Philadelphia abruptly completes briefly revived indoor mask claim amid declining COVID-19 hospitalizations
Philadelphia abruptly completes briefly revived indoor mask claim amid declining COVID-19 hospitalizations

Philadelphia abruptly completes briefly revived indoor mask claim amid declining COVID-19 hospitalizations

Philadelphias new public indoor masking requirementwhich came into force on Monday, is ends Friday morning, city health officials said Thursday night. The city health department said it voted to revoke the mandate Thursday in part because of “declining hospital admissions and a leveling of the number of cases.” The National Board of Health’s announcement on April 11 that masks would be required again was also met with threats of legal challenges.

“We’re in a situation that we really did not expect to be in this soon, but that’s good news,” said Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole said at Thursday’s meeting. “So I’m really very happy to say that it looks like we no longer need to impose masks in Philadelphia and that we can actually move on to a strong recommendation.”

When Philadelphia became the first major city in the United States to reintroduce a mask mandate amid rising COVID-19 infections, health officials cited a growing number of infections and hospitalizations. And both numbers continued to rise at least through Monday, with 82 people reported hospitalized with COVID-19, Bettigole said Thursday, but then dropped unexpectedly 25 percent over the next few days.

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