Philadelphia health department recommends indoor masking amid jump in COVID-19 infections

Philadelphia health officials are recommending that people wear masks in public indoor spaces to help thwart a growing number of COVID-19 infections in the city. 

Philadelphia Department of Health said in a Monday press release that coronavirus case in Philadelphia have increased by more than 50% in the last ten days. This jump comes as COVID-19 infections in Philadelphia have been slowly rising over the last several weeks, according to officials.

"As we see more cases of COVID-19 in the city, everyone’s risk goes up," Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole said. "That means that now is the time to start taking precautions." 

Philadelphia remains in the All Clear tier of the city's COVID-19 response levels. That means that daily cases are less than 100 and hospitalizations are less than 50. However, Bettigole advised Philadelphians to have a stash of masks ready in case the mandate returns. 

"It’s not required yet, but Philadelphians should strongly consider wearing a mask while in public indoor spaces," Bettigole said. "Make sure you have a supply of masks and home tests ready in case you need them."

The health department credits the uptick in new cases to the new BA.2 omicron variant that has infected millions in Europe and has become the dominant strain of COVID-19 in America. 

"The Health Department has been warning that, based on what we’ve seen in Europe, we could see another COVID-19 wave sooner rather than later," Bettigole said.



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