Loudoun County government will once again require everyone regardless of vaccination status to wear face masks inside county facilities, effective Monday, Aug. 9.
The announcement came shortly after Gov. Ralph Northam announced he would require all state employees to be vaccinated or undergo weekly COVID-19 testing by Sept. 1, but declined to direct Virginians to wear masks indoors. It also matches CDC guidance which has identified Loudoun as an area of significant community spread of COVID-19 and recommending wearing masks in indoor public settings.
With COVID-19 case counts ticking up in Loudoun, and with the spread of the more contagious and dangerous Delta variant of the virus, the Loudoun County Health Department is also recommending that all people—vaccinated or no—wear a mask in all indoor public settings.
For those who are fully vaccinated, wearing a mask reduces the risk of becoming infected with the Delta variant and reduces the risk of unknowingly spreading the virus to others. While infections happen in only a small proportion of people who are fully vaccinated, it is still possible for fully vaccinated people to spread the virus to others.
“Wearing a mask helps to prevent the spread of the virus among both unvaccinated and vaccinated people,” stated Loudoun County Health Director Dr. David Goodfriend. “In addition to wearing a mask, the most important action you can take is getting vaccinated if you have not already done so because we know that vaccinated people are less likely to experience severe disease, hospitalization and death from COVID-19, including from the Delta variant.”
The Health Department continues to strongly recommend that everyone age 12 years and older get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible. Vaccines are available free of charge at pharmacies and other providers throughout the area, as well as through the Loudoun County Health Department. To find a vaccine dose, visit loudoun.gov/covid19vaccine or vaccinate.virginia.gov.
The Health Department also recommends avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces, getting tested when showing symptoms, staying at home if not feeling well, maintaining social distancing, and frequent hand washing.