Philadelphia can rely on new measurements to guide COVID-19 mandates
Philadelphia can rely on new measurements to guide COVID-19 mandates

Philadelphia can rely on new measurements to guide COVID-19 mandates

While COVID-19 numbers continue to fall in Philadelphia, city officials who have hesitated to withdraw the restrictions may be ready to take a small step forward.

Ben Fileccia, senior director of operations for the Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association, said he expects Philadelphia officials to make a statement Wednesday about measurements they will use to determine appropriate mandates in the future.

That Philadelphia Inquirer Monday night reported that the city could end its vaccine requirement to eat indoors already this week, and the mandate for indoor mask may be lifted shortly after.

Several states across the country have announced an end to universal mask mandates over the past several weeks, including nearby Delaware. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy put one down deadline for masking in primary schools.

During the height of the omicron wave of COVID-19 in early January, health officials in Philadelphia reported that the percentage positivity reached 38% with about 2,600 new cases a day. On Monday, the positivity rate fell to below 3% with fewer than 200 new cases a day.

“With how great the numbers look right now, I really hope that it is within a few weeks that we see some positive changes,” Fileccia said.

When asked for comment on possible changes to current mandates, the Philadelphia Health Department pointed to its latest briefing.

“I think public health experts are afraid to skip the gun,” said Dr. Mike Cirigliano. “The one thing we’ve learned about the virus is that it can be unpredictable.”

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