Philadelphia restores indoor mask mandates

A shopper wearing a protective mask as a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus selects fruit at Philadelphia’s Reading Terminal Market.

Matt Rourke | AP

With the slow increase in Covid-19 cases, Philadelphia is restoring its mandates for indoor masks for public places, schools and daycare centers.

Philadelphia announced Monday that, on April 18, masks must be worn again indoors unless vaccine status is verified.

“Put simply, that means we are reintroducing the mandates of the masks in Philadelphia,” Health Commissioner Cheryl Bettigole said at an afternoon press conference.

Philadelphia made the move of the mask mandate with daily case counts and hospitalizations that have surpassed their own self-imposed benchmarks in the past few days.

There have been an average of 142 new cases in Philadelphia in the past few days, and 46 people are currently hospitalized with Covid-19.

The Philadelphia School District had already planned to request masks when students return from spring break on April 18. This new mandate means that all schools and daycare centers in the city must also follow suit.

The move means the city hasn’t even had two months without indoor masking requirements. The city had given it “all clear” and withdrew its previous masking mandate on March 2.