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Masks recommended for 27 Virginia localities, including Metro Richmond, updated CDC map shows

Masking again recommended for Metro Richmond
COVID-19 Community Levels calculated on May 26, 2022.
Posted at 11:37 PM, May 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-28 11:07:56-04

RICHMOND, Va. — Universal masking is now recommended for 27 localities in Virginia, including Metro Richmond, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The update comes as new cases in Virginia increased 2% this week and 73.7% of Virginians are fully vaccinated against the virus, according to the Virginia Department of Health. COVID cases in the U.S. increased (awaiting Friday CDC update), and 82.7% of the country's total population (people 5+) has received at least one vaccine dose, the CDC reported in its weekly update.

The agency released an updated map Thursday, May 26 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.

IN-DEPTH: New COVID cases in Virginia up 2% last week; 73.7% of Virginians now fully vaccinated

COVID-19 Community Levels calculated on May 26, 2022.
COVID-19 Community Levels calculated on May 26, 2022.

Scroll down for a complete alphabetized list city/county-by-county breakdown of localities in Virginia

Nearly 30 localities in Virginia now rank as high where masking indoors is recommended by the CDC. That includes Chesterfield, Colonial Heights, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, New Kent and the City of Richmond.

This is the first time many of these localities have ranked high since the CDC released its new ranking system on Feb. 25 that focuses less on positive test results and more on what’s happening at hospitals.

Sixty-five localities in the Commonwealth now rank as medium, including much of the rest of Central Virginia. Fifty-two localities now rank as low.

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Officials with the Richmond and Henrico Health Districts (RHHD) said with the move up to high comes new safety recommendations from the CDC.

"The biggest difference between high and some of the lower level guidance is we are strongly recommending people wear masks while in indoor public spaces now. Especially individuals who are immunocompromised, at high risk of severe illness, or those people that might be around people that are at higher risks," said RHHD Epidemiologist Emily Rich. "We also recommend that masks are worn anytime you're on public transportation that includes buses, airplanes, trains, etc. You should also wear masks in school or clinical settings. And of course, you can always wear masks if you just prefer to."

Rich said people who are immunocompromised should also consider additional precautions.

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"There is a list on the CDC website of some conditions that might put you into that higher risk category," said Rich. "So, I definitely recommend people check the CDC website and talk to their healthcare providers to figure out what additional recommendations they might be following."

The CDC also continues to recommend people to get tested if they are showing symptoms, regardless of the level in their community.

"In Richmond, you can get free tests from some of the libraries," said Rich, who added you can also get free tests from the federal government. "And if you would like to get a test that's not an at home test, Richmond and Henrico do host several testing events each week, which you can find on our website. You can also always pick up tests from a pharmacy and submit a claim with your insurance if you have insurance."

Scroll down for a complete alphabetized list city/county-by-county breakdown of localities in Virginia

COVID-19 Community Levels calculated on May 26, 2022.
COVID-19 Community Levels calculated on May 26, 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
  • 27 Virginia localities this week; up from 5 localities last week

Albemarle (ranked medium last week)
Appomattox (ranked medium last week)
Bedford (ranked medium last week)
Botetourt (ranked low last week)
Buckingham (ranked low last week)
Charlotte (ranked medium last week)
Charlottesville (ranked medium last week)
Chesterfield (ranked medium last week)
Colonial Heights (ranked low last week)
Fluvanna (ranked medium last week)
Franklin County (ranked low last week)
Goochland (ranked medium last week)
Greene (ranked medium last week)
Halifax (ranked medium last week)
Hanover (ranked medium last week)
Henrico (ranked medium last week)
Lancaster (ranked low last week)
Lunenburg (ranked low last week)
Mecklenburg (ranked low last week)
Nelson (ranked medium last week)
New Kent (ranked medium last week)
Norton (ranked medium last week)
Orange (ranked medium last week)
Richmond City (ranked medium last week)
Roanoke City (ranked medium last week)
Roanoke County (ranked medium last week)
Wise (ranked low last week)

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
  • 65 Virginia localities this week; up from 52 localities last week

Alexandria (no change from last week)
Amelia (ranked low last week)
Amherst (ranked low last week)
Arlington (no change from last week)
Augusta (ranked high last week)
Bath (ranked low last week)
Campbell (ranked low last week)
Caroline (ranked low last week)
Carroll (no change from last week)
Charles City (ranked low last week)
Chesapeake (no change from last week)
Covington (ranked low last week)
Craig (ranked low last week)
Culpeper (ranked low last week)
Cumberland (no change from last week)
Danville (no change from last week)
Dickenson (ranked low last week)
Emporia (ranked low last week)
Essex (ranked low last week)
Fairfax County (no change from last week)
Falls Church (no change from last week)
Floyd (ranked low last week)
Frederick (ranked low last week)
Fredericksburg (no change from last week)
Galax (no change from last week)
Greensville (ranked low last week)
Hampton (no change from last week)
Henry (ranked low last week)
Highland (ranked high last week)
Isle of Wight (ranked low last week)
James City (no change from last week)
King and Queen (ranked low last week)
King George (no change from last week)
King William (ranked low last week)
Lee (ranked low last week)
Lexington (ranked high last week)
Loudoun (no change from last week)
Louisa (no change from last week)
Lynchburg (ranked low last week)
Madison (ranked low last week)
Manassas (no change from last week)
Middlesex (ranked low last week)
Montgomery (no change from last week)
Newport News (no change from last week)
Northampton (ranked low last week)
Northumberland (ranked low last week)
Nottoway (ranked low last week)
Patrick (ranked low last week)
Pittsylvania (ranked low last week)
Poquoson (ranked low last week)
Powhatan (ranked low last week)
Prince Edward (ranked low last week)
Prince George (no change from last week)
Prince William (no change from last week)
Radford (no change from last week)
Rappahannock (ranked low last week)
Richmond County (no change from last week)
Salem (ranked low last week)
Spotsylvania (no change from last week)
Stafford (no change from last week)
Virginia Beach (no change from last week)
Warren (ranked low last week)
Waynesboro (ranked high last week)
Westmoreland (ranked low last week)
York (no change from last week)

    Low Community Level

    • Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines
    • Get tested if you have symptoms
    • 41 Virginia localities this week; down from 76 localities last week

    Accomack (no change from last week)
    Alleghany (no change from last week)
    Bland (no change from last week)
    Bristol (no change from last week)
    Brunswick (no change from last week)
    Buchanan (no change from last week)
    Buena Vista (ranked medium last week)
    Clarke (no change from last week)
    Dinwiddie (ranked medium last week)
    Fairfax City (no change from last week)
    Fauquier (no change from last week)
    Franklin City (ranked medium last week)
    Giles (ranked medium last week)
    Gloucester (no change from last week)
    Grayson (ranked medium last week)
    Harrisonburg (no change from last week)
    Hopewell (no change from last week)
    Manassas Park (ranked medium last week)
    Martinsville (no change from last week)
    Mathews (no change from last week)
    Norfolk (no change from last week)
    Page (no change from last week)
    Petersburg (no change from last week)
    Portsmouth (no change from last week)
    Pulaski (no change from last week)
    Rockbridge (ranked medium last week)
    Rockingham (no change from last week)
    Russell (no change from last week)
    Scott (no change from last week)
    Shenandoah (no change from last week)
    Smyth (no change from last week)
    Southampton (no change from last week)
    Staunton (ranked high last week)
    Suffolk (ranked medium last week)
    Surry (no change from last week)
    Sussex (no change from last week)
    Tazewell (no change from last week)
    Washington (no change from last week)
    Williamsburg (no change from last week)
    Winchester (no change from last week)
    Wythe (no change from last week)

    Covid-19 Complete Continuing Coverage-1200x630.jpg

    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 Medium
    Alleghany Low
    Amelia Medium
    Amherst Medium
    Appomattox High
    Arlington Medium
    Augusta Medium

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

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

    Danville Medium
    Dickenson Medium
    Dinwiddie Low

    Emporia Medium
    Essex Medium

    Fairfax County Medium
    Fairfax City Low
    Falls Church Medium
    Fauquier Low
    Floyd Medium
    Fluvanna High
    Franklin County High
    Franklin City Low
    Frederick Medium
    Fredericksburg Medium

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

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

    Isle of Wight Medium

    James Medium

    King and Queen Medium
    King George Medium
    King William Medium

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

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

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

    Orange High

    Page Low
    Patrick Medium
    Petersburg Low
    Pittsylvania Medium
    Poquoson Medium
    Portsmouth Low
    Powhatan Medium
    Prince Edward Medium
    P:rince George Medium
    Prince William Medium
    Pulaski Low

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

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

    Tazewell Low

    Virginia Beach Medium

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

    York Medium

    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).

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