( Breitbart )
Philadelphia residents and visitors must now wear a mask in indoor public spaces, as Monday, April 18, marks the first day of the return of the rule.
The city officially moved to Level 2 of its four-tier coronavirus-risk system, forcing individuals to wear masks in public spaces. This decision comes less than two months after lifting the mandate. To return to Level 1, where no rules are in effect, the city would need at least two of the following to be true: Average new cases would need to be less than 100 per day, hospitalizations less than 50, or cases would have had to increase by less than 50 percent in the last ten days.
As of April 11, the city saw 142 cases per day and cases increasing more than 50 percent in the last ten days, moving them up to forced masking. If the daily case average exceeds 225 up to 500, hospitalizations move from 100 and 500, or cases increase by more than 50 percent in the last ten days — two of the three must be true — the city could move to Level 3, which would force individuals to present a vaccine card, exemption, or negative test for restaurants and bars in addition to wearing a mask in public spaces:
Due to increasing COVID-19 cases, @PhiladelphiaGov will move to Level 2: Mask Precautions beginning today. 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. (1/4) — Philadelphia Public Health (@PHLPublicHealth) April 11, 2022
“Given the recent rise in cases, we are moving to Level 2 in hopes of preventing higher case rates and stricter measures,” Mayor Jim Kenney said in a statement.
“Our city remains open; we can still go about our daily lives and visit the people and places we love while masking in indoor public spaces. I’m optimistic that this step will help us control the case rate,” he added.
It remains unclear how forced masking will help control the case rate, as the country watched as maskless states, such as Florida, consistently reported lower case rates per capita compared to blue states with mask mandates, such as Michigan and New York, last year. Additionally, studies show that cloth and surgical masks are roughly ten percent efficient at blocking aerosols — a fact Dr. Anthony Fauci even admitted in February 2020, albeit in a private email.
Local businesses, however, are fighting back, launching a lawsuit, challenging the city’s mask mandate and alleging that the city has “usurped the power and authority” of lawmakers, according to the AP.