Some Valley residents are still hesitant to shed their mask with mandate lifted

Under new guidance, fully vaccinated Virginians can lose their mask both inside and outside unless in certain situations.
Updated: May. 15, 2021 at 7:48 PM EDT
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STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) - Governor Ralph Northam announced Friday that fully vaccinated Virginians can lose their mask both inside and outside unless in certain situations. Those who are not vaccinated are still asked to mask up.

The new guidelines went into effect Saturday at midnight, but many in the Valley have said they aren’t quite ready to shed the mask.

“I think that is really exciting because there is going to be a sense of normalcy again,” Harrisonburg resident Martin Javeloso said.

Javeloso said he will most likely keep the mask on when inside.

“I think when I’m indoors I’m gonna keep the mask on because I know even though you are fully vaccinated you can still carry it, so I just want to be respectful to others. We’ve already done it the past year inside and I don’t really mind it that much,” Javeloso said.

While some people in the Valley say they are glad to remove the mask, some feel it’s too soon.

“I mean I’m vaccinated and I feel pretty safe going out, but I think it is way too early to lift the mask mandate,” Staunton resident Alana Gill, said.

Staunton resident Samantha Grimsley said she will continue to mask up inside, but outside is a little different.

“Maybe a little less outside when I’m around only people I know, but if I’m outside with a large group and definitely inside I am going to continue wearing it,” Grimsley said.

Another reason many are masking up is the fear for those who can’t get a vaccine.

“I do worry a little about the population that cannot yet get vaccinated, which is small kids and any body that has to be with small kids,” Harrisonburg resident Fallon Burner said.

Burner said that while she feels good about the vaccine’s protection, she still has some lingering anxiety from the pandemic.

“I still definitely avoid people and I notice that even when I pass people now I still give people a pretty wide birth just cause that is something I got used to in the last 15 months,” Burner said.

Burner added she is unsure everyone will follow the honor system.

“I don’t think I trust everybody to be on their honor with this. I think there were some people who even before we had a vaccination were putting a lot of us in jeopardy by being out there without masks on, so I think that sort of behavior is going to continue,” Burner said.

Northam also announced Friday that all restrictions on capacity and social distancing are now set to lift on May 28, just before Memorial Day.

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