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People in these Virginia localities should continue to wear masks, CDC advises

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Posted at 1:35 PM, Mar 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-06 21:21:23-05

RICHMOND, Va. — There is great news for many Virginians. There are even more localities in the Commonwealth where healthy people can safely take a break from wearing masks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The update comes as new cases in Virginia dropped 33% last week and 72.1% of Virginians are fully vaccinated against the virus. Nationally, COVID cases are down 28.5% from the week before, according to the CDC.

The CDC released an updated map Thursday, March 3 with county-by-county color designations to indicate whether residents should wear masks or not.

"There are three levels (low, medium, high), which are determined by looking at hospital beds being used by patients with COVID-19, new hospital admissions among people with COVID-19, and the total number of new COVID-19 cases in your area," CDC officials wrote.

Much of Metro Richmond has dropped from medium to low community levels so people in those areas (low, medium) can stop wearing masks for now unless they are at high risk for severe illness.

However, there are still a number of spots, many in southwestern Virginia, that are ranked as high where masking indoors is still recommended by the CDC.

The CDC's new measures, which were announced Friday, Feb. 25, focus less on positive test results and more on what’s happening at hospitals.

The agency is still advising that people, including schoolchildren, wear masks where the risk of COVID-19 is high.

Additionally, the new recommendations don’t change the requirement to wear masks on public transportation.

COVID-19 Community Levels were calculated on March 3, 2022
COVID-19 Community Levels were calculated on March 3, 2022

High Community Level

  • Wear a mask indoors in public
  • Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines
  • Get tested if you have symptoms
  • Additional precautions may be needed for people at high risk for severe illness

Albemarle
Alleghany
Amherst
Appomattox
Bath
Bedford
Bland
Botetourt
Bristol
Buchanan
Campbell
Carroll
Charlottesville
Covington
Dickenson
Floyd
Galax
Giles
Grayson
Highland
Lee
Lexington
Lunenburg
Lynchburg
Madison
Mecklenburg
Montgomery
Norton
Pulaski
Radford
Roanoke County
Russell
Scott
Smyth
Tazewell
Washington
Wise
Wythe

Medium Community Level

  • If you are at high risk for severe illness, talk to your healthcare provider about whether you need to wear a mask and take other precautions
  • Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines
  • Get tested if you have symptoms

Augusta
Buckingham
Buena Vista
Colonial Heights
Craig
Culpeper
Danville
Dinwiddie
Fluvanna
Franklin
Greene
Halifax
Hanover
Hopewell
Louisa
Manassas Park
Nelson
Nottoway
Orange
Patrick
Petersburg
Pittsylvania
Prince Edward
Prince George
Rappahannock
Roanoke City
Rockbridge
Salem
Staunton
Surry
Sussex
Waynesboro

Low Community Level

  • Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines
  • Get tested if you have symptoms

Accomack
Alexandria
Amelia
Arlington
Brunswick
Caroline
Charles City
Charlotte
Chesapeake
Chesterfield
Clarke
Cumberland
Emporia
Essex
Fairfax City
Fairfax County
Falls Church
Fauquier
Franklin
Frederick
Fredericksburg
Gloucester
Goochland
Greensville
Hampton
Harrisonburg
Henrico
Henry
Isle of Wight
James City
King and Queen
King George
King William
Lancaster
Loudoun
Manassas
Martinsville
Mathews
Middlesex
New Kent
Newport News
Norfolk
Northampton
Northumberland
Page
Poquoson
Powhatan
Prince William
Richmond City
Richmond County
Rockingham
Shenandoah
Southampton
Spotsylvania
Stafford
Suffolk
Virginia Beach
Warren
Westmoreland
Winchester
York

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RELATED: County-by-county look at COVID-19 cases in Virginia; which areas saw most cases last week

Full Virginia City/County-by-County Breakdown

Accomack Low
Albemarle High
Alexandria Low
Alleghany High
Amelia Low
Amherst High
Appomattox High
Arlington Low
Augusta Medium

Bath High
Bedford High
Bland High
Botetourt High
Bristol High
Brunswick Low
Buchanan High
Buckingham Medium
Buena Vista Medium

Campbell High
Caroline Low
Carroll High
Charles City Low
Charlotte Low
Charlottesville High
Chesapeake Low
Chesterfield Low
Clarke Low
Colonial Heights Medium
Covington High
Craig Medium
Culpeper Medium
Cumberland Low

Danville Medium
Dickenson High
Dinwiddie Medium

Emporia Low
Essex Low

Fairfax City Low
Fairfax County Low
Falls Church Low
Fauquier Low
Floyd High

Fluvanna Medium
Franklin Low
Franklin Medium
Frederick Low
Fredericksburg Low

Galax High
Giles High
Gloucester Low
Goochland Low
Grayson High
Greene Medium
Greensville Low

Halifax Medium
Hampton Low
Hanover Medium
Harrisonburg Low
Henrico Low
Henry Low
Highland High
Hopewell Medium

Isle of Wight Low

James City Low

King and Queen Low
King George Low
King William Low

Lancaster Low
Lee High
Lexington High
Loudoun Low
Louisa Medium
Lunenburg High
Lynchburg High

Madison High
Manassas Low
Manassas Park Medium
Martinsville Low
Mathews Low
Mecklenburg High
Middlesex Low
Montgomery High

Nelson Medium
New Kent Low
Newport News Low
Norfolk Low
Northampton Low
Northumberland Low
Norton High
Nottoway Medium

Orange Medium

Page Low
Patrick Medium
Petersburg Medium
Pittsylvania Medium
Poquoson Low
Portsmouth Low
Powhatan Low
Prince Edward Medium
Prince George Medium
Prince William Low
Pulaski High

Radford High
Rappahannock Medium
Richmond City Low
Richmond County Low
Roanoke City Medium
Roanoke County High
Rockbridge Medium
Rockingham Low
Russell High

Salem Medium
Scott High
Shenandoah Low
Smyth High
Southampton Low
Spotsylvania Low
Stafford Low
Staunton Medium
Suffolk Low
Surry Medium
Sussex Medium

Tazewell High

Virginia Beach Low

Warren Low
Washington High
Waynesboro Medium
Westmoreland Low
Williamsburg Low
Winchester Low
Wise High
Wythe High

York Low

Virginians age 5+ are eligible for COVID-19 vaccine. Go to Vaccine Finder to search for specific vaccines available near you or call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-275-8343).

Depend on CBS 6 News and WTVR.com for the most complete coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Have You Been Fully Vaccinated?

People are considered fully vaccinated:

  • 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
  • 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine
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What you can and should not do once you have been fully vaccinated.

How to Protect Yourself and Others When You’ve Been Fully Vaccinated

COVID-19 vaccines are effective at protecting you from getting sick. Based on what we know about COVID-19 vaccines, people who have been fully vaccinated can start to do some things that they had stopped doing because of the pandemic.

We’re still learning how vaccines will affect the spread of COVID-19. After you’ve been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you should keep taking precautions—like wearing a mask, staying 6 feet apart from others, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces—in public places until we know more.

These recommendations can help you make decisions about daily activities after you are fully vaccinated. They are not intended for healthcare settings.

Click here for more information from the Virginia Department of Health.