Philadelphia companies sue to end new mask mandate

April 17, 2022

According to The Associated Press, several Pennsylvania companies have filed a lawsuit in state court to overturn the renewed mask mandate due Monday in Philadelphia.

The suit says the city does not have the authority to impose a new mandate. Philadelphia this week became the first major city to reinstate its mandate after a surge in COVID-19 infections.

The attorney, Thomas W. King III, was involved in a successful challenge of the state’s mask mandate in schools last year. He said Philadelphia’s emergency order violates CDC recommendations and has “imposed a renegade standard not found anywhere else in the world,” the AP reported.

The lawsuit also says city officials have usurped “the power and authority” of state legislators and state health officials.

The mayor’s office declined to comment on the matter, but noted that a court on Thursday dismissed another trial seeking injunctive relief against the mask mandate.

“The courts have reaffirmed that the city has both the legal authority and the flexibility required to take the precautions necessary to contain the spread of COVID-19,” said Kevin Lessard, the communications director for the mayor’s office. , to the AP.

Most cities and states dropped their mask requirements in February and early March as coronavirus cases declined and the CDC shifted its focus from case count to hospital capacity to determine mitigation protocols.

Philadelphia ended its mandate for indoor masks on March 2. However, on Monday, city health officials reported a more than 50% increase in COVID-19 cases in 10 days, crossing the city’s threshold for reinstating a mask requirement.

The restaurant industry has resisted the city’s new mandate, the AP reported, saying employees must face customer anger over new rules.

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