PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A mask recommendation has been issued in Philadelphia as COVID-19 Delta variant cases continue to rise. City health officials are strongly recommending that everyone, including fully vaccinated people, wear masks in all public indoor places to help stop the spread of the Delta variant.
They also recommend residents choose outdoor rather than indoor spaces, avoid crowded indoor spaces, wear masks while indoors around people you don’t know are vaccinated.
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These new recommendations come in response to the rise of COVID cases and the hospitalization of a few children who are ineligible to be vaccinated.
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“We are seeing a small but disturbing increase in hospitalizations due to COVID-19 among children in Philadelphia, along with more than a doubling of cases in the city,” Acting Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole said. “It’s time for all of us to do what we need to do to protect our city’s kids. That means getting fully vaccinated if you haven’t yet, and it means all of us going back to wearing masks in public. Kids under 12 cannot yet be vaccinated. They need you to step up. If you still have questions you need answered, call your doctor or our health department staff and get the information you need. And then get it done.”
Health officials say the city is averaging 64 new cases of COVID-19 per day over the last two weeks.
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As for the unvaccinated, health officials say you should consider double masking while indoors in public spaces, and most importantly, if you are eligible get vaccinated as soon as possible.