Philly Coronavirus News: Wawa Employee Positive, Philly Cancels Easter, and Valley Forge Shuts Down

Our suggestion? Grab some black beans from your pantry and let Jose Garces show you the way.

coronavirus comes to this wawa in philadelphia

Coronavirus in Philly: An employee of this Port Richmond Wawa has tested positive. (Google Maps)

Update 3/27/2020 at 9 a.m.: Wawa has now suspended made-to-order food at all of its Philadelphia locations amid the coronavirus crisis. Click here for the full story.

A roundup of Philly coronavirus news.

Coronavirus Comes to Wawa

A Wawa spokesperson has confirmed that an employee at the Port Richmond Wawa at 2535 Aramingo Avenue has tested positive for COVID-19.

As of Friday morning, the Port Richmond Wawa had been shut down for deep cleaning and sanitization.

“We are working with the Board of Health and will follow their guidance on additional steps or notifications required,” a Wawa spokesperson said in a statement. “We will do everything we can to support our associate, including providing paid time off, and take all necessary steps to monitor, safeguard and protect all our associates and customers.”

The Wawa employee is just one of many (342 and climbing) positive cases in Philly. But it does make us wonder about all of these convenience stores and other small shops that are technically “life-sustaining,” according to the order issued by Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf’s office.

Over the last week, we spent some time outside of local Wawa, Dunkin’ Donuts, and similar shops observing traffic in and out of the stores, and there are definitely plenty of customers going in and out of the stores.

We can’t help but wonder if the state will revise its orders as the number of positive coronavirus cases grows “exponentially,” to use the word that Wolf used. Sure, we need continued access to bread, milk, and other groceries. But do we really need a box of Munchkins, a 24-ounce cup of coffee, a Sizzli, or an Italian Shorti? Maybe people need to remember how to make coffee at home.

Trump Says We’ll Be OK By Easter, Philly Not So Sure

President Trump is sticking to his “beautiful timeline” in which he said that much of the country should be getting back to normal — whatever normal will be after the coronavirus — by Easter. (For those among you who don’t celebrate Easter, the holiday falls on April 12th this year.)

But Catholic officials in Philadelphia seem to be taking a page out of the playbook of White House Coronavirus Task Force lead Anthony Fauci, who basically thinks that Trump is nuts if he thinks the nation will be out of the woods two-and-a-half weeks from now.

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has announced that its suspension of all public masses will continue through at least Easter, though it should be noted that the church still plans to figure out a way to distribute palms to the faithful on Palm Sunday.

Coronavirus Shuts Down Valley Forge National Park

The state has made it quite clear that residents are still allowed to out for hikes and walks, but only if they follow social distancing guidelines. Well, after concerns were expressed over the crowds at Valley Forge National Park, officials have shut the park down completely.

“”We have made this difficult decision in order to better protect visitors, park employees and the resources that make this place special,” said park officials in a statement. “This is a serious crisis and we urge all visitors to understand this.”

You can still find plenty of places to take a nice walk. For instance, a portion of MLK Drive in Philadelphia has been closed to car traffic indefinitely, all of the trails at Heinz Wildlife Refuge and Bartram’s Garden remain open, and though there are no facilities available at Pennsylvania state parks, the trails are open and ready for your socially distanced hike.

Our Suggestion? Black Beans!

You may not be able to find toilet paper. Packets of (blech) boring boneless skinless chicken breast have been scarce. But you know what you probably can find? A frigging can of black beans or two.

While you’re stuck in the house trying to figure out what you want to eat today, may we suggest this awesome pantry black bean recipe by none other than Jose Garces?