Philadelphia, PA

The Philly Four: COVID surge may have peaked, numbers beginning to fall

Sam Britt

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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.

Worried parents turn to courts as masking policies in schools are eased

  • The Perkiomen School District was forced to reinstate their mask mandate after a group of parents sued them, arguing that the lack of a mandate violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. The School District was one of many to lift the mandate after Gov. Tom Wolf dropped the universal one in December. The lawsuit stated that lifting the mandate put parents with medically fragile children in an unfair position of choosing to pull their kids from in-person learning or exposing them to COVID-19.

Winter COVID surge appears to have peaked

  • Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole reported that after a month of rising COVID-19 statistics, it appears that the holiday season surge is finally beginning to wane. The daily case count has dropped from an average of 2,000 last week to 996 this past week. Hospitalizations also saw a 30% decrease. However, Dr. Bettigole emphasizes that omicron is still extremely contagious and continuing this downward trend is dependent on the actions of Philadelphia residents.

Philadelphia congress members ask for $1 billion in police funding

  • Four congress members representing Philadelphia announced a push for $1 billion in funding for local and state police departments to help combat gun violence. US Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon was actually held at gunpoint during a carjacking in Philadelphia last month. Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said the funding would help expand forensic capabilities to identify shooters.

Philadelphia doesn't get bang for buck in school funding

  • Despite ranking 19th in tax burden, Philadelphia ranks 473rd out of 500 state school districts in weighted amount spent per student. Chief Financial Officer Uri Monson testified during Pennsylvania's landmark school funding trial that Philadelphia has "no control over our revenues and limited control over our expenditures.” The trial is based around the argument that Pennsylvania's disparity in school funding violates the state constitution’s mandate for a “thorough and efficient system of education.”

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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 https://newsletter.newsbreakapp.com/

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