Covid cases jump, mask mandate returns in Philadelphia
The Boston Marathon got underway Monday – the first full scale race since 2019 with more than 30 thousand runners registered. The mayor suggested spectators mask-up because of rising covid cases, but the city doesn’t have any mandates in place.
Mayor Michelle Wu says: so it’s important that we take steps to protect ourselves and those around us.
It’s a very different story in Philadelphia, where a new indoor mask mandate begins today. The public health commissioner says the city remains open and residents should continue their normal activities, but she felt it was necessary to prevent a surge in hospitalizations.
Cheryl Bettigole, Philadelphia Health Commissioner says: “I suspect that this wave will be smaller than the one we saw in January. But if we wait to find out to put our masks back on, we’ll have lost our chance to stop the wave.”
Philadelphia has a four level system that automatically kicks in based on case loads and hospitalizations. The city was at level one- all clear. Now they’re in level two – mask precautions. There’s no timeline for ending the mandate, cases need to drop back below 100 per day. When they made the announcement the city was averaging more than 140 new cases per day.
Cases are rising in other major cities too but so far there’s no extra mandates. For instance new cases jumped 15 percent in Los Angeles last week compared to the week before. But the director of public health is only asking residents to consider wearing a mask indoors.
Support for mask mandates is waning. A recent ipsos poll found 44 percent of Americans support state and city mask requirements. That’s the first time that number is below 50 percent since they started asking that question in August 2021. Straight from DC, I’m Ray Bogan