The Alexandria City Council on Saturday unanimously voted on Saturday to align the city’s face mask ordinance with the state’s guidance.
That means that Governor Ralph Northam’s recent lifting of the mask mandate applies to vaccinated city residents, and that any additional changes his office makes will not need local approval.
“Any executive order issued by the governor regarding face coverings is the requirement that needs to be followed in Alexandria,” City Attorney Joanna Anderson said on Saturday.
Local businesses can determine whether they want to continue mask requirements, and masks will continue to be mandatory in K-12 schools.
“The state of emergency in Virginia will remain in place at least through June 30 to provide flexibility for local government and support ongoing COVID-19 vaccination efforts,” according to the governor’s office.
According to the city:
There are some instances when fully vaccinated people should continue to wear masks indoors, including on public transit, in health care facilities, and in congregate settings. Since vaccine clinics are considered health care settings, masks will be required by all patients, guests, volunteers, and staff, while inside and outside of vaccine sites. Businesses retain the ability to require masks in their establishments. Employees who work in certain business sectors–including restaurants, retail, fitness, personal care, and entertainment–must continue to wear masks unless they are fully vaccinated, per CDC guidance. The order also states that all K-12 students, teachers, staff and visitors must wear a mask over their nose and mouth while on school property, regardless of vaccination status.
There have been 11,799 cases of COVID-19, and the death toll is 135 in Alexandria. Approximately 40% of eligible Alexandrians have been fully vaccinated, according to the City.