On Monday, April 11th Philadelphia’s Public Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole announced that the city will be reinstating its masking policies on the 18th due to another spike in Covid-19 cases in the U.S. Philadelphia has become the first city to reintroduce the mask mandate after most cities in the U.S. dropped the requirements due to a decrease in cases since early January. The mandate will require the people of Philadelphia to wear masks at all public indoor settings which include schools, restaurants, and government facilities.
In Philadelphia, Mondays case count was 50% higher than it was only 10 days ago. The city is averaging 142 cases per day now, but Bettigole has stressed that the hospitalization rate is still low. The rise in cases can be attributed to omicrons subvariant, the BA.2, which accounts for 70% of our nations current cases. Although the White House says they’re not overly concerned about the rising BA.2 cases, the nation is currently averaging 1,300 hospitalizations a day; even though this is a low for the pandemic, it is still concerning.
Its entirely possible that many cities and towns will follow Philadelphia’s lead if cases and hospitalizations continue to rise at an alarming rate. This means that in the future it could be entirely possible to have another mask mandate here at the high school and throughout the rest of the district. A mask mandate here would mean that every student would be required to wear a mask at all times when inside of the school building, unless they have a medical condition. We could also see the state reintroduce the mask mandate on public transport, meaning students who ride the bus will again have to mask up.