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Despite rising COVID-19 cases, some state and local health officials have opted to loosen certain COVID-19 mitigation measures, including tossing mask mandates and quarantine rules.
On the national level, the Centers for Disease and Control has relaxed its COVID-19 mitigation guidelines, curbing its quarantine recommendations for those exposed to the virus.
Here’s what you need to know about current restrictions, recommendations, and mandates across the Delaware Valley.
Pennsylvania has lifted most COVID-19 restrictions. Below is a breakdown of current mitigation efforts and recommendations.
The restrictions do not apply to Philadelphia, which has its own COVID-19 mitigation measures. Municipalities and school districts, if they so choose, may continue to implement stricter restrictions.
- Face masks: Face masks are no longer required indoors or outdoors in public settings.
- Vaccinations: Employees of Pennsylvania’s prisons and state health care and congregate care facilities must be vaccinated or take weekly tests for the virus.
- Schools: K-12 students and staff are no longer mandated by the state to wear face masks in school buildings, per a state Supreme Court ruling. Some school districts have since lifted masking requirements.
As of Wednesday, Aug. 10, more than 22.8 million vaccine doses have been administered in Pennsylvania. Around 73.4% of all residents have received at least one vaccine dose. Pennsylvania has recorded at least 2.5 million cases of COVID-19, including at least 46,374 COVID-related deaths.
Here’s how to sign up to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Pennsylvania.
The city — whose restrictions are independent of those set by the state — has lifted most COVID restrictions. Below is a breakdown of current mitigation efforts and recommendations:
- Face masks:
- Philadelphia has again dropped its indoor mask mandate. Masks are now “strongly encouraged,” but not required, inside restaurants, gyms, retail stores, and schools.
- Municipal workers must be vaccinated against COVID-19.
- Philadelphia’s indoor dining vaccine mandate is no longer in effect, though establishments may choose to implement their own vaccine rules.
- Capacity limits and physical distancing requirements have been lifted.
- Mask-wearing is no longer required, but is recommended, on SEPTA vehicles, stations, and concourses.
- School District of Philadelphia students and staff must mask for the first 10 days of the school year. If case rates remain stable, Philly schools are set to go mask-optional.
- Teachers and staff hired after Oct. 1, 2021, must be vaccinated against COVID-19.
- Students and staff exposed to COVID will not have to isolate unless they have COVID symptoms, but must mask for 10 days.
- The school district has dropped its vaccine requirement for student-athletes.
As of Tuesday, Aug. 9, more than 1.3 million Philadelphians have received at least one vaccine dose, with at least 1 million residents fully vaccinated. The city has recorded at least 315,620 COVID cases, including at least 5,137 deaths.
New Jersey has loosened certain COVID-19 mitigation efforts. Below is a breakdown of current mitigation efforts and recommendations:
- Face masks:
- Face masks are no longer required in outdoor public spaces or indoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status, though businesses may still require face-coverings for employees and customers.
- New Jersey workers in certain high-risk fields, including health care and congregate settings, need to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Affected workers include those in veterans’ homes, prisons and jails, long-term care facilities, and behavioral health centers.
- New Jersey child care workers and facility staff who are unvaccinated no longer need to test for COVID-19.
- Starting Sept. 1, state contractors who are unvaccinated will no longer need to test for COVID-19.
- New Jersey’s school mask mandate for students, educators, staff, and visitors has been lifted, though schools may choose to implement their own mask rules.
- School staff no longer have to test for COVID-19 if they are unvaccinated, though they will still be required to report their vaccination status.
- NJ Transit:
- Mask-wearing is no longer required on NJ Transit.
As of Monday, Aug. 15, more than 18.4 million vaccine doses have been administered in New Jersey, with more than 6.7 million New Jerseyans fully vaccinated. The Garden State has recorded more than 2.2 million COVID cases, including at least 31,305 related deaths.
Here’s how to sign up to get the COVID-19 vaccine in New Jersey.
Delaware has loosened certain COVID-19 mitigation efforts. Below is a breakdown of current mitigation efforts and recommendations:
- Face masks: Delaware has dropped its indoor mask mandate for businesses, though businesses may choose to implement their own masking rules. That includes courts and most state facilities.
- Vaccinations: Delaware’s vaccination or test mandate for educators and state employees has been lifted.
- Schools: Delaware’s school mask mandate for students, teachers, and staff has been lifted.
As of Wednesday, Aug. 10, more than 95% of Delawareans 18 and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, with more than 1.8 million doses administered in total. Delaware has recorded at least 298,262 cases of COVID, including at least 3,036 deaths.
Here’s how to sign up to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Delaware.