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The Post  
Penn State Campuses Require Masks; NJ Schools to Require Masks; 80yo Killed by PECO Truck
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 08/05/21 11:21 pm | updated: 08/05/21 11:21 pm
Penn State University announced on Wednesday, 8/5, that students, staff, and visitors at all if its campuses state-wide will be required to wear masks inside regardless of vaccination status. "As we continue to see daily increases in COVID-19 cases, particularly the delta variant, our current outlook warrants this protective step," President Eric Barron said in a written statement. You must wear masks in classrooms, meeting rooms, common areas of residence halls, and at any indoor events. Students and employees are encouraged to get vaccinated. Anyone not fully vaccinated by August 9, will be required to undergo regular testing during the semester.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is expected to announce on Friday, 8/6, that all students grades K-12 will be required to wear masks when school starts in the next few weeks. The rise in COVID-19 cases due to the delta variant is driving that decision. He is expected to make the formal announcement at 1:15 p.m. from an elementary school in Middlesex County. The is a reversal from the governor's decision just a few weeks ago. On June 28, Murphy had announced that masks would not be mandatory in schools this fall. That came with the caveat: "absent any dramatic change in our situation before the beginning of the school year." It seems that "drastic change in our situation" has arisen.

On Wednesday, 8/4, Murphy was at an event in Union City to sign a bill that extends eviction and foreclosure moratoriums in the state through the end of August. During his remarks, he addressed a group of anti-vaccine protestors, "These folks back there have lost their minds, you've lost your minds. You are the ultimate knuckleheads and because of what you are saying and standing for people are losing their life. People are losing their life and you have to know that. Look in the mirror."

SEE PREVIOUS: NJ Masks NOT Mandatory in Schools in Fall

UPDATE: Gov. Murphy made the official announcement on Friday, 8/6. "We understand that students learn best in a classroom setting and remain committed to having our schools open for full-time, in-person instruction this fall," Murphy said. "While this announcement gives us no pleasure, I know that by taking this precaution we can keep our schools open while also keeping our children safe. We will continue to closely monitor the science and data and will lift this mandate when we can do so safely. I urge those who are eligible for vaccination but have yet to be vaccinated to act and help move our state in the right direction."

An 80-year-old woman was struck and killed by a PECO truck in Northeast Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon, 8/5. It happened around 2:30 p.m. at the intersection of Academy Road and Morrell Avenue near Northeast Philadelphia Airport. She has been identified as Archbishop Ryan High School’s Sister Frances Antoinette. Police say that the PECO truck was traveling southbound on Academy Road and was making a left when it hit the Sister Frances. She was trying to cross the street. She was taken to Jefferson-Torresdale Hospital where she was pronounced dead. The accident remains under investigation.

Sister Fran taught theology class. She touched thousands of high schoolers inside and outside the classroom. She was a member of the Sisters of Saint Joseph and was assigned to Christ the King Church.

Archbishop Nelson Perez issued the following statement on Friday morning:

"I was deeply saddened to learn that Sister Frances Antoinette, S.S.J. died in a tragic accident yesterday. In the name of the bishops, priests, deacons, consecrated religious, and lay faithful of the Archdiocese, I express prayerful condolences to her fellow religious, the Archbishop Ryan High School community, and all those who mourn her passing.

Sister Frances Antoinette was a faithful witness to Christ and His Church. She enriched the lives of many young people through her dedication to the mission of Catholic education for several decades. In addition, she touched the lives of thousands of people throughout our region by serving as the coordinator for Archbishop Ryan High School's Community Service Corps. She inspired students to be faithful witnesses to Christ by serving as missionary disciples.

This moment is one of deep sorrow. I ask all people of good will to join me praying for the soul of Sister Frances Antoinette, for the consolation and peace of her family, and for all those are suffering as a result of her death. May the Lord pour His mercy upon them and hold them in His loving embrace."

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