Broad Street Brief: Indoor Mask Mandate Ends in Philadelphia
March 3, 2022
March 3, 2022
Yesterday, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health announced that the indoor mask mandate ended. Two weeks ago, the city established benchmarks that would determine COVID-19 safety restrictions, and conditions have been met that allow mandated masking indoors to cease. However, if the spread of COVID-19 rises, restrictions can be mandated again.
Last week, Councilmember Brooks amended her sick leave bill so that it would apply to businesses with 25 or more employees. However, Councilmembers Quiñones-Sánchez and Green expressed concern about how this would impact diverse businesses. The amended bill is up for final passage at today’s City Council session.
After years of research, planning, and redrafting, the city formally unveiled final plans for a redesign of Washington Avenue Tuesday. As proposed, sections of Washington Avenue will have three car lanes and others will have four or five. The latest plan comes after some residents of the neighborhoods around Washington Avenue accused the city of ignoring the voices of residents of color and businesses.
The Philadelphia Housing Authority will expand a program allowing low-income renters to save up to buy a house to 4,000 participants, making it the largest program in the nation. Since 2019, over 100 renters have graduated from the program, which includes financial coaching.
New population data showed that Philadelphia lost fewer residents during the COVID-19 pandemic than other major cities like Boston, New York, and Washington D.C. Property sales in greater Center City contributed to the growth.
With a unanimous vote of City Council, Philadelphia will now require businesses to notify employees of tax refund programs. The initiative was authored by Councilmember Domb and is designed to help Philadelphia workers collect over $600 million in owed refunds.
City Council voted to require all major real estate development works, including rehabs and new constructions, to have a rodent abatement plan in place before work commences. The initiative is supported by the Building Industry Association of Philadelphia, which said that this was just a formalization of business best practices.
Philadelphia City Council holds several hearings throughout the legislative calendar. You can watch the hearings here.
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