Categories: governorVirginia

Virginia governor lifting indoor mask mandate in many areas

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia’s governor announced Friday he is raising the nation’s indoor mask mandate in line with new guidance from the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Gov. Ralph Northam said the mask policy change takes effect at midnight together with modifications to other mitigation measures expanding capacity for entertainment and sports places and a easing of limits on social parties.

Northam also stated Virginia will ease each of distancing and capacity restrictions on May 28, fourteen days earlier than intended.

Increasing vaccination rates and declines in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and statewide test positivity rate varies made the modifications possible. On Friday, Virginia’s positivity rate — the percentage of individuals testing positive for the virus — stood at 3.5%, a rate that is lower than anytime since the pandemic began over one year ago.

Virginians are working hard, and we’re seeing the consequences in our strong vaccine numbers and dramatically lowered case counts,” Northam said in a statement. He also urged any unvaccinated people to get vaccinated to protect themselves and their communities.

“The concept is clear: vaccinations are how we place this pandemic 2021 from the rearview mirror and get back to being with the people we love and doing the things we’ve missed,” he explained.

The CDC guidelines state that completely vaccinated individuals don’t have to use masks in most indoor settings, except for public transit, in healthcare facilities, and in congregate settings.

Masks will still be required in K12 public schools, given low rates of vaccination among kids. Also, companies can nevertheless require masks within their institutions. Workers in certain bu

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