This week’s COVID-19 response level is Level 2: Mask Precautions

PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia Department of Public Health today reported an additional 18,384 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Philadelphia since last reported on Monday, April 11. This brings the total number of fully vaccinated Philadelphians to at least 1,056,568, and the number of Philadelphians with at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine to at least 1,276,289. Currently, 76.9 percent of Philadelphia adults are fully vaccinated, and 94.7 percent of Philadelphia adults have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

All residents ages five and older are eligible to be vaccinated in Philadelphia. 35.9 percent of 5-to-11-year-olds in Philadelphia have received at least one vaccine dose. Among eligible Philadelphians ages 12 and older, 76 percent are fully vaccinated, and 93.5 percent have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

The Department of Health reports 82 patients with COVID-19 are currently being treated in Philadelphia hospitals, with a total of eight on ventilators.

In the last two weeks, 7.5 percent of COVID-19 tests in Philadelphia have come back positive. Thus far during the pandemic, 279,981 Philadelphians have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and 5,019 have succumbed to the virus. Philadelphia is averaging 224 new cases of COVID-19 per day over the last two weeks.

This week’s COVID-19 response level is Level 2: Mask Precautions. This means masks are required in indoor public places; there is no vaccine requirement for places that serve food or drink. The criteria and mandates for each COVID-19 response level are listed online.

Statement on the City’s Indoor Mask Mandate & COVID-19 Situation: On Monday, April 11, the Health Department announced that the thresholds to move to Level 2: Mask Precautions of the Philadelphia COVID Response Levels were met. Enforcement of the mask mandate begins today, Monday, April 18. Masks are now required in all indoor public spaces, like schools, City buildings, offices, stores, restaurants, museums and indoor sporting events, among others. If a business or institution requires all patrons and staff to be fully vaccinated and conducts vaccine card checks, they would be exempt from the mask mandate.

The City reviews the metrics on case counts, rate of rise of cases, and hospitalizations in Philadelphia to determine the appropriate COVID-19 Response Level every Monday and will update the Level at that time. Cases in Philadelphia, in the region, and in other large cities have continued to rise rapidly. Hospitalizations for COVID-19 are now similarly rising. Given how quickly the Omicron wave grew and how many Philadelphians were hospitalized, as well as the large number of deaths in that recent wave, we are in a critical time to slow the spread of COVID-19. In addition to requiring that Philadelphians wear masks indoors in public spaces, the Health Department recommends that people get together outdoors when possible, and that everyone eligible should be up-to-date on their COVID-19 vaccinations.

“We have been watching this wave of the pandemic sweep over Europe and it looks like it’s coming to Philadelphia now,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole. “We know that most Philadelphians are vaccinated, but too many of us have not yet gotten our booster shots. And there are Philadelphians who are still at risk because of age, immunocompromising conditions, or other factors that put them at higher risk. We can protect them. We need to do whatever we can to make sure that our most vulnerable neighbors and loved ones stay safe. Each and every one of us has the ability to save lives today by putting our masks on and helping to stop the increase in cases.”

The Health Department is closely watching the rise in the number of people who are hospitalized with COVID-19 in Philadelphia. This is a worrisome sign that this wave could be more dangerous than we had hoped. We have seen a rise from 46 people hospitalized with COVID-19 last Monday to 82 people hospitalized today, a very rapid rate of increase. Philadelphia’s mask mandate is an important part of our response to this latest wave.

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