The School District of Philadelphia announced it is returning to a mask mandate for all students and staff within the district, citing an increase in COVID-19 cases throughout the city.
Students and staff will now be required to follow the district's mask policy, which began on Monday, according to a district-wide announcement.
The announcement states that students and staff are required to wear a mask during the school and workday, and while on school buses and vans.
District officials made the decision to resume the mask mandate after a recommendation from the Philadelphia Department of Public Health.
"To help protect everyone’s health and well-being as COVID-19 case counts continue to rise in the Philadelphia area, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) has recommended that we resume universal mask wearing. Therefore, starting this Monday, May 23, 2022, and until further notice, all School District students and staff will be required to wear their masks during the school and work day and while riding on school buses and vans," the May 20 announcement reads.
The district superintendent said in the announcement that its pandemic response "continues to evolve."
"As we’ve learned since the pandemic began, the coronavirus continues to evolve and so too will our response to it," said William Hite.
Philadelphia County has experienced a 42% increase in COVID-19 cases compared to the average two weeks ago, according to the New York Times.