The Regional Roundup: April 18, 2022

The controversial mask mandate begins Monday; a powerful tranquilizer making drugs more dangerous for those with substance use disorder; save Atlantic Sturgeon in the Delaware

Listen 49:00
Customers wearing face masks at Reading Terminal Market.

Customers wear face masks to protect against the spread of the coronavirus as they shop at the Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia. (Matt Rourke/AP)

This week begins Philadelphia’s highly controversial reinstatement of the mandate requiring masks in spaces like restaurants and gyms. The decision by the health department gained national attention last week, and the reaction was mixed at best. We’ll talk with WHYY reporter NINA FELDMAN.

We’ll also discuss xylazine, known as “tranq dope”, a powerful substance that has contaminated drugs on Philadelphia’s streets making them even more dangerous. We’re joined by SARAH LAUREL, founder of Savage Sisters, a local nonprofit that provides harm reduction initiatives and dynamic sober homes for people in recovery. Also joining us to discuss the data that proves the alarming spike in tranq is JEN SHINEFELD, field epidemiologist in the Division of Substance Use and Harm Reduction for the City of Philadelphia.

And, conservationists are stepping up their efforts to preserve the prehistoric creature inhabiting the Delaware River before it becomes extinct. Delaware Riverkeeper MAYA VAN ROSSUM will join us to explain why we must save the 300 remaining adult Atlantic Sturgeon.

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal