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Photo: Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The city of Philadelphia is ending its emergency coronavirus policy of letting police officers make case-by-case judgments on whether to arrest certain non-violent offenders.

Between the lines: "The city is facing an increase in retail thefts at small businesses already struggling to survive with the pandemic, the department said, and there has been a rise in burglaries committed by repeat offenders," the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

What they're saying: "At the time of the change, the Department was clear in that the list of offenses was subject to review and revision as conditions continued to evolve," Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said in a statement on Friday. 

  • "Predictably, conditions have, in fact, evolved in dynamic fashion. Accordingly, we have reviewed our current protocols and have made several adjustments."

Flashback: "Philadelphia police officers were instructed in March to stop making arrests for certain non-violent crimes. The department said individuals who would normally be arrested and processed at a detective division were temporarily detained to confirm identification and complete necessary paperwork. The individual was then be arrested on a warrant at a later date," Fox29 reports.

Go deeper

Updated Aug 10, 2020 - World

PM prepares for "COVID election" as NZ marks 100 days of no community spread

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern attends the launch of the Labour Party's election campaign in Auckland on Saturday. Photo: Michael Bradley/AFP via Getty Images

AUCKLAND, New Zealand — New Zealand has now gone 100 days with no detected community spread of COVID-19, the Ministry of Health confirmed in an emailed statement Sunday.

Why It Matters: New Zealanders are going to the polls on Sept. 19. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been widely praised for her leadership that saw NZ lock down hard for several weeks before all domestic restrictions were lifted in June. She sees her government's response to and recovery from the coronavirus outbreak as key to her Labour Party being re-elected.

Aug 9, 2020 - Health

Ex-FDA head: U.S. will "definitely" see 200,000 to 300,000 virus deaths in 2020

Former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said on CBS News' "Face the Nation" that the coronavirus death toll in the U.S. will be "definitely" somewhere between 200,000 and 300,000 by the end of 2020.

Why it matters: "Whether we're closer to 200,000 or closer to 300,000 depends on what we do now and how it evolves," Gottlieb warned on Sunday as the U.S. surpassed five million confirmed coronavirus cases.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
Aug 10, 2020 - Health

How to do smarter coronavirus testing

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

With testing once again a huge vulnerability to America’s coronavirus response, public health officials are calling for a revamped strategy that features the use of more tests, even if they're imperfect.

Why it matters: The system is overwhelmed by the demand for tests, and yet prolific testing is key to identifying asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic coronavirus cases. Experts say the solution is smarter testing — which doesn't require perfect accuracy.

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