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Mask mandate: Philadelphia reinstates indoor mandate as Covid-19 cases rise



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The town is the primary main US metropolitan space to deliver again masking necessities after a slew of cities and states dropped restrictions as instances started trending downward in January.

The town will transfer to its second degree of Covid-19 restrictions, which requires Philadelphians to put on masks in all indoor public places, together with colleges, companies, eating places and authorities buildings.

“Beginning right now, I am asking all companies and establishments in Philadelphia to dig up these outdated masks-required indicators and begin hanging them in your home windows,” Bettigole mentioned in a information convention.

Monday’s case depend is greater than 50% greater than it was 10 days in the past, Bettigole mentioned, noting the variety of folks hospitalized continues to be low. The town is now averaging 142 instances per day.

“By sporting masks constantly, we will proceed to go about our day by day lives and proceed to participate within the lifetime of our metropolis with out contributing to rising transmission of Covid-19,” Bettigole mentioned.

Final week, metropolis well being officers introduced they have been contemplating a masks mandate and really useful folks begin sporting masks in indoor public areas despite the fact that town was on the “Level 1: All Clear” restriction level. To be able to stay at Stage 1, town’s Covid-19 metrics should meet two or extra necessities: new day by day instances should keep beneath 100 common new day by day instances, hospitalizations should be beneath 50 and instances will need to have “elevated by lower than 50% within the earlier 10 days.”

The town has now surpassed Stage 1 necessities, although Bettigole believes masking precautions might forestall instances from rising to earlier ranges.

“I think that this wave might be smaller than the one we noticed in January,” she mentioned. “But when we wait to seek out out and to place our masks again on, we’ll have misplaced our likelihood to cease the wave.”

On March 2, town moved to its lowest “All Clear” degree, which dropped the indoor masks mandate. On the time, main cities and states across the US have been dropping their mandates.

Many states see instances rise

Nationally, instances are trending upward in additional than half of states, although case numbers are nonetheless comparatively low. Averaging round 34,000 new instances per day, the day by day case fee within the US stays one of many lowest since mid-July.

It is anticipated that Covid-19 case numbers will rise and fall over the course of the pandemic, White Home Covid-19 Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha instructed CNN’s New Day Monday, and mentioned the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention’s steerage about what actions to take is in the best place.

“By way of what to do about it, we actually need to be guided by the CDC on this,” Jha mentioned. “The CDC coverage is correct on this and that is what I have been following for months, and that is what we must be doing.”

In line with the CDC, the Covid-19 group degree for Philadelphia County — the place town of Philadelphia is situated — is low. In such communities, CDC urges folks to remain up-to-date on Covid-19 vaccinations and get examined if they’ve Covid-19 signs, nevertheless it doesn’t recommend sporting masks.

Jha additionally mentioned the CDC will share a scientific framework this week for the federal transportation masks mandate set to run out April 18. The federal mandate requires masks on public transportation resembling planes, trains, buses and hubs like airports and bus terminals.

On NBC’s Right this moment Present Monday, Jha mentioned extending the federal transportation masks mandate is “completely on the desk,” including the CDC will decide primarily based on the scientific framework it’s creating.

CNN’s Raja Razek, Naomi Thomas and Amanda Watt contributed to this report.

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