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Philadelphia Businesses Divided Over City Reinstating Indoor Mask Mandate Amid Rising COVID-19 Cases

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Philadelphia's mask mandate will be reinstated next week amid a rise in COVID-19 cases. But how will the mandate impact local businesses?

Starting next week, you're going to have to wear a mask in indoor spaces in Philadelphia. Business owners are divided on the issue.

Danielle DiGiovanni is the owner of SL8 Hair Lounge on Germantown Avenue in Chestnut Hill.

She says three of her five stylists are considering quitting because Philadelphia is bringing back its indoor mask mandate on Monday.

"One of my stylists says she is thinking of leaving the industry and doing morgue hair because she's tired of working with the public yelling at her," DiGiovanni said. "And two of the other stylists said that they are tired of working in Philadelphia and they're considering moving outside of the city to do hair."

DiGiovanni says policing masks is emotionally draining.

"You have both sides of people who feel really unsafe," DiGiovanni said. "If someone's not wearing a mask and if somebody's mask falls below the nose, I've been asked to go over and ask that customer to lift it above their nose and that customer is upset that I'm asking for them to lift it above their nose. So both customers are angry that they don't feel the stylist is handling the situation the right way."

The city is bringing back its indoor mask mandate amid a rise in infections.

The health department says the city is averaging 142 new covid cases a day, a 50% increase vs. 11 days ago.

"I understand why it's coming back," Derrick Monk said. "People's lives are more important than our comfort, but I did enjoy the fact that we didn't have to wear the mask for a while."

Other business owners say the mask is a small price to pay to stay safe.

Monk is co-owner of Bahia Bowls Açaí Cafe, across the street from SL8.

"I support the mask mandate if it's going to save lives, if it's going to cause the rate to go down, the COVID rate to go down," Monk said.

The city says inspectors will be going out to enforce the mask mandate.

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