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Philadelphia is bringing back an indoor mask mandate

Philadelphia is the first major city to bring back an indoor mask order

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A sign requiring masks in Philadelphia.

A sign requiring masks as a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus is posted on a storefront in Philadelphia on Feb. 16, 2022.

Matt Rourke, Associated Press

Philadelphia will soon bring back its indoor mask mandate, the first major city to do so amid rising coronavirus cases.

Details of Philadelphia’s new mask mandate

Philadelphia will move into “level 2” of its COVID-19 response guidelines, which requires mask mandates but no vaccine requirement, according to WPVI.

  • Masks will be required in a number of locations across Philadelphia, including “indoor public spaces, including schools and child care settings, businesses, restaurants and government buildings,” per WPVI.

Why did Philadelphia bring back its mask mandate?

Philadelphia announced Monday it would reinstate its mask mandate about one month after lifting it, per The New York Times.

  • “This is our chance to get ahead of the pandemic,” said Cheryl Bettigole, the city’s health commissioner, according to The New York Times.
  • Philadelphia has seen about 142 daily cases per day — a far cry from the nearly 4,000 it faced during the omicron variant’s surge.
  • Per The New York Times, Bettigole said the decision to bring back the mask mandate comes after “knowing that every previous wave of infections has been followed by a wave of hospitalizations, and then a wave of deaths, then it will be too late for many of our residents.”

When does Philadelphia’s new mask mandate begin?

  • The indoor mask mandate begins on April 18, per The Philadelphia Inquirer.
  • This will give businesses a chance to adjust to the new ruling.