April 11 (UPI) — Philadelphia will once again require masks in indoor public spaces, because of a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases, the city announced on Monday.
The city will move to Level 2 mask precautions beginning Monday, Philadelphia Public Health wrote on Twitter.
“In order to provide a one-week education period for businesses, masks will be required in all indoor public spaces as of Monday, April 18, 2022,” the agency said.
“The mask mandate is tied to the COVID Response Levels, and as COVID cases rise in Philly, we want to protect our most vulnerable residents. Wearing a mask around others is an easy way to do that. The sooner that we can stop this wave, the sooner we can get back to Level 1.”
Starting April 18, masks will be required in all indoor public spaces, including schools and childcare settings, businesses, restaurants, and government buildings.
As of that date, residents will also be asked to report any business not complying with the mandate to the city.
Philadelphia’s Level 2 precautions require mandatory mask-wearing indoors, but stop short of vaccine or testing requirements for places that serve food or drink.
For Level 2 precautions to be instituted, two out of three factors must be true. At least two of the the average number of new cases per day must be less than 225, hospitalizations must be less than 100 and cases must have increased by more than 50% in the previous 10 days.
Philadelphia is currently averaging 142 average new cases per day, with 278,407 residents diagnosed with COVID-19. A total of 5,007 people in the city have died from COVID-19 and there are now 46 hospitalizations.
The city previously lifted its indoor mask mandate and moved to Level 1 on March 2.
Earlier in April, the city hinted it may re-institute indoor mask requirements over rising COVID-19 case numbers.