Philadelphia just can't seem to break away from mask mandates. One would have thought the city would have learned its lesson in overreaction after the embarrassment of imposing a four-day mask mandate in April. Yet, the Philadelphia School District thought otherwise and imposed another universal masking rule for staff and students. This latest mandate went into effect yesterday as a response to the city's slowly rising COVID cases.

"To help protect everyone's health and well-being as COVID case counts continue to rise in the Philadelphia area, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) has recommended that we resume universal mask wearing," the school district's notice read. "Therefore, starting this Monday, May 23, 2022 and until further notice, all School District students and staff will be required to wear their masks during the school and work day and while riding on school buses and vans."

In addition to the fact that several studies have questioned the efficacy of masks in preventing COVID, the school district's decision is odd.

First, the school district appears to be going against CDC guidelines and recommendations by instituting this latest mandate. The CDC places each county into a high-risk, medium-risk, or low-risk area. If a county is in a low-risk area, masks are not recommended. If a county is in a medium-risk area, masks are considered optional, depending on an individual's health. If a county is in a high-risk area, people are advised to wear masks. At the moment, Philadelphia is rated as medium-risk.

Next, there were only 16 school days left in the year for Philadelphia's public school students as of the day the mandate began. To put this into effect now, with no legitimate imminent risk, makes little sense. It is yet another panic move made by the city's leaders, who, history has shown, are doing little more than grasping at straws when it comes to COVID decision-making.

Granted, the risk level in the city is not insignificant, but this is still a silly overreaction. The same "experts" who overreacted in April are the ones making this decision now. Given their previous poor decisions, no one should believe that any choice they make is the correct one.