Masking Push Returns as COVID-19 Variant Cases Climb

Loudoun County hit an unwanted threshold last week, climbing back into the list of communities with significant spread of COVID-19’s potent Delta variant.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the county last week reported more than 51 new cases per 100,000 in population. That rate of infection puts Loudoun into the category of “substantial” community transmission—and that comes with a recommendation that residents return to wearing masks in indoor public spaces. And, because of the highly contagious nature of the Delta variant, that recommendation also applies to fully vaccinated individuals. 

The CDC reports that about 80 percent of all the counties in the United States now qualify as having “substantial” or “high” rates of community transmission where masks should be worn indoors.

According to the CDC, 54% of the 183,000 Loudoun residents eligible for the vaccine—those age 12 and older—are fully vaccinated. Just over 60% have had at least one dose. 

The largest segment of the unvaccinated community in Loudoun are children under age 12 who do not yet qualify for vaccines. 

That puts the focus on Loudoun’s public schools, which are planning to return to full-time, in-person learning on Aug. 26. Since the outbreak of the pandemic in March 2020, students have taken classes at home or had only parttime access to on-campus classes.

While there are no plans to curtail in-person learning this fall, the school division announced Monday that all students and school staff members will be required to wear masks this fall, regardless of their vaccination status.

The CDC had previously advised in mid-July that fully vaccinated students, teachers, and staff members should not be required to wear masks during class. However, last week, the CDC reversed its guidelines following an analysis of data concerning the spread of the Delta variant. 

As for the possibility of a returning to a mask mandate for the general public, local leaders this week were looking toward state officials in Richmond for guidance. In addition to Loudoun, Fairfax, Prince William County, and Arlington counties are registering a “substantial” level of transmission. Stafford, Fauquier and Spotsylvania counties have been categorized as “high” by the CDC.

Yesterday, Fairfax County Chairman Jeff McKay issued a call for all residents regardless of their vaccination status to wear masks indoors.

But in most cases, the spike in cases driven by the Delta variant so far only has resulted in a more robust push for unvaccinated individuals to get the shots needed to protect themselves from serious illness and to better protect those around them and to inhibit the development of additional virus variants. Vaccines are widely available. For details, go to loudoun.gov/covid19.

2 thoughts on “Masking Push Returns as COVID-19 Variant Cases Climb

  • 2021-08-04 at 4:05 pm
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    The CDC, the elf on the shelf, and the rest of the so called ‘experts’ are intellectually and ethically bankrupt. No reasonable person should believe anything they, or their politician co-conspirators say.

    Science left these people’s minds long ago. This is all about controlling us through fear-mongering. It’s about distracting you from their catastrophic polices and corruption. It’s about keeping their sketchy mail in voting schemes. If any of these people truly cared about ‘science,’ they would immediately demand our borders sealed, rather than cheering on tens of thousands of untested and infected people flooding our communities, including right here in Loudoun. Instead, they accuse Americans of being the problem.

    Every virus will mutate in order to survive. This one will continue to change forever. It’s never ever going away. Will these ‘experts’ demand we live the rest of our lives in virus breeding face diapers? Will they demand we restrict the joy of human interaction? Of human experience? Of freewill and dignity? You can bet they’ll try their hardest. Yet, never doubt, the rules never apply to them.

    Open your eyes and your minds people. You know what’s best for you more than any control freak does. Make your own decisions and reject these mumbling, bumbling politicians and their mysterious ‘experts.’ They have knowingly lied to us all along. They deserve nothing but our scorn and contempt.

    • 2021-08-05 at 9:48 am
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      Completely agree!! Unfortunately most people don’t want to actually hear the truth or educate themselves about the true nature of politics. Which applies to the pharmaceutical/medical profession, the major corporations of the world as well as Republicans and Democrats. This isn’t about “party lines” both major parties are extremely corrupt, bought and paid for by the “Controlling Class”.
      There are many qualified and experienced doctors that have been trying to get the actual truth out there with regards of prevention and treatment. But that actually requires taking responsibility of your own health, eating decent food and water, doing simple things like exercising and taking basic supplements. Masks don’t do much of anything except cause you to recirculate the crap you are supposed to be exhaling. The best prevention is wash your hands, and if your are around a lot of others don’t rub your eyes. You don’t hear that that is the primary way of introducing this kind of a virus into your system. It is not through breathing it in! Covid requires being attached to a droplet of some sort, it is not just blowing in the breeze.

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