The masks come off | Richmond Free Press

The masks are falling in Richmond and the region.

The change is the result of the latest recommendations from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last Friday that relaxed mask guidelines for about 70% of Americans. The CDC is using new metrics to determine whether masks should be worn indoors, including the number of hospitalizations in a locality, hospital capacity, and new cases of COVID-19.

The change reflects the view that the nation has entered a potentially less dangerous phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Tuesday, the City of Richmond ended its mask mandate for city employees and visitors inside government buildings. Officials cite the CDC’s shift in guidance, recommendations from local health officials and a drop in the city’s COVID-19 infection rate as key to the change.

Richmond now joins Chesterfield and Henrico counties in easing mask mandates for government buildings.

Additionally, a new state law went into effect Tuesday, March 1, ending mask mandates for Virginia public schools.

Richmond Public Schools now requires parents or caregivers to formally ask their child not to wear a mask in class by emailing their child’s name and school to [email protected] No reason for refusing to wear masks should be provided.

Public schools in Henrico, Chesterfield and Hanover had already adopted mask-optional policies.

Federal law still requires masks to be mounted on school buses or public transportation.

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