Blacksburg introduces mask mandate inside town-owned facilities


Correction: WFXR News previously reported masks required at Farmers Market, parks, or the Blacksburg Library. Masks are not required for any of those areas and the library is not owned by the town. The policy only requires masks for indoor town-owned facilities.

UPDATE 11:18 p.m.: On Wednesday, the Town of Blacksburg announced a new mask mandate, requiring all staff and visitors to wear a mask inside all indoor town-owned facilities.

“It’s the best way to keep each other safe and it won’t completely eliminate the disease but it is going to slow things down,” said Laura Purcell, a resident of Blacksburg.

Purcell says that wearing a mask is harmless, and it shows that town leaders care about the community.

Nyala Smith, an eight-year-old, says she is used to wearing masks and that people should wear them to keep everyone safe.

“The mask sort of feels like it completes my face now. I feel so weird without a mask, and I’m just like, ‘can I put my mask back on?'” said Smith.

Smith adds that when she sees someone not wearing a mask, she doesn’t say anything. She feels that masking is a choice, but if it were up to her, everyone would be wearing one.

However, Blacksburg resident Jordan Winall says she does not understand the new mandate, adding that she made a choice to get vaccinated so she would not have to wear a mask. Winall says that wearing a mask defeats the purpose of the Commonwealth’s push for vaccinations.

“I understand it is super necessary to keep everyone safe, but with the push of vaccinations I also feel like there should be some leeway for those who have been vaccinated,” said Winall.

UPDATE 3:43 p.m.: The Community Relations Manager of Blacksburg released a statement regarding the mask mandate inside town facilities.

You can read the statement below:

Much like the other localities and school systems in our area we are following the latest CDC recommendations for areas with substantial COVID-19 transmission rates. As our region begins to see an uptick in new COVID 19 cases and the Delta variant continues to be a threat, the safest measure to protect everyone, regardless of vaccination status is to re-instate masking inside our facilities. As a regional partner in this fight, we will do everything within our means to protect our community and our staff from this virus. We continue to urge those who have not yet received the vaccination to do so.

Heather Browning
Community Relations Manager

BLACKSBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Starting Wednesday, all staff and visitors at indoor Blacksburg town facilities are required to wear masks, no matter their vaccination status.

According to the Town of Blacksburg, this mask mandate is consistent with the latest recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for areas with substantial COVID-19 transmission rates.

This news comes the same day that Virginia reported the largest single-day spike in coronavirus cases since late February with 2,117 new cases, including 25 from Montgomery County.

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