Coronavirus update: Vaccination efforts continue as restrictions rollback

Coronavirus
People enjoy their time in an outside sitting area of a restaurant as a child plays in the foreground on Friday, May 14, 2021. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eased its guidelines, saying fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing masks. (AP Photo/Shafkat Anowar)

People enjoy their time in an outside sitting area of a restaurant as a child plays in the foreground on Friday, May 14, 2021. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eased its guidelines, saying fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing masks. (AP Photo/Shafkat Anowar)

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The new guidelines set forth by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on masks for vaccinated people left some Virginian’s confused as to what they should do going forward regarding wearing a mask.

The CDC announced last week people who are fully vaccinated — no longer need to wear a mask indoors or outdoors and can stop social distancing in most places.

First and foremost the CDC says everyone — vaccinated or unvaccinated — should continue to wear a mask in certain places like on public transportation such as buses, trains and planes as well as in other places such as hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters.

The CDC recommends masks for children 2 and older in public settings, also when they’re with people outside their household. Masks are still being recommended for schools.

Health experts continue to encourage residents to get vaccinated because they believe that’s what’s keeping the numbers trending downwards.

This morning the Virginia Department of Health reported 491 new cases of the coronavirus. The state’s current positivity rate in the state is 3.2%. That’s an improvement from back in April 2020 when the Commonwealth saw a high of 20.2%.

As of May 19, 40.6% of Virginia’s population has been fully vaccinated, and 51.5% of the state’s residents have been vaccinated with at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The Commonwealth has administered over seven million total doses since the vaccines have rolled out.

Comparing Virginia’s numbers nationally, about 37% of the United States’ population is fully vaccinated against the virus, with more than 157 million people, or 47%, receiving at least one dose.

The CDC says someone is fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, or two weeks after their one-dose Johnson & Johnson shot.

Local vaccination events

Chesterfield County residents can get vaccinated at St. Augustine Church next Wednesday on May 26 from 4 to 7 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome but residents are encouraged to register online since there are only 300 slots available.

Shots will be given on a first-come, first-served basis.

Hanover County middle schools are hosting vaccine clinics for district students. The FDA recently authorized Pfizer’s vaccine for use in children as young as 12. Children in the district can get vaccinated at the following events:

  • Monday, May 24, at Bell Creek Middle School from 1:30-3:30 p.m. and 4-6 p.m.
  • Monday, May 24, at Oak Knoll Middle School from 1:30-3:30 p.m. and 4-6 p.m.

*The 1:30-3:30 p.m. clinics will be for students only and not open to the public. The 4-6 p.m. clinics will be for eligible middle and high schoolers.

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