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The City of Philadelphia could reinstitute its indoor mask mandate, over one month after the Health Department moved the city into the “All Clear COVID Response Level.”
The city has experienced an uptick in Chinese coronavirus cases, more than 50 percent in the last ten days, prompting the possibility of reintroducing the city’s indoor mask policy over two years after the start of the pandemic.
The city is currently using a tiered system to determine which restrictions should be in place. According to Fox 29 Philadelphia, the city is still in the lowest “All Clear” tier, which is as follows: “No vaccine requirement for places that serve food or drink; No mask requirement (except in schools, healthcare institutions, congregate settings, and on public transportation).”
According to the data, daily cases are under 100 in the city. However, Philadelphia County as a whole reported a daily average of 149 cases as of April 10, reflecting an 86 percent jump in cases over the last 14 days.
“As we see more cases of COVID-19 in the city, everyone’s risk goes up,” Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole said, adding that it means that “now is the time to start taking precautions.”
If cases increase, the city could move into the “Mask Precautions” tier, which requires masks indoors, but no vaccine requirements.
The possibility comes just over a month after the city entered into the “All Clear” tier, relieving residents and visitors of both indoor mask mandates and vaccines requirements. City buildings dropped their mask mandate on March 7, making masks optional. However, the Health Department made it clear in its announcement that it believed masks to be “one of the best ways to keep yourself and others protected.”