Philadelphia School District returns to masking Monday as COVID cases rise across Delaware Valley

Students and staff at schools in Philadelphia will once again be required to wear masks. 

RELATED: Most of Delaware Valley in CDC's high COVID transmission category

According to a letter posted on the Philadelphia School District's website, the district says it is following the health department's recommendation. 

"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 Heath (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 return to masking comes less than one month before Philadelphia schools are set to close their doors for the 2021- 2022 school year. 

Philadelphia School District spokesperson, Monica Lewis, says that with only three weeks left in the school year, the district wants to ensure the safety of its students so that they can remain teaching and learning in-person. 

"It would be terrible for us to have gone a whole year of having in-person learning just for students to have to end their school year and kickoff their summer months at home," said Lewis. "We want to do whatever is possible to keep our students safe."

According to the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, the city is averaging about 364 new COVID-19 cases each day as of May 16. 

The department is strongly recommending masks be worn in indoor public settings, but no mandate has been issued. 

RELATED: School District of Philadelphia joins growing list of schools reimposing mask mandates 

Schools in other Pennsylvania cities, including Lower Merion, Cheltenham, and Norristown, also reissued a mask mandate. 

"We hope people understand that this is our way of showing that we care for them, and we want to keep them safe," Lewis said.