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Villanova to Require Vaccines Next Fall; Philly Releases 2020 Overdose Data; 3rd Arrest in NJ Party
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 06/04/21 12:31 am | updated: 06/04/21 12:31 am
Villanova University will require all students, faculty, and staff to be fully vaccinated for coronavirus COVID-19 before returning to school for the fall semester. Villanova University President Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, sent a letter to the school community on Thursday, 6/3, saying that everyone should have had their shots by August 1. "As we look ahead to the fall semester, there is a new, more effective tool at our disposal. With the arrival of vaccines, health officials are lifting restrictions across the country as more people become vaccinated and some normalcy has been restored. At Villanova, I would also like to see a return to a more typical, on-campus experience, so I have made the decision to require that all students, faculty and staff be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by August 1, 2021," Donohue said. He said that the results of their vaccine survey noted that the "vast majority of responding community members are already vaccinated." Exceptions will be allowed for medical or religious reasons, just like other required school vaccines. International students may receive the vaccine once they arrive at campus.

"While the vaccine directive is welcome news to some, I appreciate that not everyone will agree with or be happy about it. However, it is necessary to allow for the vibrant on-campus experience that has made Villanova flourish for the past 179 years. Requiring the vaccine allows for in-person instruction, a full slate of extracurricular and service-related activities, residence and dining halls at full occupancy, and many more of the typical Villanova experiences." Donohue said.

The Philadelphia Department of Public Health says that there were 1,214 overdose deaths in 2020. That is the highest total since 2017 when there were 1,217. "While the world has been focused on the COVID-19 pandemic, drug overdoses continue to wreak havoc across our city," Acting Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole said. "Increasingly, fentanyl is being found in all types of illegal drugs, exposing individuals who are not familiar with opioids to this deadly drug. This is why we continue to stress that anyone using any of these substances should never use alone, should have naloxone nearby, and use fentanyl test strips regularly." 86% of overdoses were due to opioids. 81% involved the powerful synthetic opioid, fentanyl. In 2010, fentanyl accounted for less than 10% of fatal overdoses. Overdoses rose 29% among Blacks and dropped 10% amoung whites. Men ages 55-64 saw the greatest increase at 26%. Kensington still has the most overdose deaths in the city. However, that area decreased 22% from 2019. Areas in North, Southwest, and West Philadelphia doubled since 2019.

SEE FULL REPORT: Unintentional Drug Overdose Fatalities in Philadelphia, 2020

Authorities in Cumberland County, NJ, announced on Thursday, 6/3, that a third person was arrested in connection to the mass shooting at a birthday party in Fairfield Township last month, May 22. Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae says that 39-year-old Larry McCrae of Bridgeton has been charged with two counts of Unlawful Possession of a Handgun, a second degree offense. He was charged with two firearms that were found left at the scene of the shooting. Officials, at this time, do not believe that he was the shooter. Two other men have already been arrested for weapons-related charges. The investigation is ongoing. If you have any information, contact New Jersey State Police Bridgeton Station at 856-451-0101. A webpage has been set up so that witnesses can send any pictures or videos from the party to help investigators.

SEE ALSO: 2nd Arrest in NJ Party
SEE ALSO: One Arrest in NJ Party Shooting
SEE ALSO: NJ Party Mass Shooting, 2 Dead

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