Northam updates mask mandate to align with new CDC guidance
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam on Thursday updated the state’s mask mandate to align it with newly relaxed guidelines issued earlier this week by the federal government.
For most of the past year, the CDC had been advising Americans to wear masks outdoors if they were within 6 feet of one another. On Tuesday, the CDC said fully vaccinated Americans don’t need to cover their faces anymore outdoors unless they are in a big crowd of strangers.
Mask use is still required indoors and outdoors at large crowded events like concerts, sporting events, and graduation ceremonies, Northam’s office said in a news release.
The Democratic governor also revised his executive order governing pandemic-related restrictions to allow up to 1,000 spectators for outdoor recreational sports, effective immediately.
The move advances by two weeks a change that was scheduled to go into effect on May 15.
Northam has previously said he expects to be able to roll back the state’s remaining capacity limits in mid-June as long as Virginia’s virus-related metrics remain stable and vaccination progress continues.