Face Masks

Virginia’s Frequently Asked Questions: when to wear a make


(August 12, 2021)

Governor Northam Announces Public Health Order to Require Universal Masking in K-12 Schools

Order reinforces state law SB 1303

RICHMOND—Governor Northam today announced a Public Health Emergency Order requiring universal masking in all indoor settings in Virginia’s K-12 schools. This order reinforces current state law, which requires Virginia schools adhere to mitigation strategies outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As of July 28, CDC guidelines include universal masking for all students, teachers, and staff. SB 1303 was passed by an overwhelming bipartisan majority of the General Assembly earlier this year.
“We all share the same goal of keeping our schools open and keeping our students safe,” said Governor Northam. “That’s why the General Assembly passed this law with overwhelming bipartisan support. This Public Health Order makes it very clear that masks are required in all indoor K-12 settings, and Virginia expects all schools to comply. I’m grateful to the work of the General Assembly and the Health Department, and I look forward to a safe start to the school year.”

Read Governor’s Office Full Release here: 


(July 1, 2021)


Virginia Health Commissioner, Norman Oliver’s  Emergency Health Order:


CDC Mask Wearing Guidance:

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. Businesses retain the ability to require masks in their establishments. Employees who work in certain business sectors—including restaurants, retail, fitness, personal care, and entertainment—must continue to wear masks unless fully vaccinated, per CDC guidance. Those who are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated are strongly encouraged to wear masks in all settings.

(July 1, 2021)  UPDATE 

Statewide Emergency Declaration Ends but Pandemic Still Not Over

(Manassas, VA) – The COVID-19 pandemic is not over, even though Virginia’s Emergency Declaration ended on July 1, 2021.

Vaccines are the best defense against COVID-19. Public health officials strongly encourage those individuals with a weakened immune system or who are not fully vaccinated to continue to wear face masks indoors where COVID-19 can spread quickly, and also in crowded settings.

Virginia state law does prohibit wearing a mask to conceal a person’s identity. According to Virginia Public Health Officials, this DOES NOT prohibit Virginians from wearing a mask to protect themselves and others from COVID-19 even though the emergency declaration has ended.

Another reason to get the second dose of Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is that these vaccines appear to protect against the Delta variant, which is now in Virginia, and all fifty states.  Being fully vaccinated offers protection against this variant that is rapidly spreading across the United States.

To find COVID-19 appointments, you can reach out to your healthcare provider, visit Vaccines.Gov or text your zip code to GETVAX (438829).

(May 28, 2021)  UPDATE 

Governor Northam Lifts Mask Mandate to Align with CDC, Announces Virginia to End COVID-19 Restrictions on May 28

The statewide social distancing and capacity restrictions have been lifted.  They were lifted at the stroke of midnight on Thursday, May 27.  But face masks are still required on public transportation (buses, trains, and planes), and in health care settings, child-care settings, and K-12 schools.

CDC Guidance for Child Care Settings remains in place.  The Virginia Department of Health along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to recommend that masks be used indoors for
children over age two and for all staff in child care settings, regardless of vaccination status.

Anyone who has not yet been vaccinated should continue to wear masks and social distance.  Businesses can require patrons to wear masks and individuals can continue to wear masks if they choose.

(May 14, 2021)

 Virginia has administered nearly 7 million vaccines, 63 percent of Virginia adults have received at least one dose 

  •     Governor lifts Virginia’s universal indoor mask mandate to align with CDC’s new guidance.
  •      Governor announces Virginia will ease all distancing and capacity restrictions on Friday, May 28, two weeks earlier than planned.
  •    The updates to Virginia’s mask policy become effective at midnight tonight (Friday, May 14, 2021) along with previously announced changes to mitigation measures.
  • Here is the governor’s announcement in a new video message.