RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginians are now free to gather and socialize much like they were prior to Gov. Ralph Northam’s executive order issued in 2020 that instituted a range of COVID-19 related restrictions.

Gov. Northam announced on Friday that much of the state’s mask mandate would be rolled back, with fully-vaccinated Virginians now able to go without a mask or face covering in many public settings.

Restaurants and businesses can still require masks for patrons, and employees will still have to mask up, but there are no longer any caps on capacity and alcohol sales.

This as other businesses like Walmart and Costco follow suit and will allow shoppers and some staff to go maskless.

The Virginia Department of Health on Saturday reported 685 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the state’s total to 669,904. There have been 11,008 deaths.

Local COVID-19 vaccine updates

  • Children in Virginia ages 12 and older can now get the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Pfizer is the only vaccine that’s been authorized so far for use in kids aged 12-17, and they can get the shots using the same avenues as adults.
  • The Hanover County Vaccination Center is putting out one last call for residents to get their shots. They have appointments available for the month of May, but walk-ins are welcome. The center is located at 135 Junction Drive, Ashland, VA.
  • The Chickahominy Health District is offering walk-up vaccines to residents 18 and older who still need their first dose. This is happening on Fridays at the Ashland Clinic on Junction Drive. Walk-ins are accepted from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 3:30 p.m. On Wednesdays, walk-ins are accepted from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Local COVID-19 cases in Central Virginia

The Virginia Department of Health COVID-19 dashboard has been undergoing maintenance since the evening of May 14. Local case numbers were not available for May 15. The following numbers are as of May 14:

  • Charles City County: 500 cases, 16 deaths
  • Chesterfield County: 27,655 cases, 428 deaths
  • City of Colonial Heights: 1,707 cases, 61 deaths
  • City of Hopewell: 2,578 cases, 72 deaths
  • City of Petersburg: 3,858 cases, 84 deaths
  • City of Richmond: 16,940 cases, 259 deaths
  • Dinwiddie County: 2,118 cases, 43 deaths
  • Goochland County: 1,438 cases, 23 deaths
  • Hanover County: 8,030 cases, 155 deaths
  • Henrico County: 25,257 cases, 608 deaths
  • New Kent County: 1,486 cases, 17 deaths
  • Powhatan County: 1,908 cases, 16 deaths