Mandatory mask order for Philadelphia; green phase could be delayed due to COVID-19 increase

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Philadelphia's top health official said there is a worrying trend in the number of coronavirus cases in the city, and that could mean a delay in further steps to reopen.

In a briefing on Friday afternoon, Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said "the first wave of the epidemic appears to be ending, but a second wave is beginning."

Farley said this means that officials may have to consider delaying any further reopening slated for next week, including some indoor dining in restaurants.

He said discussions will continue over the weekend and more guidance is expected next week.

RELATED: What to know as Philadelphia area enters green phase of reopening


In an effort to combat this second wave, the city issued a mandatory mask use order on Friday.

It will require everyone to use masks in all indoor public places, and outdoors if people are less than six feet from individuals from other households.

There will be limited exceptions, including an exception for children under eight years old.

Police will not be enforcing the order, Farley said. Rather, he is asking Philadelphians to self-enforce.

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Philadelphia Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said there are troubling signs that the coronavirus pandemic is increasing.


According to Farley, more coronavirus tests are being administered, but that does not fully explain the increase. Farley said the percentage of positive cases is going up, and is now between five and six percent.

That is up from less than a five percent positivity rate just 10 days ago.

A spike is being seen in teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19, and that is being blamed on increased socializing, Farley said.

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Farley did outline some positive news, including the fact that outbreaks in nursing homes and jails appear to be ending. He also said the city reported zero new deaths on Friday.

However, the city reported 143 new cases on Friday, and cases in the past week have averaged more than 100 per day, which is higher than where we were before, Farley said.


Weekly recycling pickup will resume the week of July 6, Mayor Jim Kenney announced.

Residents are reminded that means there will be no recycling pickup next week, the week of the July 4 holiday.


Masks are a must at Salon Mane in Manayunk. Stylists are separating clients and appointments are required. But the doors are open and the blinds are up!

"When I opened the shades, it made me feel like you know brand new like I'm back in my element," says Summer Johnson.

Business is booming for stylists at Bombshell Hair Studio in Port Richmond, the phones have not stopped ringing.

"I would be on the phone with a client confirming a wedding and I'd get off the phone and have 12 missed calls. Just while I was on the one phone call. It was insane," says Ellie O'Neill, owner of Bombshell Hair Studio.

At Los Muchachos 3 in Hunting Park they've included plastic curtains on stanchions to separate guests. But, with mandatory masks at all times, beard care is off limits.
Each customer is screened when making an appointment.

"We ask them first, 'How are you feeling? Where have you been? Are you wearing a masks? Because we have families too that we don't want to take any problems to," said Bienvienido Caceres.

At Echo Nails and Spa in Manayunk, the proximity of a manicure is buffered by plastic barriers.

"It's a place where you're touching, and a lot of things are happening, and they seem to be doing a really great job," says client Haley Kass from Manayunk.
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