PHILADELPHIA — Indoor masking will be required in Philadelphia again next week, the city health department announced Monday.
The mandate announced Monday won’t go into effect until April 18, city health commissioner Cheryl Bettigole said, to give businesses time to adjust. The move came amid rising COVID-19 cases in Philadelphia in recent weeks.
The Philadelphia Department of Public Health established a benchmark system in February that uses case counts, hospitalizations, and the increase in case rates to determine which safety strategies are needed. The seven day daily average of cases, 142 as of April 8, and a 60% increase in case counts over the past 10 days met the standards to reintroduce the indoor mask mandate.
There were 44 people hospitalized in the city Monday, a slight decrease from last week.
Nationally, cases are up about 3% over the past two weeks, according to the New York Times COVID data tracker. Hospitalizations are down 18% over the same time.
The city hasn’t required indoor masking since March 2.