PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — COVID-19 hospital cases continue to increase as the virus is on the move once again. That’s brought a new inside masking recommendation for Philadelphia, and now the White House is considering potential new masking guidance nationwide.
There’s a big new emphasis on getting more people vaccinated, but because the demand is so low, the last of the mega-sites closed with vaccines now being available in smaller settings.READ MORE: CBS3 Mysteries: Don Ly's Children Continue To Search For Answers After Father's American Dream Ended In Deadly Stabbing In South Philadelphia
Celebrating the last people to be vaccinated at the Burlington County COVID-19 vaccine mega site. The shot squad there has provided 400,000 doses.
The very last person to get a shot there was Darlene Olivieri, who had been hesitant.
“Seeing the variant and the severity of it, I decided that for me, personally, it’s the right thing to do,” Olivieri said.
The Delta variant is responsible for the growing number of infections, now averaging more than 40,000 new cases per day. That’s because only 57% of Americans over age 12 are fully vaccinated.
“Yes, this is frustrating,” Acting Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole said.READ MORE: Camden County Businesses, Officials Worry As Heavy Rains, Flooding Become More Common
The acting Philadelphia health commissioner says because of increasing cases, the city is now recommending that everyone wear a mask inside public places, even people who are vaccinated.
“We’re watching more kids being admitted to the hospital,” Bettigole said. “We have to do everything we can to protect our kids. I would rather take this step today, which although it’s annoying, it doesn’t actually affect business the same way as some of the other restrictions earlier in the pandemic.”
The White House says this is a pivotal moment in the pandemic.
“We follow the science,” President Joe Biden said.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention dropped its mask recommendation for people who are vaccinated, but now, the White House is holding preliminary conversations on whether that guidance should be revisited.
“What’s happening now is all the major scientific operations in this country and the 25-person group we put together are looking at all the possibilities of what’s happening now,” Biden said.MORE NEWS: Upper Darby Police Investigating Death Of Newborn Found In Bag
White House officials say any official change in mask guidance will come from the CDC.