Masks

Group of people masking

Protect Your Health

Masks

Masks may help offer protection against COVID-19, including the Omicron variant. If you choose to wear a mask, the CDC offers you guidance [Español ]to help you achieve the best result.

Situations where you should always wear a mask:

Masking based on COVID-19 Community Level

Community Levels are a tool that can help individuals and communities decide what prevention steps to take based on the latest data.

Low Community Level

Medium Community Level

High Community Level

  • CDC recommends that you wear a well-fitting mask indoors in public, regardless of vaccination status or individual risk (including in K-12 schools and other community settings)
  • If you have a weakened immune system or at high risk for severe illness , wear a mask or respirator that provides you with greater protection, like an N95 or KN95

Situations where masks are required

  • As of April 18, 2022, the CDC Mask Order that required masks on public transportation is no longer in effect. CDC continues to recommend that everyone age two and older  wear a mask while using indoor public transportation (airplanes, ships, ferries, trains, subways, buses, taxis, and rideshares, as well as in airports and stations). Check the individual website of your transportation choice to review any mask requirements. 
  • Some localities, local businesses, and other settings may still require masks. Follow any applicable rules or ordinances.

Setting Specific Guidance

Masks at the Workplace

As of March 23, 2022, the Virginia Standard for Infectious Disease Prevention of the SARS-CoV-2 Virus That Causes COVID-19 (“Virginia Standard”) is no longer in effect. See DOLI Announcements for further COVID-19 updates and guidance from the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry. Workplaces are encouraged to establish a COVID-19 mask policy that aligns with current CDC guidance.

Certain people should not wear a mask:

  • Children under the age of 2 years should not wear a mask.
  • People should not wear masks while sleeping; masks should not be placed on any child when the child is sleeping.
  • People who have trouble breathing, are incapacitated, or who are otherwise unable to remove the mask without help should not wear a mask.
  • People with a disability who cannot wear a mask, or cannot safely wear a mask, for reasons related to the disability.

Masks should not be worn when participating in certain sport scenarios, including gymnastics, cheerleading (when tumbling/stunting), wrestling (unless mask use is closely supervised), swimming, diving, or other water sports. 

Page Last Reviewed: May 5, 2022

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