it will get worse
Between March and the beginning of September, more than 260 licensed child-care programs across Pennsylvania permanently closed, according to Department of Human Services records. More than 400 other licensed programs remain temporarily closed. (Spotlight PA)

COVID-19 has ‘everyone you talk to looking to buy a car’
PennDot saw a big jump in new registrations over the summer months. They bounced back from the bottomed-out figures of the spring, when automotive dealerships were ordered to close. (Inquirer)

Oct. 12, 2020

Pennsylvania sees most virus cases in 6 months amid testing increase
Pennsylvania reported its highest number of confirmed coronavirus infections in six months Saturday amid increased testing. Saturday’s total brings the statewide total to 171,050, officials said. (FOX29-TV)

More sports fans in Pennsylvania stands as Wolf relaxes crowd restrictions
Gov. Tom Wolf relaxed restrictions on crowd sizes this week, which means more fans in the stands at Pennsylvania sporting events. (KYW NewsRadio)

Oct. 9, 2020

Montgomery County official touts COVID Alert PA app to fight spread of coronavirus
Want to know if you’ve come in close contact with someone who tested positive for the coronavirus? There’s an app for that and Montgomery County officials urged residents to use it. (Phoenix, Reporter, and Item)

Oct. 7, 2020

Wolf eases crowd limits with sliding scale tied to capacity
Coronavirus-related crowd restrictions for both indoor and outdoor events were loosened Tuesday by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, who called the shift “a gradual adjustment to our lives as we learn how we can do things safely” until there’s a vaccine for the virus or cure for the disease. (Associated Press)

Oct. 6, 2020

Montco has advice for delivering candy and not COVID-19 to trick-or-treaters
Halloween is a few weeks away, and Montgomery County is out with some safety tips. One key takeaway: “Social distancing should happen as it would in any activity.”(KYW NewsRadio)

Oct. 5, 2020

Regal Cinemas Temporarily Closing All US Theaters
Regal Cinemas is temporarily suspending operations at all 536 of its U.S. theaters due to continued revenue losses from the coronavirus pandemic, its parent company Cineworld announced Monday. (NBC10-TV)

Oct. 2, 2020

Appeals court allows Pennsylvania to restrict crowd size
Pennsylvania can restore pandemic restrictions on indoor and outdoor gatherings, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday, putting on hold a judge’s ruling that threw out statewide limits on crowd size and other measures meant to limit the spread of the coronavirus. (Associated Press)

Alcohol consumption surging amid pandemic – particularly among women
Americans have dramatically increased their alcohol consumption during the coronavirus pandemic, raising concerns that people are turning to the bottle to cope with the hardships. (Philly Voice)

GOP lawmaker’s positive COVID-19 test cancels voting session
A Republican lawmaker’s positive test for COVID-19 on Thursday prompted legislative leaders to immediately cancel the day’s Pennsylvania House voting session, and human resources workers were deployed to trace his personal contacts to see if others should be quarantined. (Associated Press)

Oct. 1, 2020

Montgomery County records lowest coronavirus positivity rate since pandemic began
As Montgomery County entered week 30 of the coronavirus pandemic, officials reported the lowest positivity rate since the pandemic began, a sign that residents continue to reduce the spread of the virus in the county. (Phoenix, Reporter, and Item)

Pa. health officials concerned about ‘long haulers’ not making complete COVID-19 recovery
It’s not new that adults with severe COVID-19 symptoms can suffer from long-lasting symptoms and disabilities, but Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said there’s troubling new information about young COVID-19 survivors who they call long-haulers.

Sept. 30, 2020

Montgomery County records 1 death, 259 new coronavirus cases over 7-day period
Montgomery County officials reported 259 individuals tested positive for COVID-19 and one person died from the virus during the latest seven-day period ending Tuesday. (Phoenix, Reporter, and Item)

Counties develop individual COVID-19 gathering size limits
Montgomery County is holding a meeting Wednesday on updating the public health code to say any gathering of more than 250 people outdoors or 25 indoors can submit a safety plan to its Office of Public Health. (KYW NewsRadio)

Teenagers at higher risk for COVID-19 than young children, CDC finds
As schools continue to struggle with when it is safe to bring students back into the classroom, a new Centers for Disease Control indicates COVID-19 risks are lower for elementary school children. (Philly Voice)

Sept. 29, 2020

Pa. real estate wakes up after COVID-19 hibernation, and buyers must move fast
Southeastern Pennsylvania real estate agents are enjoying a hot market right now. It’s a sellers’ market, and buyers are scrambling to get their dream home. (KYW NewsRadio)

CDC’s Thanksgiving guidelines say gatherings should be small
The CDC is continuing to help Americans prepare for adjustments to their holiday plans amid the coronavirus pandemic. Among the most notable: keep gatherings small and among people in your household. (FOX29-TV)

Sept. 28, 2020

Golf is booming in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic
It’s a sport in which players can socially distance, and the number of rounds nationally and revenue from the purchase of golf equipment are both substantially up from last year. (The Inquirer)

Sept. 27, 2020

When COVID-19 ruins the wedding, couples can pay the price
Most of the 1 million weddings in 2020 have been moved or downsized. When a reception is scuttled, however, some couples are finding they can’t get their deposits back. (The Inquirer)

Sept. 22, 2020

Wolf vetoes school sports bill; override attempt planned
Gov. Tom Wolf on Monday vetoed a bill that would give school districts the sole ability to make decisions on sports, including whether and how many spectators to allow. Lawmakers in the GOP-controlled General Assembly said they would try to override it.

Sept. 21, 2020

Montco officials weighing bringing students back into classrooms
Officials in Montgomery County say if schools are thinking about bringing children back into the classroom, this might be the best time to do it. (KYW NewsRadio)

Why the coming foreclosure crisis will look nothing like the last one
In this crisis, home values have held steady, with bidding wars erupting in many parts of the country. That means more troubled borrowers can escape foreclosure by selling. (The Inquirer)

Ruling against Wolf’s COVID-19 restrictions faces long odds on appeal
A federal judge’s ruling last week that early coronavirus pandemic actions taken by Gov. Tom Wolf were unconstitutional leans on precedent that hasn’t been invoked or respected since the 1900s, some legal experts say. (Spotlight PA)

Sept. 17, 2020

Pennsylvania asks judge to retain limits on crowd size
Pennsylvania’s top lawyer asked a federal judge Wednesday to retain Gov. Tom Wolf’s limits on crowd size, at least for now, warning that allowing large groups to congregate during a legal battle over Wolf’s public health orders “will result in people’s deaths” from the coronavirus. (Associated Press)

Montco Partnership Aims To Bring Latinos More COVID Tests
Montgomery County has announced a new partnership with community organizations to help Latino residents get more access to coronavirus testing in Pottstown and Norristown.

Pa. child care providers express concerns over the state of their industry
Child care advocates say they’re concerned about the state of child care in Pennsylvania amid a growing need for working families throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Many say federal relief is urgently needed. (KYW NewsRadio)

PennDOT resumes issuing Real ID’s after months-long pause due to COVID-19
Pennsylvania residents will once again be able to get Real ID’s from centers throughout the state, after not being able to do so for several months due to COVID-19. (Philly Voice)

Sept. 16, 2020

Montgomery County records two more coronavirus deaths over 7-day period
Montgomery County officials reported nearly 300 individuals tested positive for COVID-19 and two more people died from the virus during the latest seven-day period ending Tuesday. (Phoenix, Reporter, and Item)

Wolf hits back after judge rules against virus restrictions
Gov. Tom Wolf vowed he wouldn’t heed “irresponsible demands” of President Donald Trump and state legislature Republicans in the state’s coronavirus response. His lawyers plan to appeal a judge’s ruling that invalidated parts of PA’s early pandemic actions. (Associated Press)

State House votes to bar shutting down churches in disasters
The Pennsylvania House on Tuesday passed a bill that would prevent governors from applying their disease control powers to shut down gatherings at churches or other houses of worship. (Associated Press)

Sept. 15, 2020

Coronavirus positivity rate increases in Montgomery and Chester counties
Montgomery County continues to experience upticks in its coronavirus positivity rate and Chester County’s rate surged to a “concerning” rate, according to the latest data from the Pennsylvania Department of Health. (Phoenix, Reporter, and Item)

Judge: Pennsylvania pandemic restrictions unconstitutional
Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration said Monday it will appeal a federal judge’s ruling that pandemic restrictions that required people to stay at home, placed size limits on gatherings, and ordered “non-life-sustaining” businesses to shut down are unconstitutional. (Associated Press)

During pandemic, more workers being replaced by robots, new study finds
Workers whose jobs can be done by machines suffered more layoffs than those with jobs that aren’t as easily automated, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said in a new report. (The Inquirer)

Sept. 14, 2020

3 States Removed From PA Travel Quarantine List
Pennsylvania has removed three states from its travel quarantine list: Texas, North Carolina, and Hawaii. The list now includes 17 states. (Patch)

How students and parents are navigating the changing college experience amid COVID-19
The pandemic continues to change the college experience. Some parents and students spoke with KYW Newsradio about how schools are managing the situation. (KYW NewsRadio)

Sept. 13, 2020

From relief to despair, one Pa. family struggles with the ambiguity of federal eviction ban
In Pennsylvania, it’s up to individual courts in each county to decide how to interpret the federal order. With debts mounting, renters’ lives are in limbo, and relief is only temporary. (Spotlight PA)

Sept. 11, 2020

Huge pandemic-related PA budget cuts could most hurt those with mental illness, disabilities
State lawmakers face a huge budget challenge, with a shortfall through next June estimated at nearly $5 billion. County-level leaders worry they will cut programs needed now more than ever. (Spotlight PA)

US remembers 9/11 as pandemic changes tribute traditions
Americans are commemorating 9/11 with tributes altered by coronavirus precautions and woven into the presidential campaign. Both Trump and Biden will pay respects at the same Pennsylvania memorial without crossing paths. (Associated Press)

Sept. 10, 2020

‘Worrisome Trend’ As Montco Coronavirus Cases Continue To Rise
Citing a gradual increase which has continued unabated over a period of several weeks, local officials have changed their tone regarding the state of coronavirus in Montgomery County. (Patch)

Pa. DHS issues guidelines for supervision of learning groups
Pennsylvania’s Department of Human Services Wednesday laid out guidelines and best practices for families in need of supervision of their school-aged children. (KYW NewsRadio)

Wolf allows restaurants to serve more customers indoors, but timing raises eyebrows
The announcement came shortly before a Senate panel was set to consider the same move, prompting administration critics to question the timing. (Spotlight PA)

Sept. 6, 2020

New report shows Pennsylvania working families in greatest need of pandemic relief
A new report shows that Pennsylvania working families have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, with certain groups suffering more than others. Researchers suggest government must act to avoid economic disaster. (KYW NewsRadio)

Pennsylvania couples sue Gov. Wolf for acting as ‘king’ amid COVID-19 crisis
Two Pennsylvania couples have filed a federal lawsuit against Gov. Tom Wolf and other top state officials, claiming the state’s face mask mandate and contact tracing program are signs of “tyranny” that strip them of their Constitutional rights

Sept. 4, 2020

Montgomery County to spend $5.9 million to help residents avoid eviction
The Montgomery County commissioners approved Thursday a $5.9 million fund to help residents pay rent during the COVID-19 pandemic. (WFMZ-TV)

Sept. 3, 2020

Nearly a quarter of Montgomery County residents sought tests for coronavirus
Nearly a quarter of all Montgomery County residents, more than 180,000 people, have been tested for COVID-19 since the pandemic began six months ago, according to county officials. (Phoenix, Reporter, and Item)

Federal order protects many Pa. renters from eviction
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced an order to ban most evictions nationwide through the end of the year, arguing it was necessary to slow the spread of the virus. The order caught housing advocates and landlord groups alike by surprise. (Spotlight PA)

Wolf relaxes restrictions on fans in stands at school sports
Gov. Tom Wolf on Wednesday moved to relax restrictions on spectators at some fall sporting events, though attendance at high school football and volleyball games might still prove to be impossible. (Associated Press)

Sept. 2, 2020

Montgomery County records 1 coronavirus death over latest 7-day period
Montgomery County officials reported nearly 300 individuals tested positive for COVID-19 but only one more person died from the virus during the latest seven-day period ending Tuesday. (Phoenix, Reporter and Item)

Potential coronavirus vaccines reach major hurdle: final US testing
A handful of the dozens of experimental COVID-19 vaccines in human testing have reached the last and biggest hurdle — looking for the needed proof that they really work, while a U.S. advisory panel Tuesday suggested a way to ration the first limited doses once a vaccine is approved. (FOX29-TV)

Wolf renews coronavirus disaster declaration in Pennsylvania
Gov. Tom Wolf announced Tuesday that he has renewed a 90-day coronavirus disaster declaration, now for a second time, after he originally signed it in early March. (Associated Press)

Sept. 1, 2020

A Zoom Thanksgiving? Summer of COVID-19 could give way to bleaker fall
As the Summer of COVID draws to a close, many experts fear an even bleaker fall, and suggest that American families should start planning for Thanksgiving by Zoom. (6ABC-TV)

1 in 5 in U.S. doesn’t believe in vaccines, survey shows
As many as 20 percent of Americans don’t believe in vaccines, a new study finds. Misinformed vaccine beliefs drive opposition to public vaccine policies even more than politics, education, religion or other factors, researchers say. (United Press International)

Aug. 31, 2020

As schools reopen virtually, parents scramble for day-care options
As schools prepare to reopen with remote instruction or hybrid models, camps, gyms, dance studios and skating rinks are setting up virtual learning centers for parents trying to manage child care. (The Inquirer)

This is a good year to get a flu shot, experts advise
If enough of the U.S. population gets vaccinated, it could help head off a nightmare scenario in the coming winter of hospitals stuffed with COVID-19 patients and those suffering from severe influenza. (Philly Voice)

Aug. 30, 2020

Montco officials issue reminder on importance of contact tracing
Health officials in Montgomery County reiterated it’s crucial that anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 do what they can to cooperate with contact tracing. (KYW NewsRadio)

How does COVID-19 cause stroke? Researchers at Rowan have an answer
COVID-19 has been causing neurological problems in some people, including stroke, and researchers at Rowan University think they know why. (KYW NewsRadio)

Aug. 29, 2020

Utility regulators leave moratorium on shutoffs in place
Pennsylvania utility regulators effectively extended for three more weeks a moratorium that prevents utilities from ending service to non-paying customers as the state fights the spread of coronavirus. (Associated Press)

Ches-Mont League shuts down fall sports due to COVID-19 concerns
The Ches-Mont League – including all three West Chester high schools, Downingtown East, Downingtown West, and Coatesville – on Friday became the latest regional league to shut down fall sports amid COVID-19 concerns. (Inquirer)

Suburban One League votes to move forward with fall sports
The Suburban One League — the athletic conference made up of a significant number of schools in Bucks and Montgomery counties — has voted to move forward with fall sports. (KYW NewsRadio)

Pennsylvania Adds 3 More States To Travel Quarantine List
A Friday update to the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s travel quarantine list has added three more states – Hawaii, Illinois, and South Dakota – bringing the total to 19 states. (Patch)

Aug. 28, 2020

Pa. officials say they’re trying to help parents juggle work and school as classes start online
Pennsylvania officials say they hear the concerns of parents who are scrambling to figure out how to juggle work with their children’s virtual classes. (KYW NewsRadio)

Vital rental assistance program is riddled with problems
A Spotlight PA review finds Pennsylvania’s effort to help renters pay bills and avoid losing their homes is severely flawed. Tenants across the state now are in a perilous position as a ban on evictions is set to expire. (Spotlight PA)

Aug. 27, 2020

Boyertown OKs online learning plan amid staffing concerns
The Boyertown Area School Board made it official Tuesday night in a unanimous vote: the district will start the school year online, running from Aug. 31 through Oct. 5. (WFMZ-TV)

Up to 500,000 Pa. Households at Risk as Eviction Moratorium Nears End
Patty Torres says an “economic disaster” is going to happen in Pennsylvania if Gov. Tom Wolf and state lawmakers let a ban on evictions in the state expire Tuesday. (CBS3-TV)

Montco officials report first coronavirus-related death in county jail
Montgomery County officials say they’ve had their first coronavirus-related death in the county jail. An inmate, 65-year-old Jerome Tucker, died from COVID-19 after being hospitalized for 10 days. (KYW NewsRadio)

Gov. Tom Wolf wants Pa. to legalize marijuana, provide more COVID-19 relief this fall
Gov. Tom Wolf wants state lawmakers to legalize recreational cannabis this fall and spend $1 billion in federal funds to expand access to child care and provide COVID-19 relief to small businesses. (Spotlight PA)

Aug. 25, 2020

Archdiocese cancels fall sports for Philadelphia Catholic League, Pope John Paul II
The Philadelphia Archdiocese decision Monday to cancel all fall sports for this season extends beyond the Philadelphia Catholic League. Pope John Paul II in the Pioneer Athletic Conference also will sit out the fall. (PA Prep Live)

Pa. applies for $300 weekly ‘Lost Wages Assistance’ federal unemployment program
Pennsylvania officials are now applying to join a new COVID-19 unemployment program which launched earlier this month to bring residents weekly payments of $300 per week. (Philly Voice)

Montgomery County records fourth lowest coronavirus positivity rate
Montgomery County has the fourth-lowest coronavirus positivity rate in southeast Pennsylvania, behind Lehigh, Chester and Bucks counties, according to the latest data from the state Department of Health. (Phoenix, Reporter, and Item)

Aug. 24, 2020

Movie theaters start to reopen after COVID-19 closures cost billions in revenue
After forced closures as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, some movie theaters are finally back up and running. But it isn’t business as usual. (KYW NewsRadio)

Aug. 23, 2020

Pennsylvania school athletics board greenlights fall season
High school athletes across Pennsylvania will be taking the field this fall. Ending weeks of uncertainty, the governing body for Pennsylvania interscholastic sports voted Friday to move forward with the fall season. (Associated Press)

Aug. 21, 2020

Pottstown Schools Cut Staff, Busing, Offer Meals
The Pottstown school board voted Thursday to allow the administration to furlough workers whose work has vanished with the absence of students and teachers in the borough’s school buildings. (Digital Notebook)

Montco To Expand Testing Capacity, With Results Back In 24 Hours
Montgomery County will increase its virus testing capacity beginning next week, officials announced. Results are expected within a maximum of 36 hours under a contract signed with North Carolina labs. (Patch)

Coronavirus spread in Montgomery County linked to social events
While Montgomery County residents appear to be reducing the spread of COVID-19, officials said any spread that is occurring can be linked to social events. (Phoenix, Reporter, and Item)

Pa. lawmakers concerned ‘guidance’ for schools could open the door to COVID-19 lawsuits
As students prepare to begin an unusual school year, lawmakers Wednesday told the Wolf administration they’re concerned the state’s COVID-19 guidance could open districts to lawsuits. (Spotlight PA)

Aug. 20, 2020

In-person Pennsylvania Farm Show canceled over virus worries
The massive annual Pennsylvania Farm Show was canceled as an in-person event on Wednesday because of the pandemic, ending the prospect of hundreds of thousands of people converging on the Harrisburg complex in January. (Associated Press)

Drexel, Pitt change plans for in-person classes
Two big universities in Pennsylvania, the University of Pittsburgh and Drexel University, changed plans for in-person instruction this fall, as a top Pitt official on Wednesday admonished students in a stark warning about partying and ignoring social distancing. (Associated Press)

Aug. 19, 2020

Pennsylvania schools can implement face-covering breaks, officials say
All Pennsylvania students older than age 2 receiving in-person instruction will be required to wear a mask during the entirety of the school day, with a few exceptions. The Department of Education stressed its universal face coverings order applies to students, even if social distancing exists. (Philly Voice)

Washington, Pennsylvania lead lawsuits over postal changes
The attorneys general of Washington and Pennsylvania announced Tuesday that they are leading states suing to block service changes at the U.S. Postal Service, even as the postmaster general reversed himself and said he’d halt some of the changes following a national outcry. (Associated Press)

Aug. 18, 2020

Reopening schools in a pandemic is hard enough. Then there’s getting bus drivers to keep taking them there
“We don’t believe we’ll get those drivers back,” said Mike Berk, executive director of the Pennsylvania School Bus Association. (The Inquirer)

Pennsylvania prepares to launch virus-tracing app next month
Pennsylvania plans to launch a coronavirus exposure-notification app in early September in an effort to more quickly break chains of transmission by using the new technology to notify people who may have been exposed. (Associated Press)

PIAA official: ‘Fairly comfortable’ fall sports can proceed
The governing body for Pennsylvania interscholastic sports signaled again Monday that it’s seriously considering moving ahead with the fall season despite the governor’s recommendation that all youth athletics be canceled until 2021. (Associated Press)

Aug. 17, 2020

COVID-19 Makes Relay for Life a Drive-Thru Event
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the previously scheduled Relay For Life of Pottstown has been rescheduled as a drive-thru event on Friday (Aug. 21) at the First Presbyterian Church in Pottstown. (Digital Notebook)

Chester County health guidance pushes OJR to reopen online only
Chester County’s recommendation that all schools start the school year online has upended the Owen J. Roberts School District’s plans to offer partial in-person instruction. (The Mercury)

USPS offers subscribers preview of mail on the way
With the U.S. Postal Service under fire for delivery issues in this COVID-19 pandemic and the recent warnings about mail-in ballots, there is actually a service that lets you track the mail you’re supposed to get. (KYW NewsRadio)

Aug. 15, 2020

Schools get state guidance about handling COVID-19 outbreaks
State government agencies are providing school leaders with advice, from cleaning to shutdowns, about how to respond when students or employees confirmed with COVID-19 have been on school property. (Associated Press)

COVID-19 pandemic keeps debate over Pennsylvania student athletics alive
More than a week after Gov. Tom Wolf announced his recommendation that youth sports be put on ice until next year, the conversation continues. (KYW NewsRadio)

In settlement, county to launch $2.8M mask-wearing campaign
Lebanon County, which tangled with Gov. Tom Wolf over pandemic restrictions and where new infections later doubled, agreed Friday to spend $2.8 million on a universal masking-wearing campaign. (Associated Press)

Aug. 14, 2020

State report aims at addressing health disparities in PA underserved communities
The Pennsylvania COVID-19 Response Task Force report includes 57 policy recommendations – meeting housing needs tops the list – to help vulnerable populations during the pandemic and beyond. (PA Post)

Penn State reverses course, plans to provide modified COVID-19 agreement for students
Students, faculty, and legal experts had criticized the university for forcing students to “assume any and all risk” of contracting the virus, which they said amounted to a liability waiver. (PA Post)

Wolf: No plan to change recommendation on school sports
Gov. Tom Wolf said Thursday he has no plans to change his “strong recommendation” Issued last week that scholastic and recreational youth sports should be canceled until 2021. (Associated Press)

Aug. 13, 2020

PIAA wants meeting about ‘possible options’ for sports
Pennsylvania school sports’ governing body has told Gov. Tom Wolf it wants to talk with his aides about “possible options for fall sports” among its member schools. (Associated Press)

Aug. 12, 2020

Pennsylvania mayors appeal to Congress for federal aid
Mayors in Pennsylvania are challenging the state’s members of Congress to help them get direct budget aid from the federal government, warning that cities of all sizes face steep deficits and deep service cuts as a result of the coronavirus’ impact on the economy. (Associated Press)

Pennsylvania considers allowing utilities to resume shutting off nonpaying customers
The state Public Utilities Commission has been unable to agree on when to allow utilities to resume terminating non-paying customers. (The Inquirer)

Aug. 11, 2020

Coronavirus spurs enrollment explosion for Pa. cyberschools
Online schools cite the pandemic, and related health and safety concerns, as the biggest reason behind a sudden surge in interest in having students go to school remotely instead of in a building. (PA Post)

Republicans aim new bills at shutdowns of schools, athletics
Lawmakers in Pennsylvania want to give parents more power to let children repeat a year of school if they feel their child lacked education they needed or missed out on a year of athletics in the pandemic. (Associated Press)

Aug. 10, 2020

How arguments in Washington are holding up coronavirus relief in Pennsylvania
Key players in Harrisburg say they won’t make any decisions about how to spend $1 billion in remaining stimulus cash until Washington finishes negotiating a second stimulus. (PA Post)

Aug. 9, 2020

‘Fearful of exposure’: families, daycare centers balance children’s needs with virus risks
Many daycare centers are adapting to the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. Their struggle is to keep children and families safe while keeping their doors open. (PA Post)

Increased student harm, suicide tips reported during COVID
Reports of suicidal or self-harming thoughts made to Pennsylvania’s mandatory harm reporting system for schools increased after classrooms were shut down in March in the coronavirus pandemic. (Associated Press)

Americans are more likely to report mental health concerns related to the pandemic
One-third of Americans reported experiencing stress, anxiety and sadness that was difficult to cope with, according to a survey published this week by the Commonwealth Fund. (The Inquirer)

Aug. 7, 2020

Pottstown becomes PAC’s second school to opt out of fall sports
The Pottstown School Board elected Thursday night to cancel all athletic activities this fall and through Jan. 1, 2021. It joined fellow Pioneer Athletic Conference member Norristown in opting out. (PA Prep Live)

Wolf roils youth sports world by urging halt until January
Pennsylvania’s governor said Thursday youth sports should not resume until January, a recommendation sure to disappoint students, parents and coaches preparing for fall seasons. (Associated Press)

Pa.’s COVID-19 testing capacity increasing, but processing delays undercut progress
Pennsylvania is testing people for COVID-19 at around 445 sites, but the Wolf Administration said Thursday more must be done to ensure Pennsylvanians can get results back faster. (PA Post)

Aug. 6, 2020

On the fence: Teachers, excited to get back in the classroom, remain concerned about coronavirus risks
Tens of thousands of teachers across Pennsylvania are torn about the idea of returning to the classroom amid a pandemic that continues to exact a toll across the nation and the state. (PA Post)

Montgomery County records 1 new coronavirus death, 44 positive tests
Montgomery County officials reported Wednesday that 44 individuals tested positive for the coronavirus. One more person has died, bringing the county’s total of cases since March 7 to 9,787. (Phoenix, Reporter and Item)

Lawmakers hear schools face range of challenges in reopening
Pennsylvania state lawmakers heard about the slew of challenges ahead when schools reopen during a pandemic, as two days of hearings that ended Wednesday offered little reason for optimism. (Associated Press)

Aug. 5, 2020

Pennsylvania reports 23 new COVID-19 deaths, 854 infections
Twenty-three new deaths were attributed to COVID-19 by Pennsylvania health officials on Tuesday, a day after the state reported no new pandemic deaths for the first time in several months. (Associated Press)

Pa. cancels on volunteer coronavirus contact tracers, moves to hire 1,000 paid staff
Despite the state’s struggles to keep case counts low, the department told volunteers it planned to wait until the fall to resume trainings. (PA Post)

Aug. 4, 2020

In Pa., no plans to offset child care costs in school districts going all-virtual
Some school districts are already opting for an all-virtual start in their return to education. This has working parents exploring options, and some of them carry a hefty price tag. (KYW NewsRadio)

Pennsylvania reports no virus deaths; 1st time since March
Pennsylvania health officials on Monday reported no new deaths attributed to COVID-19 for the first time in more than four months. (Associated Press)

Aug. 3, 2020

Pa. college administrators prepare for unpredictable fall semester
Coronavirus testing, online instruction, and the ability to turn on a dime are central to reopening plans for more than 85 recently interviewed four-year colleges and universities. (PA Post)

What will sex, dating, and marriage look like on the other side of the pandemic?
Experts say lasting impacts could include dramatic shifts in what American households look like and in how they function day to day. (The Inquirer)

Coronavirus cited in bid to toss death penalty in slaying
A defense attorney is citing the coronavirus in asking a Pennsylvania judge to bar prosecutors from seeking the death penalty in the case of a man charged in a York PA shooting death last year. (Associated Press)

Aug. 1, 2020

Pottstown School Board approves all-online return to school, cancels fall sports
The Pottstown School Board on Thursday unanimously approved an all-virtual reopening plan for the first semester. All board members also spoke in favor of ceasing fall sports participation. (The Mercury)

GoFourth! Festival Canceled Due to Virus Concerns
Organizers of Pottstown’s GoFourth festival, who had moved the event from July 4th to Labor Day in the hopes of conditions allowing for fireworks and festivities, have canceled the event for 2020. (Digital Notebook)

Labor secretary visits Montco, discusses rebuilding economy
The U.S. Labor secretary was in Montgomery County on Friday, meeting with business owners to talk about rebuilding the economy. “The virus has set us back,” Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia said. (KYW NewsRadio)

Pennsylvania Supreme Court tosses challenge to eviction ban
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a challenge to the governor’s statewide moratorium on foreclosures and evictions. It shields renters from losing their homes for failing to pay rent during the pandemic. (Associated Press)

Norristown opting out of fall sports due to coronavirus caution
“If we cannot guarantee a safe return to the classroom, we cannot guarantee a safe return to the playing field, course, sidelines, courts or locker rooms.” (PA Prep Live)

July 31, 2020

Getting everyone in the state to buy into contact tracing program isn’t so easy
Contact tracing is one way to help stop the spread of the disease, but healthcare workers testified in front of a panel hosted by House Democrats that getting the test results quickly is key. (WFMZ-TV)

Pennsylvania may pilot virus-tracing app popular in Ireland
A contact-tracing app that was downloaded by one-fifth of Ireland in 36 hours might undergo a pilot project in Pennsylvania that could go live in the coming weeks. (Associated Press)

July 30, 2020

Reopening Decisions …

UPSD Students to Start School Year Online
Students in the Upper Perkiomen School District will start the upcoming school year at home. Its school board voted Tuesday to adopt a full virtual instructional model to start the 2020-21 year. (Town and Country)

PIAA votes to move forward with several plans for fall season
In what was probably one of the most anticipated announcements in Pennsylvania high school sports history, the state’s governing body voted Wednesday in favor of moving forward with plans to play sports this fall season. (PA Prep Live)

Norristown, Upper Dublin school districts to start the school year all-virtual (6ABC-TV)

Montco signs with North Carolina lab, hoping for faster COVID-19 test results
Montgomery County officials say, because of long delays in COVID-19 test results, the county has signed a contract with a North Carolina lab. (KYW NewsRadio)

The next coronavirus may already be circulating in bats, study suggests
A Penn State biologist led the study, which suggests the current coronavirus has been circulating in “horseshoe” bats for decades. (The Inquirer)

July 29, 2020

Administrators say lack of ‘specific’ school reopening guidance from state is a problem
School officials taking part in a Republican lawmakers’ workshop say a lack of “specific” guidance from the state departments of Health and Education is making a tough job all but impossible. (KYW NewsRadio)

Planet Fitness will require face masks inside gyms starting in August
Planet Fitness announced Tuesday that anyone working out in its gyms at all of the company’s locations in North America will be required to wear a face mask at all times beginning Aug. 1. (Fox29-TV)

July 28, 2020

Re-opening discussions

In Pottstown, recommendation “a safety decision more than anything … for approximately a semester … safest option going to be to open the school year in a virtual format” (Superintendent Steven Rodriguez, “School Reopening Survey Results” video Monday on Facebook)

In Spring-Ford, “Returning to School in Red” with “supported in the transition to home learning” (Spring-Ford Reopening Update at the district website Monday)

Downingtown commits to virtual learning through Nov. 5 (Daily Local News)

Pennsylvania school leaders to state: We need more help
Pennsylvania’s reopening guidance for schools is too vague, and school leaders need more specifics from the state Department of Health about how to do it safely, a superintendents group said Monday. (Associated Press)

800-plus new cases in Pennsylvania as Phillies game canceled
Pennsylvania reported more than 800 new confirmed coronavirus cases Monday, as fresh concerns about it spreading prompted the cancellation of Monday night’s Major League Baseball game in Philadelphia. (Associated Press)

July 27, 2020

More people are biking on trails amid pandemic, but bicycle deaths are up
Activity on the 335 miles of trails along rivers, streams and unused railroad beds across the Delaware Valley has increased dramatically amid the coronavirus pandemic. Bicycle deaths are also on the rise. (KYW NewsRadio)

July 26, 2020

The Pandemic Has Closed Public Restrooms. Many Have Nowhere to Go
A lack of restrooms due to the pandemic has become an issue for delivery workers, taxi and ride-hailing drivers and others who make their living outside of a fixed office building. (Stateline)

Managing Stress and Anxiety During the Pandemic
COVID-19 has made a significant impact on the way many individuals work, live, and interact with friends and family, causing many to feel additional stress and anxiety in already uncertain times. (Tower Health)

July 25, 2020

Schools set in-person teaching rules as pandemic spreads
Pennsylvania school districts that have not settled on how and when they will restart instruction this fall will make decisions in coming weeks. Pandemic plans produced so far are all over the map. (Associated Press)

Teachers seize the moment as parent demand fuels market for private tutors
Kim Cipolla (left) and Leigh Anne McCormack started a tutoring business together since the pandemic has made school virtual. (Photo by Kimberly Paynter for PA Post, used under agreement)

Teachers seize the moment as parent demand fuels market for private tutors
Requests for long-term tutoring services have exploded on social media across the country in recent weeks. Anxious middle and upper-class parents are banding together to create substitute classrooms for days children are out of school. (PA Post)

Pennsylvania sees another day of more than 1,000 infections
Pennsylvania produced another day of more than 1,000 new confirmed coronavirus cases Friday, fueled by positive tests in Philadelphia and the Pittsburgh area. (Associated Press)

Contact tracing has been a challenge for Pennsylvania throughout the pandemic. (Graphic by Dan Nott for PA Post, used under agreement)

Citing ‘overwhelming’ spread, PA moves to add staff, app to trace coronavirus
There are currently 661 contact tracers across the state. The health department wants to add potentially thousands more. (PA Post)

July 24, 2020

School openings hinge on case counts, health official warns
Every region of Pennsylvania has seen an increase in the rate of positive coronavirus cases. Failing to stop that could jeopardize reopening schools, the state’s top health official said Thursday. (Associated Press)

School districts struggle with wording of reopening guidance from Harrisburg
The wording in the guidance from Harrisburg on reopening schools is causing some serious headaches as districts try to balance the safety of students with the needs of education. (KYW NewsRadio)

Archdiocese of Philadelphia high schools adopt hybrid learning system for fall
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced Thursday it plans on adopting a hybrid learning system, which combines in-person and online instruction as high schools reopen in the fall. (Fox29-TV)

Months after shutdown, thousands still wait on unemployment compensation
A majority of claims filed between March and June have either been paid or deemed eligible. The remaining 8 percent must be reviewed manually. Tens of thousands of people are waiting. (PA Post)

July 22, 2020

Report: Area veterans home failed to protect residents from virus
Health inspectors said in a report that the 292-bed Southeastern Veterans’ Center in Spring City, where 42 residents died of COVID-19, ignored state and federal guidelines meant to control the virus. (Associated Press)

Suburban Districts Still Working on Back to School Plans
The Owen J. Roberts, Norristown, and Souderton school districts are featured in a video-only report on how and when will children learn during the fall amid the coronavirus pandemic. (NBC10-TV)

Montgomery County records 297 positive coronavirus cases, 6 deaths, over seven-day period
Montgomery County officials reported 297 individuals tested positive for the coronavirus and six more people died from the virus during the seven-day period ending Tuesday. (Phoenix, Reporter, and Item)

Check out these summer flicks at Greater Philadelphia Expo Center’s new drive-in
The Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks is adding a drive-in movie theater experience to provide a morsel of summer entertainment amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. (KYW NewsRadio)

July 21, 2020

Pennsylvania adds more than 700 new virus cases
Pennsylvania reported 700 new coronavirus infections Monday, along with three additional deaths. Nearly a quarter of the latest virus cases came from Allegheny County. (Associated Press)

July 20, 2020

Montgomery County reveals guidelines on how its schools can safely reopen
Some of the recommendations include the role of a pandemic team or coordinator, enhanced communication and signage, and the identification of high-risk students and staff. (WFMZ-TV)

July 18, 2020

A pump bottle of hand sanitizer, and its accompanying sign, Saturday (July 18, 2020) at a retail store in Soudertown PA (Photo by The Post)

Inside one Pa. county’s effort to stay ‘hot on the trail’ of every COVID-19 case
Every morning, Montgomery County contact tracer Neil Lader opens one up on his home computer, and delves into another day of chasing down the virus. (PA Post)

Wolf announces hazard pay grants for frontline workers
Pennsylvania is dedicating $50 million of federal funding to provide hazard pay to essential workers during the coronavirus pandemic. Gov. Tom Wolf made the announcement Thursday. (KYW NewsRadio)

Restaurants to fight back; sports teams want fans in stands
PA approached 100,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus Friday. Restaurant, bar owners say they will fight back against state orders to further limit the number of patrons they’re allowed to serve at a time. (Associated Press)

July 15, 2020

Republicans mount new challenge to governor’s pandemic power
The Republican-led Legislature mounted another effort Tuesday to strip some emergency disaster powers from Gov. Tom Wolf in the latest partisan fight over his handling of the state’s coronavirus pandemic. (Associated Press).

July 14, 2020

Hospitals not challenged amid rising cases, official says
Pennsylvania’s hospital system is not challenged at the moment by a recent rise in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases, and the Department of Health is not considering new restrictions. (Associated Press)

July 12, 2020

Buses pose particular challenge for schools’ pandemic plans
A proposal to construct plastic barriers around school bus drivers to mitigate COVID-19 was shot down by the state Department of Transportation, one of many challenges schools face as they plan for fall. (Associated Press)

Pennsylvania extends eviction moratorium to Aug. 31
Gov. Tom Wolf has extended a statewide moratorium on foreclosures and evictions until Aug. 31, saying renters need more breathing room in the midst of the pandemic. (Associated Press)

July 11, 2020

Pennsylvania reports 1K new virus cases, 1st time since May
New confirmed coronavirus infections in Pennsylvania hit their highest one-day mark since May on Friday, with state officials blaming people who aren’t wearing masks, and on out-of-state travel. (Associated Press)

School districts race against the clock, coronavirus and Trump’s tweets to plan reopening
The nation’s school districts — including 500 in Pennsylvania — are actively deliberating how students will be instructed in the fall. Most will announce their plans in the weeks ahead. (PA Post)

Montgomery County officials to ‘strictly enforce’ coronavirus guidance for bars, restaurants
Montgomery County officials warned they will “strictly enforce” COVID-19 guidance for restaurants that are reopening, and will shut down establishments that do not comply. (Phoenix, Item and Reporter)

July 9, 2020

‘Rona Rent Blues: Need Help Staying Where You Live?

'Rona Rent Blues: Need Help Staving Off Homelessness?
This information was made available by the TriCounty Community Network of Pottstown
Click anywhere on the image to be taken to a Rent Relief Program details page

NORRISTOWN PA – A new program (above) that can provide payments of up to $750 per month in rental assistance, for low and moderate-income renters hurt financially during the COVID-19 pandemic, has been created in a partnership between the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services and the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency.

It opened Monday (July 6, 2020), and is accepting applications through Sept. 30.

“More than 13,000 of our renters experience (an) extreme cost burden, with rent representing more than 50 percent of their income at any given time,” according to Dr. Valerie A. Arkoosh, chair of the county Board of Commissioners. “We hope to help as many people as possible, to stay safe and healthy in their homes during the pandemic, by providing much needed economic relief.”

Applicants must be county residents who have lost more than 30 percent of their income due to reduced work hours or wages, or who have become unemployed after March 1 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Renters who applied for Pennsylvania unemployment assistance must have done so after March 1.

Any funding awarded may be used only to cover rent incurred between March 1 and Dec. 30. The maximum monthly assistance is $750. Renters’ income before March 1 must be no more than 100 percent of the area median income, or $96,600 for a family of four.

Find more information about the program and how to apply, here, or talk with a Montgomery County Office of Community Connections representative by calling 610-278-3929.

Rent relief funding is provided by the finance agency through the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. County residents in need of emergency mortgage assistance, rather than rent, can apply to directly the finance agency, here.

Photo by the Cincy Project via Flickr, modified by The Post using a filter and used under a Creative Commons license

Wolf will officially veto GOP effort to end coronavirus emergency
The governor will veto a Republican legislative bid to end the disaster declaration he used to manage the state response to the pandemic. The political fight comes as PA sees a rise in confirmed coronavirus cases. (PA Post)

Pennsylvania holds off on new pandemic restrictions
Pittsburgh and Allegheny County reported a near-record number of new coronavirus infections Wednesday, as state health officials expressed concern but took no further action about the situation. (Associated Press)

July 8, 2020

Montgomery County begins Mask Up campaign
Montgomery County wants to drive home the message: masks save lives. County leaders launched a “Mask Up Montco” campaign, asking businesses to hang signs in windows and folks to share on social media. (FOX29-TV)

Spraygrounds a relatively safe way to cool off, experts say
With public pools closed, and reopening plans still unclear for senior centers, libraries, cinemas, and other diversions, spraygrounds are among few options residents have to get out and cool off. (PA Post)

Airborne coronavirus transmission raises new questions and worries
Airborne transmission is what made measles so wildly contagious. Can the coronavirus stay aloft in the air? (The Inquirer)

July 6, 2020

Pennsylvania summer camps hit hard by COVID-19 and visa restrictions
The Poconos have long been a haven for summer camps, drawing kids to the outdoors during precious summer months and providing a break for parents. As with so many other things, that’s not the case this year. (PA Post)

End of evictions moratorium leads to concerns of sweeping homelessness
Since mid-March, evictions have been off the table in Pennsylvania. A statewide judicial state of emergency issued by the state Supreme Court temporarily forbade landlords from evicting tenants for failure to pay rent. That expires Friday. (Reading Eagle)

July 4, 2020

The big factor holding back the U.S. economic recovery: Child care
The child-care crunch triggered by the pandemic has rapidly become a crisis for many workers and companies that is hindering the economic recovery. (The Inquirer)

Cancer immunotherapy research could aid COVID-19 vaccine development
Scientists at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia are using tools developed for cancer immunotherapy to help identify targets for a COVID-19 vaccine, researchers announced in a new study. (Philly Voice)

Wolf’s mask order inflames partisan fight over virus
Gov. Tom Wolf’s more expansive mask order issued as coronavirus cases rise in Pennsylvania has been met with hostility from Republicans. They object to the Democrat’s use of power or even wearing a mask. (Associated Press)

July 3, 2020

As restrictions ease, many find their workplaces and roles have changed
With lockdown restrictions eased, thousands of people are going back to work. But many are finding their workplaces and their roles have changed. (KYW Newsradio)

Pennsylvania court turns down lawmakers’ bid to end shutdown
Pennsylvania’s high court on Wednesday ruled against an effort by Republican state lawmakers to end Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s pandemic shutdown orders. (Associated Press)

July 1, 2020

Evictions could begin before Pa. rental assistance program can provide relief
The program will begin accepting applications July 6, but with the eviction moratorium set to expire a few days later, some fear the cash won’t flow fast enough. (PA Post)

Pa. launches new online tool to help people track spread of COVID-19
Pennsylvanians can now use an online tool to get a sense of how prevalent COVID-19 cases are in their community, with an early warning monitoring dashboard launched Tuesday by state health officials. (WFMZ-TV)

COVID-19 can spread without people showing symptoms. How do we prepare for that?
‘If there is COVID really anywhere in the community, then assume that anybody could be positive, with or without symptoms. This has pretty dramatic implications across the whole health care system.’

June 30, 2020

Assuming we’ll wear them awhile longer, what science says to look for in a face mask
To help you wade through a mountain of options, we’ve taken a look at the admittedly limited science available and spoken to experts to create a science-backed guide to mask shopping. (FiveThirtyEight)

Politics, fear keep some COVID-positive people from disclosing contacts. What’s the solution?
Contract tracing success relies on public cooperation, which has been hard to come by in some parts of the state. That diminishes the effectiveness of what’s considered a sound health practice. (PA Post)

Montgomery County coronavirus response fund to help nonprofits surges to $750K
A program to support local relief efforts in response to the COVID-19 outbreak raised about $750,000 through June 19 to assist Montgomery County nonprofit organizations, according to county officials. (Phoenix, Reporter and Item)

June 29, 2020

Sunday Update: State Department of Health reports 1,726 new coronavirus cases in last three days
The PA Department of Health confirmed June 28 there are 505 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 85,496. There were 600 new cases confirmed Friday and 621 Saturday.
(The Mercury)

June 27, 2020

Montgomery County records 54 new coronavirus cases, 1 death
Montgomery County officials on Friday reported more than 50 new positive cases of the coronavirus and one virus-related death. (Phoenix, Reporter and Item)

King of Prussia Mall reopens with distancing, masks
King of Prussia Mall resumed operations Friday with personal protective equipment available for shoppers and new safety protocols to help maintain social distancing. (Philly Voice)

Pennsylvania officials eye areas where COVID-19 cases rising
Pennsylvania health officials are looking closely at areas where COVID-19 infection rates and deaths are ticking back up, threatening to turn back progress against the pandemic. (Associated Press)

Health secretary defends pandemic response in nursing homes
Pennsylvania’s health secretary on Friday defended her agency’s handling of the COVID-19 outbreak inside the nursing homes and personal care facilities that account for almost 70% of state fatalities. (Associated Press)

June 26, 2020

Wolf predicts COVID-19 resurgence in fall, offers hope it won’t force new closings
Gov. Tom Wolf said Wednesday he expects COVID-19 to surge again in Pennsylvania this fall. Preparations and lessons learned when the state was shut down may enable it avoid a repeat, he added. (PA Post)

June 25, 2020

Nursing homes continue to be hit hard by coronavirus deaths
Confirmed coronavirus cases in Pennsylvania now exceed 83,000, while there are 54 new reports of coronavirus-related deaths, many if not all of them who were residents of nursing homes or personal care homes. (Associated Press)

June 23, 2020

Ruling could come this week in legal standoff between Wolf, Legislature
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court could rule this week on whether Republican legislators can end Gov. Tom Wolf’s pandemic emergency declaration. (PA Post)

Infections exceed 82,000, as new reported deaths slow
Confirmed coronavirus cases in Pennsylvania now exceed 82,000, while new reports of coronavirus-related deaths have slowed significantly in the past couple days, according to Department of Health data. (Associated Press)

June 22, 2020

The pandemic has made travel much more complicated
If you’re thinking about traveling this summer, there are important changes because of the pandemic. A vacation anywhere in the country will require a lot of research and planning. (KYW Newsradio)

COVID-19 leaves the future of buffet dining in doubt
Buffet-style restaurants, like Golden Corral and Old Country Buffet, and others in casinos and hotels, are going to have to restructure themselves to survive the aftermath of the pandemic. (KYW Newsradio)

June 19, 2020

Suburban counties expect to move to ‘green’ next week
Although they have not received official word from the state, officials in Bucks, Montgomery and Chester counties expect Gov. Tom Wolf to announce both counties will move to the “green” phase next week. (KYW Newsradio)

If you’ve lost your health plan in the COVID crisis, you’ve got options
More than 21 million Americans lost their jobs – and often their insurance – during the pandemic. But the clock is ticking for some of their options to replace or regain coverage. (Philly Voice)

PA to give health systems millions to lead coronavirus response inside nursing homes
These collaboratives will be tasked with implementing best practices for infection control and expanding testing “to include asymptomatic staff and residents,” a critical need. (PA Post)

Online gaming revenue in Pennsylvania continued to rise during pandemic
As the coronavirus pandemic continued in May, companies that operate online gaming in the state continued to see substantial increases according to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. (Reading Eagle)

June 18, 2020

Faculty, other employees raise concerns about Penn State’s fall reopening
More than 1,000 faculty, graduate students and others are calling on Penn State administrators to give them more input in decisions related to the plans to reopen the university’s campuses this fall. (PA Post)

High court to decide lawsuit seeking end to disaster order
Pennsylvania’s highest court on Wednesday granted the Democratic governor’s request and took over a lawsuit by legislative Republicans that could end his pandemic shutdown order. (Associated Press)

June 17, 2020

Coronavirus Primer
Seen Monday (June 15, 2020) on the lawn outside Kiddie Academy of Royersford , 525 N. Lewis Rd. (Photo by The Post Publications)

Pennsylvania sees 3rd straight day of under 400 infections
Pennsylvania has recorded a third straight day of under 400 new positive coronavirus tests, according to Department of Health data Tuesday, the longest such stretch since late March. (Associated Press)

Parts of Pa. reopened without robust coronavirus contact tracing to keep residents safe
Health experts say the shortcoming is of critical concern because tracing is most needed as reopening begins, when the disease’s spread becomes more complex. (PA Post)

June 16, 2020

Montgomery County officials optimistic move to ‘green phase’ is close
Montgomery County officials said decreases in hospitalizations and positivity rates among those being tested lead them to be optimistic the county can soon move to the “green phase” of reopening. (Phoenix, Reporter and Item).

Hersheypark to reopen on July 3 as coronavirus restrictions ease
If you’re looking for plans over the July 4th weekend now that COVID-19 restrictions have been eased, the 121-acre Hersheypark is set to reopen on July 3, with enhanced cleaning and reservations required. (Philly Voice)

More free virus test sites opening in northern Pennsylvania
The Wolf administration said Monday that more free coronavirus drive-thru testing sites will open in Walmart parking lots across northern Pennsylvania. It seeks to expand testing where little is available. (Associated Press)

June 14, 2020

Coronavirus exploited long-standing problems with nursing home oversight
The Wolf administration was repeatedly warned of dangerously low minimum staffing and weak and inconsistent inspections, all problems that could have made the outbreak worse. (PA Post)

June 13, 2020

Week 14 of coronavirus in Montgomery County ends with three more deaths, 74 new cases
As week 14 of the coronavirus outbreak in Montgomery County came to a close on Friday, officials reported three more deaths and more than six dozen new positive cases of the virus. (Phoenix, Reporter and Item)

Wolf asks Pennsylvania Supreme Court to uphold shutdown
Gov. Tom Wolf asked the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Friday to intervene in his dispute with legislators trying to end pandemic restrictions he imposed in March to slow the coronavirus. (Associated Press)

Survey finds 30% of Americans unable to make their June housing payments
Entering the fourth month of the pandemic unemployment remains high, and millions of people are still having trouble making their monthly rent and mortgage payments. (KYW Newsradio)

Payment by Phone Expected to Rise Due to Pandemic
Public health fears may drive a rise in mobile payments, even in restaurants. Until now, demand hasn’t grown as expected. For many people, “credit cards, debit cards and cash were working just fine.” (CNN)

Federal authorities warn of another coronavirus-related scam
The IRS is once again warning of scams where people fish for personal information, and this time, they’re using COVID-19 for the data. (KYW Newsradio)

June 12, 2020

More Pennsylvania counties poised to enter ‘green’ phase
A dozen more counties, many in Central PA, are entering the least-restrictive pandemic “green” phase Friday. Gyms, hair salons, theaters and other businesses closed since March may now reopen at reduced capacity. (Associated Press)

Pa. courts may avoid definitive ruling in legal fight over governor’s emergency powers
It took less than 24 hours for the Pennsylvania General Assembly and governor to wind up in a legal fight that could have far-reaching implications for how state leaders respond to future emergencies. (PA Post)

June 10, 2020

Pa. lawmakers vote to end Wolf’s pandemic disaster declaration
A tug of war continues over PA’s pandemic response. The Republican-controlled legislature has approved a measure to end the COVID-19 emergency disaster declaration recently extended by Gov. Tom Wolf. (KYW Newsradio)

Thousands of deaths later, Pa. finally mandates universal testing in nursing homes
Three months after the coronavirus began infecting and killing nursing home residents, the Wolf administration on Monday ordered facilities to test all staff and residents once by mid-summer. (PA Post)

Pennsylvania orders hospitals to protect workers from virus
Pennsylvania hospitals will be required to replace soiled or damaged respirators on request, require universal masking, and take other steps to protect health care workers from the new coronavirus. (Associated Press)

June 9, 2020

Montgomery County ready to open some county parks
After the first weekend in the “yellow phase,” Montgomery County officials say some county parks will open soon, and they have an update on what the state wants to see before the region moves to “green.” (KYW Newsradio)

Pa. to give $225 million in grants and loans to small businesses
Small businesses in Pennsylvania impacted by COVID-19, with fewer than 25 employees or $1 million in sales annually, are getting $225 million to help get them back on their feet, Gov. Tom Wolf announced. (The Inquirer)

Rush to dole out billions in coronavirus relief dollars in Pa. could lead to waste, fraud
Many rules around public accountability and transparency remain unwritten, or lack requirements for a detailed accounting of how the money was already spent. (PA Post)

June 8, 2020

All SEPTA riders now required to wear face coverings
Starting Monday, all SEPTA riders across the entire transit system will be required to wear face masks in order to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. (Philly Voice)

Citadel Country Spirit USA postponed to 2021
Chester County’s own country music festival will not return to the Ludwig’s Corner Horse Show Grounds this year, with officials citing health concerns due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. (Phoenix, Reporter and Item)

June 7, 2020

Amish schools: ‘Distance learning’ involves paper and pencil
Local experts in Amish and Old Order Mennonite culture say most of the 250-or-so Lancaster area Amish-run schools complied with state closing orders. And, just like at many traditional schools, learning never stopped. (Associated Press)

June 5, 2020

Coronavirus testing available for more Montgomery County residents
Montgomery County officials announced Wednesday that the county has enough supplies on hand to allow anyone who wants to be tested for coronavirus to do so at its three community-based sites. (Phoenix, Reporter and Item)

Wolf will announce more counties can enter ‘green’ phase
Gov. Tom Wolf will announce Friday that more counties will be allowed to enter the “green,” and least-restrictive, phase of his pandemic reopening plan, his office said. (Associated Press)

June 4, 2020

Officials: Schools can reopen in-person teaching on July 1
Elementary and secondary schools inside Pennsylvania’s less restrictive reopening zones can resume teaching in person and other activities at the end of June, the Education Department said Wednesday. (Associated Press)

Pa. fitness clubs band together to ask Wolf to include them in ‘yellow’ reopening phase
Fitness clubs from across Pennsylvania are banding together in a concerted effort to convince Gov. Wolf to include them in the “yellow phase” of the state’s reopening process. (KYW Newsradio)

Pa. House committee hearing presents dire picture for state tourism industry
The effect of the coronavirus on the hotel industry could be nine times worse than the losses incurred in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, a state House committee heard Wednesday. (PA Post)

75 new virus deaths reported in Pennsylvania, cases pass 73K
The coronavirus has infected another 511 people to surpass 73,000 total cases in Pennsylvania, and another 75 people have died from it, the state Health Department said Wednesday. (Associated Press)

June 1, 2020

‘No question’: Wolf says Pennsylvania schools will reopen in the fall
Gov. Tom Wolf says he’s confident Pennsylvania students will return to their schools this fall. “No question,” Wolf said during a news conference, although he conceded “schools will look different.” (PA Post)

Governor to lift more pandemic restrictions in Pennsylvania
Gov. Tom Wolf will lift most of his pandemic restrictions in an additional 16 counties including much of the Pittsburgh area, his office said, as Philadelphia also began mapping its way out of the crisis. (Associated Press)

May 31, 2020

Montgomery County ‘pandemic primary’ presents challenges
It’s been dubbed the “pandemic primary” by Montgomery County officials. The road to Tuesday’s primary election include nervous poll workers, consolidated polling places, a vote-by-mail surge, mail-in ballot snafus and political sparring. (Phoenix, Reporter, and Item)

May 29, 2020

Expert: Older teacher population could impact how school is structured in the fall
The National Center for Education Statistics reports 30% of K-12 teachers in the U.S. are 65 or older. Their welfare is going to have a big impact on how schools are structured in the fall. (KYW Newsradio)

Montco commissioner says they’re seeing rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations
Montgomery County Commissioner Val Arkoosh said they’re seeing a rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations. (KYW Newsradio)

Pa. legislature sends $26 billion short-term budget to Gov. Tom Wolf
The Pennsylvania legislature has sent a short-term budget with no tax increases to Gov. Tom Wolf, an unusual measure made necessary by the strain put on the state’s finances by the coronavirus. (PA Post)

Flood of mail-in ballots spurs fight to change deadlines
County and state officials warn that a flood of mailed-in ballots in PA — fueled by fears of in-person voting during the coronavirus pandemic — will create problems in Tuesday’s primary election. (Associated Press)

Pro sports can resume in Pennsylvania, without spectators
Professional sports can resume in Pennsylvania where the governor’s stay-at-home order to stem the spread of the coronavirus is no longer in force, but without spectators, the state said Wednesday. (Associated Press)

May 27, 2020

County prepares to reopen courts with coronavirus precautions
Montgomery County Court officials said the number one priority is safety when modified operations resume at the courthouse and other court-related facilities on June 1 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Phoenix, Item and Reporter)

Pennsylvania preps short-term budget amid virus uncertainty
Pennsylvania state government began advancing a temporary, no-new-taxes budget plan Tuesday that maintains current spending levels while budget makers watch to see how badly coronavirus-related shutdowns damage tax collections. (Associated Press)

Police, regulators target businesses flouting Wolf shutdown
Police and state regulators are cracking down on a handful of Pennsylvania businesses that are supposed to remain shut down during the pandemic but have instead thrown open their doors. (Associated Press)

May 26, 2020

Charitable runs, walks learn to adapt to crowd limits
The coronavirus pandemic has forced charities and nonprofit groups to cancel or postpone an untold number of walks and runs that raise money. They are proving, however, there’s room to evolve. (Associated Press)

With Memorial Day festivities canceled, veterans’ groups try to uphold traditions
Veterans’ groups across Pennsylvania canceled or postponed Memorial Day events this year to comply with local guidelines during the pandemic. But they’re also finding ways to uphold their traditions. (PA Post)

Adjunct professors, the ‘gig workers’ of higher-ed, fear losing livelihoods
Dire college enrollment predictions are circulating, and fewer students mean fewer classes. Fewer classes also likely means fewer adjunct professors, described as the “gig workers” of academia. (PA Post)

Will ‘pandemic insurance’ become a business norm after COVID-19?
Nobody was interested in so-called “pandemic insurance” prior to 2020. Will coronavirus lead it to become the new norm?, because insurance claims related to COVID-19 closures are likely to be denied. (Reading Eagle)

May 25, 2020

Colleges had to adapt to virtual final exams. What they learned could shape the future on campuses.
Moving final exams online, while maintaining their integrity and yet not putting undue pressure on students, was just the latest historical first for the nation’s colleges.(The Inquirer)

State: $93K sought from nursing homes amid inspections
State health officials say civil penalties totaling more than $93,000 have been assessed against nursing care facilities in PA amid hundreds of complaint investigations during the pandemic. (Associated Press)

May 22, 2020

Knoll furniture maker to cut 275 jobs
Knoll Inc., the East Greenville furniture designer and manufacturer, is cutting about 275 employees as part of its restructuring due to the coronavirus pandemic, the company said Wednesday. (WFMZ-TV)

Governor eyes lifting many more pandemic restrictions
Some PA counties could see practically all state pandemic restrictions on business activity and gatherings lifted in the coming days, other than social-distancing and health-monitoring guidelines. (Associated Press)

Some Pa. Republicans want to legalize marijuana after coronavirus blew a hole in the budget
Republican lawmakers in Pennsylvania are coming around — if slowly — to the idea of legalizing marijuana for adult recreational use. (The Inquirer)

Nursing home testing a massive challenge for Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania must massively boost testing efforts to meet Gov. Tom Wolf’s goal of administering a weekly coronavirus test to more than 100,000 people in long-term care facilities. Health officials are scrambling. (Associated Press)

Masks, plexiglass, hand sanitizer may become new normal at casinos
Pennsylvania casinos will have a different vibe once Gov. Tom Wolf gives them the green light to reopen. Its state Gaming Control Board outlined the health protocols casinos will need to undertake. (Philly Voice)

May 21, 2020

Food pantry at Pottstown church gives out groceries to those in need
Folks who lacked all the fixin’s for a Memorial Day picnic got a special treat Wednesday in Pottstown. The food pantry at Bethel Community Church packed bags of groceries to give out to those who need them. (WFMZ-TV)

County official: ‘Still very real risk of virus transmission’
Montgomery County officials reported a dozen more deaths from the coronavirus on Wednesday and reminded residents that there’s “still very real risk of virus transmission” in the community. (Phoenix, Item and Reporter)

Pennsylvania working to pave the return of sporting events
Pennsylvania is working on guidelines to allow sporting events, exhibitions and leagues, both professional and amateur, to get back to “some semblance of normalcy,” Gov. Tom Wolf said Wednesday. (Associated Press)

‘Desperate’ Pa. child care industry to receive $51 million lifeline
Pennsylvania officials are beginning to distribute $51 million of federal stimulus funding to the state’s child care providers, a lifeline to an industry crucial to reopening the economy. (PA Post)

In Philadelphia region, COVID-19 hit smaller nursing homes hardest
Among facilities in the five-county Philadelphia region with five or more deaths, the average infection rate was 44%, meaning nearly half of all residents tested positive for the virus. (PA Post)

May 20, 2020

Positive trend of fewer deaths continues in Montgomery County
Montgomery County officials reported seven more deaths from the coronavirus on Tuesday and announced there is a new testing opportunity available in the Lansdale area. (Phoenix, Item and Reporter)

Drive-thru coronavirus testing site to open in Pottstown
A new, drive-thru coronavirus testing site is opening Thursday in Pottstown. Patient First will begin testing by appointment at its location on Shoemaker Road. (WFMZ-TV)

Rebate checks may arrive earlier for some Pennsylvania homeowners and renters
Pennsylvania homeowners and renters who are elderly or have disabilities may get a state rebate check earlier than expected, officials announced Tuesday. (PA Post)

Real estate business activity to resume across Pennsylvania
Real estate sales and related activity can resume across Pennsylvania if guidelines designed to limit infection are followed, Gov. Tom Wolf announced Tuesday. Masks or other facial coverings are a must. (Associated Press)

Wolf discourages Pennsylvania residents from holiday visits to beaches
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf is discouraging residents from heading to the beach for the holiday weekend because of the to the coronavirus outbreak. His comments echoed those by Philadelphia officials. (Philly Voice)

May 19, 2020

Pa. extends benefits window for unemployment compensation
A program adding 13 weeks to the time PA residents can collect unemployment benefits launched over the weekend, allowing people whose benefits are running out soon to continue receiving them. (PA Post)

NASCAR’s Pocono races might be run without fans
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf says NASCAR can hold its races at Pocono Raceway in late June if the coronavirus situation improves in the area, though the races might have to go off without fans. (Associated Press)

County commissioners clash at briefing over coronavirus protections
Montgomery County commissioners clashed when the Republican board member accused the Democratic chairwoman of taking a “cheap shot” in expressing concerns about a ceremony he attended without wearing a face mask. (The Phoenix, News, and Item)

PA enlists PEMA, National Guard to slow COVID-19 spread in long-term care facilities
The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and the National Guard are introducing mobile virus testing units in long-term care homes, to provide relief for staff as well as equipment training. (PA Post)

May 18, 2020

Pa. distributes more doses of COVID-19 treatment to hospitals
More than 9,000 doses of the experimental drug remdesivir are being distributed to hospitals across Pennsylvania to treat COVID-19 infections. (PA Post)

A Guide to Staying Fit during the Pandemic
The lockdown is, for many of us, leading to a more sedentary lifestyle. As we look toward a phased reopening over the coming months, developing new exercise routines is vital for our health and wellness. (Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation Blog)

Museum of the American Revolution offers online Memorial Day programming
The Museum of the American Revolution invites the public to pay tribute, virtually, to the men and women who lost their lives in service to our country on Memorial Day weekend. (KYW Newsradio)

Uber requiring drivers and riders to wear masks starting Monday
Uber will require all drivers and riders to wear masks starting Monday, as part of a series of measures to protect customers and employees from contracting the coronavirus. (The Inquirer)

May 16, 2020

Limerick supervisors hold in-person meeting, most members wear no masks
A May 12 supervisors’ meeting was held at the Ridge Pike township building, but despite Centers for Disease Control recommendations for public gatherings only one supervisor wore a mask. (The Mercury)

Community colleges expect to see increase in enrollment due to pandemic
Because of the pandemic, more students are expected to attend community college. But some of the reasons for the increase in community college enrollment aren’t as obvious as people might think. (KYW Newsradio)

Pandemic restrictions to ease in 12 Pennsylvania counties
Another 2.6 million people across western Pennsylvania began to emerge from pandemic restrictions Friday as Gov. Tom Wolf announced that 12 more counties soon will join them in a partial easing. (Associated Press)

May 15, 2020

Pa.’s largest nurses’ union accuses hospitals of misinforming state officials about protective equipment
The state’s largest nurses’ union says health-care workers don’t have essential face masks, access to testing, and other safety measures, even as hospitals push to restart elective procedures. (PA Post)

Pa. auditor general looking into Pennsylvania’s business waiver process during pandemic
Pennsylvania’s state auditor general is looking into complaints regarding the state’s waiver process that determines what essential businesses could stay open during the coronavirus pandemic. (KYW Newsradio)

Trump says he’ll replenish stockpile for future pandemics
President Donald Trump,during a Thursday visit to Allentown, says he intends to prepare for future pandemics by replenishing the national stockpile and bringing critical supplies manufacturers back to the U.S. (Associated Press)

May 14, 2020

Pennsburg votes to defy Wolf’s order, allowing businesses to reopen
Pennsburg Mayor Vickie Lightcap says the borough is working on an ordinance that “will allow our businesses to open under CDC guidelines and get back to some sort of normalcy up here in Pennsburg.” (KYW Newsradio)

Montco reports 14 more coronavirus deaths, 106 new positive cases
Montgomery County officials reported 14 more deaths from COVID-19 on Wednesday and provided new statistics that showed many in middle and younger age brackets are testing positive for the virus. (The Phoenix, News, and Item)

Pennsylvania AG opens criminal probes into nursing homes
Pennsylvania’s top prosecutor has opened criminal investigations into several nursing homes amid a coronavirus outbreak that has killed 2,600 residents of nursing homes and other facilities. (Associated Press)

Area businesses say federal ‘Payroll Protection’ loans put them ‘at risk’
Southeastern PA business owners say federal Payroll Protection Program funds won’t cover their most urgent costs and the timeline for spending the money is unrealistic. (PA Post)

‘A pressure cooker’: Pa. governor aims to contain GOP revolt
The Democrat at the helm in one of the premier battlegrounds in November’s presidential election is struggling to fight a Republican revolt over his stay-at-home orders and business shutdowns. (Associated Press)

May 12, 2020

Montgomery County elections board votes to adopt ‘pandemic election plan’ for primary
Montgomery County’s elections board has voted to adopt its “pandemic election plan” for the primary, which significantly cuts the number of polling places in the county from 352 to 140. (KYW Newsradio)

Montgomery County commissioner tests positive for coronavirus
Montgomery County Commissioner Ken Lawrence said during a news briefing that he tested positive for coronavirus. Lawrence, who said he is asymptomatic, was tested in Pottstown Saturday. (WFMZ-TV)

Students expected to return to school in fall, ed chief says
The state education secretary told lawmakers Monday he expects students to go back to school in the fall. He anticipates providing guidance in coming weeks to prepare teachers and staff to return. (PA Post)

Wolf: ‘Cowardly’ counties ‘choosing to desert’ virus fight
Gov. Tom Wolf attacked local elected officials making plans to reopen in defiance of his shutdown orders as cowards deserting the pandemic battlefield. He threatened Monday to block aid to rebellious counties. (Associated Press)