Richmond reacts: VDH recommends everyone wear masks despite ended mandate

Coronavirus

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Virginia Department of Health is recommending people still wear masks even after getting vaccinated. Some Richmond residents tell 8News that they’re okay with continuing to wear a face covering for now.

A big factor making Richmonders more comfortable keeping the masks on? The Delta variant.

“We can stop that transmission; we give the virus fewer opportunities to change and evolve,” said Dr. Laurie Forlano, deputy director for the VDH Office of Epidemiology.

The state’s clarifications on mask usage follows new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations for curbing mutant strains. Health experts predict that the Delta variant will become the dominant strain as unvaccinated people continue to get infected.

Sameatria Cobbs was among those in Richmond who flocked together tonight for a Friday Night Cheers concert. Cobbs and others attending the show said they are on board with keeping covered for now.

“I just want to stay safe for my family,” Cobbs said.

Cobbs said there are times she’s comfortable without her mask such as in spaces by herself or around people she knows have been vaccinated.

Tijuana Lowery and Ebonee Belcher both said it’s too soon to fully let go of masks. Belcher said she does not know when or if she will feel comfortable enough to ditch her mask.

“It’s hard to say, things change every day, so it’s hard to say,” Belcher said. “I don’t know if we’ll ever be ready.”

Mask fatigue is something many people feel at this point in the pandemic, but some situations are enough to make people feel the need to keep using theirs. Vonda Pollard says populated places prompt her to still wear a mask.

“I’m still mostly wearing it when I’m in inside spaces, like when I go to the grocery store and things like that,” Pollard said. “Because we are more so combined.”

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