Philadelphia schools reinstate mask mandate

When Philadelphia students and teachers return to school on Monday, they will be required to wear masks again as coronavirus cases conti...


When Philadelphia students and teachers return to school on Monday, they will be required to wear masks again as coronavirus cases continue to rise — the latest twist in the city’s evolving approach to masking.

Philadelphia School District Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. announced Friday that “all students and school district staff will be required to wear their masks during the school and work day and when traveling in school buses and vans” until further notice.

The superintendent emphasized that the district remains flexible to adapt to new threats from Covid-19.

“As we have learned since the start of the pandemic, the coronavirus continues to evolve and so does our response,” he said in a statement.

And that’s not new to the city. Philadelphia last month became the first major US city to reinstate an indoor mask mandate in response to rising coronavirus cases, only to have its health department decide four days later to lift the order due to improved conditions.

Restoring an order for masks would appear to be consistent with federal recommendations. Last week, Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, warned that a third of Americans live in areas where the Covid threat is so high that they should consider wearing a mask in indoor public places. Dr. Walensky cited the spread of the virus and increased hospitalizations across the country. The United States is averaging more than 100,000 known cases per day for the first time since February.

Coronavirus cases in the Philadelphia area are trending in the same direction as the country. Philadelphia County, which includes the city, recently saw an average of 434 new reported cases per day, a 42% increase from the average two weeks earlier, according to a New York Times database. There were 209 new hospitalizations reported per day, a 29% jump from the average two weeks earlier.

Other cities are taking a wait-and-see approach. At New York, face masks are optional in public schools since March. Last week, Mayor Eric Adams said that despite the city enter the high alert level for the coronavirus Due to fast-spreading Omicron subvariantshe had no plans to bring back mask warrants just yet.

“If every variation that comes, we go to shutdown thoughts, we go to panic, we’re not going to run like a city,” Mr. Adams said. at a press conference on Wednesday.

Asked if he would reinstate a mask mandate for schools, Mr Adams said: ‘No’.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Philadelphia schools reinstate mask mandate
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