Friday afternoon, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced that the state will remove its “universal indoor mask mandate” for individuals who are fully vaccinated, consistent with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This will take effect tonight at midnight.
Virginia will be removing our universal indoor mask mandate for fully-vaccinated individuals tonight at midnight, consistent with the latest @CDCgov guidelines.
It’s simple: either get your shot, or wear a mask. pic.twitter.com/eCZ0Z8yNw3
— Governor Ralph Northam (@GovernorVA) May 14, 2021
Masks are currently still required in schools and businesses may elect to require masks in their establishments.
Beginning this Saturday, the state will ease several mitigation measures in light of “strong vaccine numbers” and “dramatically lowered case counts”. On May 28, all of Virginia’s regulations on capacity and social distancing will be lifted.
In his announcement, the governor urged individuals who are not fully vaccinated to continue wearing a mask in public.
It’s either a shot, or a mask. It’s up to you.
– Gov. Northam
As of this Thursday, 47.6% of the population in Virginia has received at least one dose of the vaccine. Virginia Vaccination Coordinate Dr. Danny Avula states he aims to get between 70% and 80% of the state vaccinated to achieve herd immunity.
“That’s going to happen largely because of vaccinations and then, to a lesser degree, through natural immunity that is developed in response to actually contracting the COVID virus,” said Dr. Avula.
This Thursday, UVA Dean of Students Allen Groves sent a University-wide email reminding students to “keep personal safety in mind” and “keep up the routines familiar to all of us” as the semester draws to a close.
7:30PM UPDATE: UVA President Jim Ryan has announced updates to the institution’s mask policy: fully vaccinated members of the University community need not wear masks, both indoors and outdoors. These changes apply to the upcoming Final Exercise ceremonies for the Classes of 2020 and 2021. More information on this story here.