It’s going to be another hot one, Philadelphia. Temperatures are expected to reach 92 today, so find some shade to cool off when you can.
First, we’re breaking down what’s going on with the latest COVID variant, why it seems as if it’s moving so quickly, and what protections your vaccines still provide. (Spoiler alert: They’re still very effective.)
We’ll also take a look at some recent housing-policy changes at the state and local level that could help with affordability and home repairs.
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With COVID cases on the rise, what most had hoped would be a restful summer is turning out to look a lot like those of the last two years. And as each new COVID variant emerges, we hear how much more transmissible it is than the one before. While it may sound as if the latest variant is some sort of super-virus, that’s not entirely the case.
It’s not even clear that BA.5 is more transmissible than its predecessors, my colleague Tom Avril reports.
The latest strain shows up the way its predecessors did, with cough, fever, achy joints, and headaches. If you have those symptoms, get tested and stay clear of others, just as physicians have been recommending from the start.
And still get vaxxed and boosted: The original vaccines remain remarkably effective at preventing serious disease and death — even from BA.5.
A slate of new policies adopted by state and city officials could help residents find and afford housing in the city.
🏘️ The state budget includes $125 million for home repairs and weatherization to preserve Pennsylvania’s aging housing stock
🏘️ Local governments, including Philadelphia, now have the ability to offer tax abatements for up to 10 years to developers whose projects include below-market-rate units, thanks to legislation signed by Gov. Tom Wolf this week.
🏘️ The city’s Restore, Repair, Renew home improvement loan program got an update. People who earn a little too much money to qualify for grant programs, but can’t qualify for or afford traditional loans, can apply for the program. Borrowers have 10 years to repay the loan.
Read more from Michaelle Bond here.
Which critically acclaimed sitcom, set in Philadelphia, just earned seven Emmy nominations, while its creator made history with three noms of her own?
a. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
b. Abbott Elementary
d. The Goldbergs
Think you know the answer? Take a guess, and find the answer here.
Tell us your top three essential things to do in Philly during the summer, and my colleague Evan Weiss will feature the most interesting ones. And congrats to Anita B. Edwards, who correctly guessed the answer to yesterday’s anagram: Black Doctors Row.
That’s all I’ve got to start your Wednesday! 👋