Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Gov. Northam lifts mask mandate in alignment with CDC

On May 14, Gov. Ralph Northam announced lift on mask mandate following new CDC guidance. (Photo by Maksim Goncharenok from Pexels)

STATEWIDE — On Friday, May 14, Gov. Ralph Northam announced a lift on Virginia’s universal indoor mask mandate in alignment with new guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The new CDC guidelines state that fully-vaccinated people who do not have immunocompromising conditions or taking medications rendering them immunocompromised no longer have to wear masks in most indoor settings except on public transit, health care facilities and other congregating settings. It is important to note that businesses may continue to maintain mask requirements.

Employees that work in certain business sectors, including restaurants, retail, fitness, personal care, and entertainment must continue to wear masks. Additionally, masks will still be required in all of Virginia’s K-12 public schools.

A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine or two weeks following the second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

The state of emergency in Virginia will also remain in place through at least June 30 in order to provide greater flexibility for local governments and to support the continuing COVID-19 vaccination efforts.

RELATED STORY: CDC Issues New Guidance for Wearing Facemasks

Additionally, Gov. Northam announced an additional ease on capacity restrictions, which will go into effect May 28.

  • Social gatherings maximum capacity will increase to 100 people for indoor settings and 250 people for outdoor settings.
  • Entertainment venues will be able to operate at 50 percent capacity or 1,000 people for indoor venues and outdoor venues will be able to operate at 50 percent capacity with no specific cap on number of attendees.
  • Recreational sporting events will allow 250 spectators or 50 percent capacity for indoor and 1,000 people or 50 percent (whichever is less) for outdoor events.
  • Restaurants may return to selling alcohol after midnight and dining room closures will no longer be required between midnight and 5 a.m.

“Virginians have been working hard, and we are seeing the result in our strong vaccine numbers and dramatically lowered case counts,” said Governor Northam.

The Commonwealth has administered nearly 7 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, with more than 4 million people receiving at least one dose. This represents over 63 percent of Virginia’s adult population.

To schedule an appointment or receive more information about the options for the COVID-19 vaccine, visit the website for Vaccinate Virginia.


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