By Stephanie Stahl

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia appears to be headed back to indoor mask mandates. If COVID cases continue to increase, the city health department is expected to make the announcement Monday.

COVID is making a comeback in Philadelphia. While the overall numbers are still relatively low, they’re increasing.

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A tweet from the health department on Thursday said there’s now an average of 127 new cases a day and 53 hospitalizations. It’s been just over a month since the health commissioner lifted the indoor mask mandate.

“I think we all have to stay alert, we do not know what is happening next,” Health Commissioner Cheryl Bettigole said.

Under the city’s COVID response plan, Philadelphia could be moving from the all clear to a level 2 soon.

Masks will be required inside again if 2 of these 3 measures are met

  • the average new daily cases are less than 225
  • hospitalizations are less than 100
  • and cases are up more than 50% over 10 days
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As of Thursday, there are 127 new daily cases, 53 hospitalized, and cases are up 95% over the past 10 days. The health department says it will decide Monday after reviewing hospital numbers.

“My commitment to Philadelphians is to not institute rules lightly,” Bettigole said.

The department may announce the return of the mask mandate Monday but delay implementing it for a few days, city spokesperson James Garrow said, to give businesses time to adapt.

If brought back, the mask mandate would apply to schools in the city as well.

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Stay with CBS3 for the latest on the pandemic and whether we will need to put the masks back on. Don’t forget we are always online and on our streaming channel CBS News Philly. For more information on how to stream for free, click here.

Stephanie Stahl