How a local community on CDC’s high transmission list is responding to new mask recommendation

Coronavirus

NEW KENT COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — After the CDC reversed course on its mask recommendations Tuesday, communities in central Virginia being are told to follow new guidelines once again.

The CDC is now recommending vaccinated people still wear masks indoors in public areas where COVID transmission is “high” or “substantial.” In recent months, the agency said just those unvaccinated should still wear masks.

The new guidance applies to several counties in our area.

As of Wednesday afternoon, New Kent, Prince George, Charles City, King William, Amelia, and Petersburg are among localities considered highly transmissible. The city of Richmond, Henrico, and Nottoway are among localities considered “substantial.”

Throughout the day Wednesday, 8News asked people in the New Kent community how they’re taking the news and found there’s a mix of differing reactions.

“I’m not surprised,” said Sun Hong, owner of Sun’s Cafe.

Despite more relaxed advice from the CDC this spring, Hong said she never stopped asking her customers to mask up when walking in. The owner said she’s been limiting the number of customers dining inside to ten people. However, in light of the new CDC recommendations, Hong said she will probably return to take-out only restaurant service.

“My customers, they’re good to me so I’m not going to complain,” she said. “I do what’s best for.. the county.”

As far as masking up inside a New Kent Food Lion Wednesday, “some of them do, some of them don’t,” said vaccinated shopper Audrey Harvey.

She and her grandmother, Brenda Cramer, said they never stopped wearing their masks and thought the CDC’s advice to remove masks indoors was always premature.

“I don’t want to take any chances with my age,” Cramer said.

Many other shoppers 8News spoke with said they won’t be putting masks on indoors. The most common reason why was that they don’t trust the CDC and don’t trust what the government is saying about the virus.

“I think it’s stupid,” said one woman who didn’t want to be identified. Some other locals said they still don’t believe masks actually help prevent the illness.

Harvey said while shopping near other maskless customers, she tries to keep her distance.

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