Coronavirus update: Archbishop Perez to celebrate first public Mass Sunday

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput (left) embraces Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez (right) during his installation at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia on February 18, 2020. (Pool photo/ by David Maialetti/The Philadelphia Inquirer)

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput (left) embraces Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez (right) during his installation at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia on February 18, 2020. (Pool photo/ by David Maialetti/The Philadelphia Inquirer)

Updated 1:49 p.m.

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As of Saturday, Pennsylvania has reported 79,505 COVID-19 cases  (including confirmed and probable cases). There are 163,893 cases in New Jersey and 9,845 cases in Delaware. Philadelphia has reported 23,529 cases so far.

Pennsylvania’s death toll stands at 5,930, New Jersey’s is at 12,049, and Delaware’s is at 388. Philadelphia’s death toll is 1,413.

Archbishop Perez to say first public Mass Sunday

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced details of the first Sunday Mass that Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez will say publicly since such observances resumed after easing of coronavirus restrictions.

Perez will be principal celebrant and chief homilist at the 9 a.m. Mass Sunday at St. Martin de Porres Church on West Lehigh Avenue in the city’s Allegheny West neighborhood.

Catholic.org says St. Martin de Porres is the patron saint of both people of mixed race and public health workers.

Boarding SEPTA? Remember your mask

Starting June 8, riders using SEPTA will be required to wear masks or face coverings. Chief Press Officer Andrew Busch noted that coverings don’t have to be fancy, they may be as simple as a bandana or repurposed t-shirt.

The agency had tried implementing a similar policy in April, but backed off after a video of police removing an unmasked man from a bus went viral. In the wake of the incident, riders noted that guidance on the mask requirement had been unclear.

The agency intends to keep up aggressive sanitation measures, too.

“SEPTA will also continue its robust program for cleaning and sanitizing stations and vehicles, as part of the effort to battle COVID-19,” Busch wrote. “In addition, rider limits for buses and trolleys will remain in effect to promote social distancing, and there are signs marking off seats to indicate where passengers should sit to maintain a safe space.

N.J. Motor Vehicle Commission to restart limited in-person services

The Motor Vehicle Commission will begin offering drop-off services only starting June 15. Agencies will open to walk-in customers — and road tests and the issuing of new licenses and permits will begin — on the tentative date of June 29. However, an online registration system will open on June 15 for residents to sign up for future road test time slots.

Some of the motor vehicle agencies will be designated as licensing centers, and will process all license and ID transactions. Other agencies will be designated as vehicle centers and will process vehicle, title, and license plate transactions. License plates can be dropped off at those sites in a designated area.

Motor Vehicle Commission Chief Administrator Sue Fulton encouraged drivers to continue to access resources online. “The more people who use online transactions, the fewer people who will come in,” she said.

Fulton announced that the Motor Vehicle Commission has opened 11 new road testing sites and hired more safety specialists to moderate tests. She anticipates processing an additional 10,800 tests each week, tripling their pre-shutdown capacity. For those who had their road test canceled during the shutdown, the commission will contact to reschedule.

During the shutdown, the Motor Vehicle Commission pivoted to online processes to extend license and ID expiration dates, assist more than 60,000 motorists with suspended licenses, and validate some 500 permits.

Car inspections are done by a third-party vendor and details have not yet been announced on restarting.

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