Northern Virginia Health Directors Urge Mask Use Indoors Regardless of Vaccination Status

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Northern Virginia Health Directors Urge Mask Use Indoors Regardless of Vaccination Status

­­For Immediate Release: August 3, 2021

Today, all five Northern Virginia Health Directors issued a joint letter of interim recommendations for mask wearing in Northern Virginia. The letter was issued by Health Directors from the City of Alexandria, as well as Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties to Northern Virginia Mayors, Chairs and Chief Administrative Officers with the recommendation that individuals wear masks while indoors in government and other public settings, regardless of vaccination status.

This recommendation follows all five jurisdictions’ recent upward trend in average number of daily cases and being categorized as communities of substantial transmission. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) updated its recommendations for mask use on July 27. The new guidance provides strategies for everyone--whether fully vaccinated or unvaccinated--to reduce the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19, including: 

  • Wearing a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission. Individuals who are not fully vaccinated should continue to wear a mask at all levels of community transmission. 
  • Getting tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. 
  • Isolating if tested positive for COVID-19 in the prior 10 days or when experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. 
  • For fully vaccinated individuals, getting tested 3‐5 days after exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID‐19 and wearing a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days after exposure or until they receive a negative test result. Exposed individuals who are not fully vaccinated should continue to quarantine for 14 days as directed by public health. 
  • Continuing to follow any applicable federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations. 

On July 29, Governor Northam stated, “All Virginians should consider wearing a mask in public indoor settings where there is an increased risk of COVID-19 transmission, as the new CDC guidance recommends.” 

Currently, all visitors and employees in City of Alexandria facilities are required to wear a mask and the federal government continues to require that masks are worn when using public transportation, including on buses, trains and airplanes.  

"With the rise of the Delta variant, it is more important than ever for individuals and institutions to take action for our community," said Dr. Anne Gaddy, Acting Alexandria Health Director. "If you're in a public indoor space, wear a mask. If you're a business or organization, require masks. We all have a role in stopping this surge." 

Visit alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus for updates about how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to find a vaccination opportunity.

For inquiries from the news media only, contact Natalie Talis, Population Health Manager, at natalie.talis@vdh.virginia.gov or 703.746.4914.

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This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/123571.

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