CDC list all of LFHD as low COVID-19 Transmission Counties

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have listed all counties in the Lord Fairfax Health District (LFHD) as a low COVID-19 transmission rate area.

Under the new guidelines by the CDC of Low, Medium or High transmission rates.

Clarke, Frederick, Page, Shenandoah and Warren Counties are all listed as low in transmission of COVID-19.

Under the new CDC guidelines this means healthy people who are up to date on vaccinations do not have to wear masks.

Of course anyone is welcome to continue to use a mask if they choose especially those with compromised immune systems.

Masks are also still required on public transportation as well in some public buildings.

The rating of Low for the LFHD comes as new cases of COVID-19 have dropped by 20 percent in recent weeks.

Also the 72 percent of Virginians currently vaccinated has helped to keep the LFHD at its current Low transmission rate.

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Warren County reinstates mask requirements

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AS transmission rates of the COVID-19 variant worsen, reportedly high in Frederick, Warren, Page and Shenandoah Counties.

Warren County joins the City of Winchester in reinstating mask requirements in government buildings.

All employees and visitors are now required to use mask inside any of the government buildings.

This is an effort to stop or at least slow the spread of the COVID-19 variant.

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Virginia governor lifting indoor mask mandate in most places

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By Associated Press | Published May 17, 2021 7:10 a.m.

By DENISE LAVOIE

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia’s governor announced that he is lifting the state’s indoor mask mandate in line with new guidance from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Gov. Ralph Northam said the mask policy change takes effect at midnight along with changes to other mitigation measures expanding capacity for sports and entertainment venues and an easing of limits on social gatherings.

Northam also said Virginia will ease all distancing and capacity restrictions on May 28, two weeks earlier than planned.

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

Virginians have been working hard, and we are seeing the results 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 message is clear: vaccinations are how we put this pandemic 2021 in the rearview mirror and get back to being with the people we love and doing the things we have missed,” he said.

The CDC guidelines state that fully vaccinated individuals do not have to wear masks in most indoor settings, except on public transit, in health care facilities, and in congregate settings.

Masks will still be required in K-12 public schools, given low rates of vaccination among children. Also, businesses can still require masks in their establishments. Employees in certain business sectors, including restaurants, retail, fitness, personal care, and entertainment, must continue to wear masks unless fully vaccinated, in line with CDC guidance.

Tony Stafford, president of the Virginia Restaurant Association, said he expects the lifting of the mask mandate to cause some confusion.

“It really puts us in a rough spot because I don’t feel comfortable and I don’t think I’m allowed to ask (customers) if they’re vaccinated,” he said.

“What does this mean? Am I going to ask them to see their vaccination card? I mean, I’m not going to do that. I’m just here to feed people,” said Stafford, the owner of Ford’s Fish Shack.

Still, Stafford said, the lifting of the mandate is an encouraging sign for business owners.

“We want to get back to work. We want to get back to living without the masks, but we also want to be very cautious and respect everyone’s decision to wear a mask or not wear a mask,” he said. “We just want to serve people great fish and chips.”

Stafford said his staff will continue to wear masks.

Northam said unvaccinated people or people who aren’t fully vaccinated are strongly encouraged to wear masks in all settings.

Virginia has given out nearly seven million doses of COVID-19 vaccines. More than four million people have received at least one dose, representing over 64% of the state’s adult population. Northam has said he remains confident that Virginia will meet President Joe Biden’s goal of having 70 percent of adults vaccinated with at least one dose by July 4.

(All contents © copyright 2021 Associated Press. All rights reserved)

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