NORFOLK, Va. — With more people getting vaccinated against COVID-19, some are wondering about the status of face masks.
Just this week, Greenbrier Christian Academy in Chesapeake announced that when Thanksgiving break is over, they will lift the mask mandate. Superintendent Dr. Ron White said it’s been five weeks since they’ve had any COVID contact with students or parents reported. Students still have the option to wear a mask. White added that if numbers increase, they may change the mandate.
Dr. Ryan Light of Greenbrier Family Medicine talked about the importance of being vaccinated and attempting to move forward.
“At some point, we have to move forward from the pandemic into more of an endemic: that COVID’s going to be around for a very long period of time, so it’s going to be more like a seasonal flu,” stated Dr. Light.
Diane Matheson was running errands in Norfolk and said, “I’ve been vaccinated twice and I’ve had my booster, so I’m probably not as cautious as other people are.”
However, she did have a mask in hand.
“If there’s a sign on the door that requires it, yes, and I keep a mask with me at all times,” Matheson added.
Many businesses are allowing customers to choose. Dr. Light said it’s certainly acceptable to still wear a mask while vaccinated and we're going to continue to see some variation for a while.
“What we’re seeing is with the vaccines and the natural immunity out there, we’re getting to that herd immunity,” stated Dr. Light. “So I think at this point, we need to move forward in an endemic stage where we can kind of get back to our normal lives, and if you still feel you’re at risk, it’s perfectly fine to wear a mask. That’s an acceptable thing.”
Social distancing and improved hand hygiene, said Dr. Light, are still good things to keep in mind, in addition to the vaccine.
“The things I used to say during flu season years ago, everybody’s now doing those things,” Dr. Light commented.