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.
- The City of Philadelphia announced on Monday that any establishment that serves food must require that patrons and staff be fully vaccinated starting on Jan. 3. People with proof of medical or religious exemption and children under five are exempt. This mandate is following the example of New York City, which requires vaccinations for indoor dining, performance venues and gyms. Pennsylvania is currently leading the country in COVID-19 hospitalizations.
- The Pennsylvania Supreme Court threw out the state-wide school mask mandate on Friday. The judges did not offer a written opinion along with the decision. The court upheld an earlier ruling that the mandate was put in place without legal authorization. Two Bucks Country school districts already announced they would be lifting the mask mandate.
- The Pennsylvania State Law Enforcement Citizen Advisory Commission came up with a list of police reforms on Friday. The review board was created last year by Gov. Tom Wolf. Some of the reforms include bringing in an external agency to investigate use of force incidents and in-custody deaths and allowing citizens to refile bias-based complaints after criminal proceedings.
- FBI data shows that Pennsylvanians paid $5.2 million in online ransomware attacks last year, the most in the entire country by almost $3 million. The FBI also states that the number may be higher since attacks often go unreported. A ransomware attack involves a hacker encrypting a user's files and demanding payment to release them back.