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Choosing to mask: Protecting yourself and your loved ones

These guidelines refer to masking for the general public.

Masking is no longer a requirement in Philadelphia.  However, masking is still an important tool to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses. You may decide to wear a mask or respirator (like an N95 or KN95) when you are indoors in public settings. Individual healthcare facilities may have masking requirements for staff and visitors. Learn more about masking in healthcare settings (PDF).

People may choose to wear a mask at any time. No individual should be prohibited from wearing a mask or respirator for any reason. Even if you are not at high risk of getting very sick from COVID-19, you may decide to wear a mask in certain settings to protect yourself from illness. A high-quality mask (N95 or KN94) can limit your exposure to COVID-19 particles in the air and can be especially helpful if you are in poorly ventilated indoor spaces.

Wearing a mask: Factors to consider

  • Wear a mask indoors in public settings if you are at high risk for severe illness with COVID-19. That includes if you:
    • Have certain medical conditions.
    • Have a weakened immune system or are immunocompromised.
    • Are over the age of 50 and especially over the age of 65.
      • If you are at high risk of getting sick, speak to your healthcare provider about additional ways you can prevent COVID-19 infections. You can also ask about treatments if you do get sick.
  • Wear a mask if you spend time with a loved one who is in one or more categories above.
  • Wear a mask if you will be indoors in a crowded public place.
  • COVID-19 Hospital Admission Level. You should also consider wearing a mask in indoor public settings when your county’s COVID-19 Hospital Admission Level is high. Find out more information about the CDC’s guidance for each level and look up your county’s level at the CDC’s County Check Tool.

The Health Department will continue to monitor local level transmission data. You can review the latest available data on our testing data dashboard.

Other safety tips

Additional guidance