Alexandria City Council Adopts Amendment to Mask Ordinance to Align with New State Requirements

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Alexandria City Council Adopts Amendment to Mask Ordinance to Align with New State Requirements

­­For Immediate Release: May 15, 2021

At its public hearing on May 15, the Alexandria City Council voted unanimously to adopt an amendment to existing Ordinance No. 5293 to align the City’s public mask requirements with current and future state executive orders. As Virginia continues to evolve its regulation to follow new guidance by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the requirements in Alexandria will remain consistent with the state. 

The amended City ordinance is effective immediately, therefore Alexandrians who are fully vaccinated are no longer required to wear masks in most indoor public settings. This reflects the most current requirements of the amended Executive Order 72 released yesterday, following increasing vaccination rates, dramatically declining COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, statewide test positivity rate, and revised federal guidelines. 

“With 40% of Alexandrians ages 16 and up fully vaccinated and approaching our lowest 7-day moving average of COVID-19 cases, we are thrilled to be able to take a step toward returning to normalcy,” said Mayor Justin Wilson. “Wearing a mask has been one of the simplest and most effective ways to stop the spread of COVID-19 and has helped us reach this transition point. If you are not yet fully vaccinated, please continue to wear a mask in public settings to protect your loved ones and neighbors and to help us all return to normal.” 

There are some instances when fully vaccinated people should continue to wear masks indoors, including where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance. Individual businesses may decide to continue    to require masks in their establishments. Masks are required on public transit, in health care facilities (including vaccine sites), and in congregate settings. All K-12 students, teachers, staff and visitors must wear a mask over their nose and mouth while on school property, regardless of vaccination status. Existing mask requirements for City programs and facilities are not changing at this time while the City conducts a review of how this amendment should apply to City workplaces and services.

“The City will quickly conduct this review and will make amendments to our mask requirements as soon as it is feasible,” said City Manager Mark Jinks.

People who have not been fully vaccinated are required to wear a face mask in shared indoor and outdoor public settings, and are advised to continue to take precautions: avoid gatherings with anyone outside your household, practice hand sanitation, maintain proper physical distance from others, and stay home when possible. People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving their second dose of the two-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department recommend that everyone ages 12 and over receive a COVID-19 vaccine to help end the pandemic and to protect Alexandria families, schools and the community from COVID-19. When enough people get vaccinated, we can get back to normal. 

Visit alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus for detailed information about mask requirements and to find a vaccine today. 

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This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/122338.

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