In Less Than A Week, Philadelphia Reverses Mask Mandate

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Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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Philadelphia is lifting its mask mandate less than a week after authorities reinstated it due to rising COVID-19 cases.

Board of Health officials voted Thursday to rescind the mandate following a review of data, according to 6ABC.

“Due to decreasing hospitalizations and a leveling of case counts, the City will move to strongly recommending masks in indoor public spaces as opposed to a mask mandate,” the city said in a statement to ABC 6.

“Given the latest data, the Board of Health voted tonight to rescind the mandate,” Philadelphia Mayor’s Office deputy communications director Sarah Peterson told CNN.

The mandate originally was reinstated due to a 50% increase in cases over the preceding two weeks, according to the report. Philadelphia County was averaging 149 COVID-19 cases per day but only two deaths, The New York Times reported. On March 2, those numbers were 107 and 5.7 respectively. Current data for Philadelphia County shows the COVID-19 community level is low, according to the CDC.

The mandate received public pushback with a group of Philadelphia business owners and residents suing the city to overturn the mandate, arguing the city disregarded the CDC as a source for standards for masking and that the restaurant industry will face backlash from customers which could affect business, according to 6ABC. (RELATED: Philadelphia Drops Vaccine Mandate, Leaves Mask Mandate)

“The citizens bringing this action today have had enough of Philadelphia acting in a way contrary to the rest of the world. Philadelphia is required, like everyone else, to comply with the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. No one is above the law,” Attorney Thomas W. King said, according to the report.