Philadelphia, PA

The Philly Four: Pa. hospitals struggling with COVID surge

Sam Britt
Sam Britt/ News Break

Welcome to The Philly Four, a daily recap of four of the top stories from the Philadelphia area, covering everything from local government to the Phillies bullpen. A one-stop shop for the most important news bites in the City of Brotherly Love.

Pa. hospital chain struggling with COVID-19 surge

  • Pennsylvania hospital chain Geisinger is currently operating at 110% capacity across its nine hospitals. Doctors are nurses are practicing "waiting room medicine" and patients are experiencing 10-20 hour delays in the emergency department. Over the past two weeks, an average of 3,900 were hospitalized with COVID-19, a 50% increase since last month according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

New legalization bill could end up shuttering more than 250 streeteries

  • The Philadelphia City Council passed a bill last Friday to legalize outdoor dining, or streeteries, in certain sections of the city. The bill currently sits on Mayor Jim Kenney's desk waiting for his signature. However, since the bill places limits on where streeteries can exist, it jeopardizes more than 250 outdoor dining structures across the city.

State Supreme Court hears arguments over school mask mandate

  • The lawyer defending the acting health secretary asked the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to consider one regulation when ruling on the validity of the school mask mandate. The regulation was adopted in 2000 and states that the health secretary can authorize a “modified quarantine of contacts of a person.” The lawyer argued that not allowing people into schools counts as a modified quarantine.

Republicans aim for expanded voter ID in new bill

  • A new bill in the Pennsylvania House would allow for early voting, put on restrictions on mail-in ballots and reform the state's 1937 election law. One of the new reforms would be expanding when ID has to be shown during the voting process. Republicans believe that this will help garner trust in our elections, however, research shows that voter ID laws do nothing to increase trust in the system.

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Journalist covering all Philadelphia area news, from last Sunday's Eagles game to the latest from City Hall. For weekly recaps of the news you missed please check out the Philly JAWN newsletter, available at

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