What to Know
- On Wednesday, city leaders will announce a mask mandate or proof of vaccination for customers and employees inside Philadelphia businesses.
- They will also announce that all city employees will either need to be vaccinated or double masked by September 1.
- Finally, they will announce that any outdoor non-seated event with more than 1,000 attendees must require masks.
City leaders will announce mask or vaccine requirements for Philadelphia businesses and large outdoor non-seated events on Wednesday, a city official with knowledge of internal health policy discussions confirmed with NBC10.
The following COVID restrictions will be announced by city leaders, according to two sources:
- A mask mandate or proof of vaccination for customers and employees inside Philadelphia businesses, which will be effective Wednesday.
- All city employees will either need to be vaccinated or double masked by September 1.
- Any outdoor non-seated event with more than 1,000 attendees must require masks.
The mask mandate for large outdoor gatherings won't include seated events such as baseball games, according to the source.
Full coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak and how it impacts you
More details on the new requirements will be revealed during a press conference from the Philadelphia Health Department on Wednesday.
Philadelphia, along with the rest of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, have all passed a threshold that has long been a signal that COVID is all around: public health officials for both states and the city say positive tests now make up more than 5% of results.
That's a level that the Centers for Disease Control say citizens should be wearing masks in all indoor public spaces and social distancing is necessary to protect against spread.
In New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy last week announced that all students and teachers must wear masks when they return to in-school learning this fall. He doubled down on his decision Monday while talking to reporters.
"We’re not going to not protect our kids, our teachers, our school community," he said. "We’re not going to let COVID shut down our schools, and not willing to surrender our children to this virus."
In Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Wolf has not issued the same requirement for school districts, instead allowing local leaders to decide for themselves whether masks are mandatory.
Wolf did announce Tuesday however that around 25,000 state employees working in Pennsylvania’s state prisons or health care and congregate care facilities will have about a month to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or take weekly tests for the virus.
Despite being fully vaccinated, someone can still become infected with the coronavirus, but the disease's effects are severely blunted. Vaccinated individuals who acquire a so-called "breakthrough infection" are very unlikely to require hospitalization or die. That's why public health officials worldwide stress the importance of vaccination. (If you still need to be vaccinated, here's a tool to find the closest vaccination provider to your home.)