Philly mask mandate returns as group sue city


Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Philly’s reinstated mask mandate takes effect Monday as a group of businesses and residents seek to overturn it through a state lawsuit.

Driving the news: The lawsuit, filed in Commonwealth Court on Saturday, claims the city has no power to impose a mask mandate, The Associated Press reports.

  • The group accuses city health officials of usurping “power and authority” from the state.

Catch up fast: Philly is the first major US city to reinstate its indoor mask mandate, which it abandoned in early March.

  • The city moved to Tier 2 of its four-tier system last week after COVID-19 cases started to rise again. City health officials say the BA2 subvariant of Omicron is to blame for the increase.
  • Since last Sunday, the positivity rate is 7.7%a drastic decrease from Omicron’s height over the winter.

To note : The city’s mask mandate is disagree with the CDCwhich currently does not recommend mandatory masking here.

How it works: Masks are required in all indoor public spaces, including schools, daycares, businesses, restaurants and government buildings.

  • The city will rely on the public to report businesses that do not comply with the city’s 311 hotline.

Rollback: The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania struck the governor’s statewide mask mandate in schools in December.

  • The high court found that Governor Tom Wolf’s administration lacked the power to impose such a requirement, AP reports.

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