Philadelphia reinstates its indoor mask mandates, COVID testing sites are shutting down, and more COVID news

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 news.

Philly to reinstate mask mandate

Philadelphia became the first major U.S. city to reinstate its indoor mask mandate on Monday after reporting a sharp increase in coronavirus infections, with the city’s top health official saying she wanted to forestall a potential new wave driven by an omicron subvariant.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases have risen more than 50% in 10 days, the threshold at which the city’s guidelines call for people to wear masks indoors, said Dr. Cheryl Bettigole, the health commissioner. Read more here:

The Queen talks with COVID patients and nurses at UK hospital

Queen Elizabeth II, after her own recent bout with COVID-19, empathized with patients, doctors and nurses at a London hospital last week as she listened to their stories about life on the front lines of the pandemic.

The monarch spoke to patients and staff at the Royal London Hospital during a virtual visit that marked the official dedication of the Queen Elizabeth Unit, a 155-bed critical care facility built in just five weeks at the height of the pandemic. Elizabeth tested positive for COVID-19 in February and suffered what Buckingham Palace described as “mild cold-like symptoms.’’ Read more here:

PPE makers have scaled back production

Many companies that began producing personal protective equipment with patriotic optimism have scaled back, shut down or given up, according to an Associated Press analysis based on numerous interviews with manufacturers. Some already have sold equipment they bought with state government grants.

As COVID-19 was stressing hospitals and shuttering businesses in 2020, elected officials touted the need to boost U.S. production of protective gear: “All this stuff should be made in the United States and not in China,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said in remarks echoed by others. Read more here:

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