Philadelphia School District reimplements mask mandate amid rising COVID-19 cases
The School District of Philadelphia announced Friday that it is reimplementing a universal mask mandate beginning Monday, May 23, at the recommendation of the Philadelphia Department of Health, due to the current escalation in COVID-19 cases in the city.
“Until further notice, all School District students and staff will be required to wear their masks during the school and work day and while riding on school buses and vans,” the school district’s superintendent, William Hite, wrote in the announcement.
Philadelphia County has seen a 58 percent increase in average daily cases in the past two weeks, and hospitalizations in the city are up 29 percent over the same period, according to data from The New York Times.
Over 77 percent of adults in Philadelphia are fully vaccinated, with more than 34 percent having received a booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 94 percent of all residents aged 12 and older have received at least one dose, according to city data.
For children ages 5-11 in Philadelphia, about 36 percent have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose.
Philadelphia was briefly the only major U.S. city to reinstate an indoor mask mandate last month. However, following backlash, the mandate was rescinded just days after taking effect and the tiered system that determined the reimplementation of COVID-19 mitigation measures city-wide was abandoned.