Virginia’s COVID-19 state of emergency set to expire today — here’s what that means for you

Coronavirus

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — After 15 months, Virginia’s COVID-19 state of emergency is set to expire tonight.

On March 12, 2020, Governor Ralph Northam declared the state of emergency for the COVID-19 pandemic.

That declaration suspended a law making it illegal to wear a face mask. The law was written to deter criminals from hiding their faces, and when the order expires, the law goes back into effect.

WATCH: Northam declares state of emergency amid rise in coronavirus cases in Virginia; confirmed cases up to 17

So, what happens if you still need to mask up?

Earlier this month, Governor Northam told 8News he will communicate with law enforcement to make sure no one is arrested for wearing a face mask.

The law could soon change altogether. Northam is expected to ask lawmakers to address the issue when they reconvene for a special session in August.

Read more: Richmond health officials warn of Delta variant; 48 confirmed cases in Virginia

When it comes to wearing masks, Virginians should continue to follow CDC guidance which encourages all unvaccinated folks to wear one.

Localities across Central Virginia are also discussing their local state of emergencies.

Earlier this month, Henrico County leaders voted to end their local state of emergency. The City of Richmond just decided to keep theirs in place through the end of 2021.

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