Gov. Northam lifting all distancing and gathering restrictions in Virginia

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VIRGINIA (WDVM) — According to CDC guidelines, you can lose the mask if you’re fully vaccinated. Now, all distancing restrictions are lifted in Virginia going into Memorial Day weekend.

President Joe Biden announced a milestone across the nation on Friday: 51% of adults are fully vaccinated. Virginia is ahead with 55% of adults fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The President and Governor Ralph Northam met in Alexandria on Friday to celebrate the news.

“As more Americans get vaccinated, the days grow brighter and brighter. But let me be clear, we’re not done yet,” said President Biden.

“Today we mark a tremendous milestone in our fight against COVID-19,” said Governor Northam. “There are no limits, our capacity, our distancing in Virginia’s restaurants, businesses, offices or other venues.”

This change is bringing some long awaited relief to some Northern Virginia residents like Rob from Fairfax Station.

“Well it’s about time,” said Rob. “We should’ve lifted this back when governor DeSantis did it in Florida. Virginia’s inhibitied its citizens’ ability and, you know, hurt small businesses.”

Local experts say they’ll continue to follow recommendations from the Virginia Department of Health. Doctor Goodfriend with the Loudon County Health Department says the county is still seeing COVID cases.

“We continue to see cases in Loudoun County. On average, we’re seeing about 15 cases a day. Still, we know there are people who are still too young to be vaccinated, so all those under age 12 are still vulnerable,” said Goodfriend.

While this may be good news to some Virginians going into Memorial Day weekend, Goodfriend says vulnerable populations may still be at risk to virus transmission.

“If people are fully vaccinated, please take advantage of the expiration of the limits on social distancing. We do want folks to be able to enjoy all that Loudoun County has to offer. But that really is if you’re fully vaccinated, because if you’re not, the risk is still there,” he said.

Even though this is a step forward, he stresses that the county is a far cry from herd immunity.

If you’re still looking for a vaccine in Virginia, you can go to vaccinefinder.org or vaccine.gov and type in your zip code to find a vaccine near you.

For more local stories and news tips, follow @EliseKimTV on Facebook or Instagram.

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