PHILADELPHIA - Philadelphia officials announced some changes to its mask mandate to help parents of kids who are too young for the vaccine.
The city’s health department reinstated an indoor mask mandate in Philadelphia Wednesday with an exception for places that required vaccinations. People spoke up and Friday the city amended its plans to make things a little less complicated for families with children who cannot yet get the vaccine.
According to the health department, pharmacies, grocery stores, doctor's offices and urgent care centers do not have the option to require proof of vaccination at the door instead they must mandate masks to better accommodate families.
"Parents do not have to worry that they'll be unable to stop by the grocery store with their children," Acting Health Commissioner Cheryl Bettigole said.
- Philadelphia announces new indoor, outdoor mask mandates: What you need to know
- Philadelphia mandates COVID-19 vaccine for healthcare workers, college students
- Philadelphia, surrounding counties seeing ‘substantial’ level of COVID-19 transmission, CDC says
- Study suggests Moderna vaccine may be more effective than Pfizer against delta variant
Bettigole adds families with children dining outdoors at restaurants that require proof of vaccination can still go inside to use the restroom if they mask up.
"We would not consider quick bathroom trips to be a violation," she said.
Asiah Debarry, of North Philly, says she and her family are staying away from businesses that require proof of vaccination because of their 4-year-old daughter Mya. She says masking up is never a problem and supports the health department's newest mandate.
"To be safe I think great precaution," she said. "I’m kinda used to the masks. It’s kinda like an everyday thing now."