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CDC only recommends universal masking for 4 Virginia localities, updated map shows

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Posted at 1:13 PM, Mar 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-20 09:01:43-04

RICHMOND, Va. — There is more good news for many Virginians as universal masking is recommended for just four out of 129 localities in the Commonwealth, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Healthy people in those other localities can safely take a break from wearing masks, new data reveal.

The update comes as new cases in Virginia dropped 12% last week and 72.3% of Virginians are fully vaccinated against the virus, according to the Virginia Department of Health. COVID cases in the U.S. continue to drop and nearly 77% of the country's total population has received at least one vaccine dose, the CDC reported in its weekly update.

The agency released an updated map Thursday, March 17 with county-by-county color designations to indicate whether residents should wear masks or not.

"There are three levels (low, medium, high), which are determined by looking at hospital beds being used by patients with COVID-19, new hospital admissions among people with COVID-19, and the total number of new COVID-19 cases in your area," CDC officials wrote.

The majority of Metro Richmond continues to be ranked as low with the exception of Powhatan, which is ranked as medium. People in those areas (low, medium) can stop wearing masks — unless they are at high risk for severe illness.

However, four localities in southwestern Virginia are ranked as high where masking indoors is still recommended by the CDC.

The CDC's new measures, which were announced Friday, Feb. 25, focus less on positive test results and more on what’s happening at hospitals.

The agency is still advising that people, including schoolchildren, wear masks where the risk of COVID-19 is high.

Also, the new recommendations do not change the requirement to wear masks on public transportation.

Scroll down for a complete alphabetized list city/county-by-county breakdown of localities in Virginia

COVID-19 Community Levels were calculated on March 17, 2022
COVID-19 Community Levels were calculated on March 17, 2022

High Community Level

  • Wear a mask indoors in public
  • Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines
  • Get tested if you have symptoms
  • Additional precautions may be needed for people at high risk for severe illness
  • 4 Virginia localities this week; down from 23 localities last week

Dickenson
Lee
Norton
Wise

Medium Community Level

  • If you are at high risk for severe illness, talk to your healthcare provider about whether you need to wear a mask and take other precautions
  • Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines
  • Get tested if you have symptoms
  • 25 Virginia localities this week; down from 45 localities last week

Amherst
Botetourt
Bristol
Brunswick
Buchanan
Campbell
Charlotte
Covington
Cumberland
Danville
Grayson
Lynchburg
Madison
Martinsville
Nottoway
Pittsylvania
Powhatan
Prince Edward
Rappahannock
Roanoke City
Russell
Scott
Smyth
Washington
Williamsburg

Low Community Level

  • Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines
  • Get tested if you have symptoms
  • 104 Virginia localities this week; up from 65 localities last week

Accomack
Albemarle
Alexandria
Alleghany
Amelia
Appomattox
Arlington
Augusta
Bath
Bedford
Bland
Buckingham
Buena Vista
Caroline
Carroll
Charles City
Charlottesville
Chesapeake
Chesterfield
Clarke
Colonial Heights
Craig
Culpeper
Dinwiddie
Emporia
Essex
Fairfax City
Fairfax County
Falls Church
Fauquier
Floyd
Fluvanna
Franklin
Franklin
Frederick
Fredericksburg
Galax
Giles
Gloucester
Goochland
Greene
Greensville
Halifax
Hampton
Hanover
Harrisonburg
Henrico
Henry
Highland
Hopewell
Isle of Wight
James City
King and Queen
King George
King William
Lancaster
Lexington
Loudoun
Louisa
Lunenburg
Manassas
Manassas Park
Mathews
Mecklenburg
Middlesex
Montgomery
Nelson
New Kent
Newport News
Norfolk
Northampton
Northumberland
Orange
Page
Patrick
Petersburg
Poquoson
Portsmouth
Prince George
Prince William
Pulaski
Radford
Richmond City
Richmond County
Roanoke County
Rockbridge
Rockingham
Salem
Shenandoah
Southampton
Spotsylvania
Stafford
Staunton
Suffolk
Surry
Sussex
Tazewell
Virginia Beach
Warren
Waynesboro
Westmoreland
Winchester
Wythe
York

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RELATED: County-by-county look at COVID-19 cases in Virginia; which areas saw most cases last week

Full Virginia City/County-by-County Breakdown

Accomack Low
Albemarle Low
Alexandria Low
Alleghany Low
Amelia Low
Amherst Medium
Appomattox Low
Arlington Low
Augusta Low

Bath Low
Bedford Low
Bland Low
Botetourt Medium
Bristol Medium
Brunswick Medium
Buchanan Medium
Buckingham Low
Buena Vista Low

Campbell Medium
Caroline Low
Carroll Low
Charles City Low
Charlotte Medium
Charlottesville Low
Chesapeake Low
Chesterfield Low
Clarke Low
Colonial Heights Low
Covington Medium
Craig Low
Culpeper Low
Cumberland Medium
Danville Medium

Dickenson High
Dinwiddie Low

Emporia Low
Essex Low

Fairfax City Low
Fairfax County Low
Falls Church Low
Fauquier Low
Floyd Low
Fluvanna Low
Franklin Low
Franklin Low
Frederick Low
Fredericksburg Low

Galax Low
Giles Low
Gloucester Low
Goochland Low
Grayson Medium
Greene Low
Greensville Low

Halifax Low
Hampton Low
Hanover Low
Harrisonburg Low
Henrico Low
Henry Low
Highland Low
Hopewell Low

Isle of Wight Low

James City Low

King and Queen Low
King George Low
King William Low

Lancaster Low
Lee High
Lexington Low
Loudoun Low
Louisa Low
Lunenburg Low
Lynchburg Medium

Madison Medium
Manassas Low
Manassas Park Low
Martinsville Medium
Mathews Low
Mecklenburg Low
Middlesex Low
Montgomery Low

Nelson Low
New Kent Low
Newport News Low
Norfolk Low
Northampton Low
Northumberland Low
Norton High
Nottoway Medium

Orange Low

Page Low
Patrick Low
Petersburg Low
Pittsylvania Medium
Poquoson Low
Portsmouth Low
Powhatan Medium
Prince Edward Medium
Prince George Low
Prince William Low
Pulaski Low

Radford Low
Rappahannock Medium
Richmond City Low
Richmond County Low
Roanoke City Medium
Roanoke County Low
Rockbridge Low
Rockingham Low
Russell Medium

Salem Low
Scott Medium
Shenandoah Low
Smyth Medium
Southampton Low
Spotsylvania Low
Stafford Low
Staunton Low
Suffolk Low
Surry Low
Sussex Low

Tazewell Low

Virginia Beach Low

Warren Low
Washington Medium
Waynesboro Low
Westmoreland Low
Williamsburg Medium
Winchester Low
Wise High
Wythe Low

York Low

Virginians age 5+ are eligible for COVID-19 vaccine. Go to Vaccine Finder to search for specific vaccines available near you or call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-275-8343).

Depend on CBS 6 News and WTVR.com for the most complete coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Have You Been Fully Vaccinated?

People are considered fully vaccinated:

  • 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
  • 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine
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What you can and should not do once you have been fully vaccinated.

How to Protect Yourself and Others When You’ve Been Fully Vaccinated

COVID-19 vaccines are effective at protecting you from getting sick. Based on what we know about COVID-19 vaccines, people who have been fully vaccinated can start to do some things that they had stopped doing because of the pandemic.

We’re still learning how vaccines will affect the spread of COVID-19. After you’ve been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you should keep taking precautions—like wearing a mask, staying 6 feet apart from others, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces—in public places until we know more.

These recommendations can help you make decisions about daily activities after you are fully vaccinated. They are not intended for healthcare settings.

Click here for more information from the Virginia Department of Health.