April 12, 2022

Citing a rise in COVID-19 instances due to the Omicron subvariant, the town of Philadelphia reinstated its indoor face masks mandate on Monday.

The town was averaging 142 new COVID instances per day on Monday, in comparison with 84 new instances on April 1, the town authorities stated in a news release. Hospitalizations have remained regular, with about 50 folks per day hospitalized with COVID.

“If we fail to behave now, realizing that each earlier wave of infections has been adopted by a wave of hospitalizations, after which a wave of deaths, it will likely be too late for a lot of of our residents,” stated Cheryl Bettigole, MD, the town well being commissioner, in line with The Associated Press. “That is our likelihood to get forward of the pandemic, to place our masks on till we have now extra details about the severity of this new variant.”

Philadelphia turns into the primary large metropolis to revive a masks mandate, the Related Press stated. Philadelphia dropped its masks mandate March 2 as most large cities relaxed restrictions as a result of instances have been dropping. Whereas case counts haven’t reached the numbers of a number of months in the past, they’re nonetheless rising sharply.

The town would require masks in all public indoor areas, together with colleges, companies, eating places, workplaces, and authorities buildings, in line with the town information launch. Companies and establishments can drop the masks requirement if all people on the premises is absolutely vaccinated and vaccine standing is checked upon entry. Enforcement will start April 18.

The Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Affiliation complained that the reimposed rule will damage restaurant staff.

“This announcement is a serious blow to hundreds of small companies and different operators within the metropolis who have been hoping this spring can be the beginning of restoration,” Ben Fileccia, senior director of operations on the affiliation, stated on Twitter. “Whereas the remainder of the Commonwealth has moved ahead navigating life with COVID, Philadelphia has stepped again by imposing one other mandate and anticipating it to be enforced by companies and their workers.”In New York Metropolis, Mayor Eric Adams stated Monday at a information convention that he would take heed to his group of medical medical doctors for recommendation on whether or not to deliver again any COVID restrictions, the Related Press stated.