August 17, 2021 – The CDC now recommends that people whose immune systems are compromised moderately to severely should receive an additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine after the initial 2 doses. Soon, there will be booster shot guidelines for all previously vaccinated Americans.
August 12, 2021 – Philadelphia’s new mask mandate will help slow the spread of COVID, including the highly contagious Delta variant. Here’s a quick summary of the changes that began on 8/12/21, and the two options available for businesses and institutions:
1. Masks Required – If a business adopts this policy, all employees and customers must wear masks, even if fully vaccinated. For dining, masks are required at all times, except while seated and eating or drinking. The mask mandate applies to children, too.
2. Masks optional, with proof of full vaccination – When a business requires its customers and employees to be fully vaccinated, there is no mask mandate. Businesses will verify vaccination status before allowing patrons to enter, so have your vaccine card handy. There are no exceptions. Anyone who can’t show proof of status won’t be allowed to enter, even if masked or children too young to be vaccinated.
Businesses must select one option or the other, and should post their policy on their exterior. There are no changes for outdoor dining, which continues without restriction.
The Philadelphia School District is requiring masks for students and staff regardless of vaccination status.
Ways to Stay Safe
With COVID-19 in the news practically every day, perhaps you think you’ve heard it all. Even with such an abundance of information, some of the most important ways to address the pandemic haven’t changed:
Get fully vaccinated
- The vaccine is safe and effective at preventing COVID-19 and offers the most protection if you get your second shot (Moderna vaccine offered by vybe.)
- The vaccine appears to offer protection against emerging variants, but we’re still learning whether variants might cause illness.
If you’re not vaccinated, wear a mask & continue safe practices
Until more people are vaccinated and we reach herd immunity, it’s everyone’s responsibility to continue safe practices. This is important, even if you’re vaccinated, to avoid infecting those around you.
Get tested when you experience symptoms or fear exposure
Knowing your status is still important, and getting a positive test result allows you to self-isolate and take other precautions to avoid spreading the infection.