Gov. Northam updates mask guidelines, spectator capacity for outdoor recreational sports


RICHMOND, Va. (WFXR) — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has amended Executive Order 72 to update new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on mask use in outdoor settings.

According to CDC guidelines, fully vaccinated individuals do not have to wear masks outdoors when alone or in small gatherings.

Mask use is still required indoors and outdoors at large crowded events like concerts, sporting events, and graduation ceremonies.

People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the last required dose of vaccine.

“The CDC’s recommendations underscore what we have said all along—vaccinations are the way we will put this pandemic behind us and get back to normal life,” Northam said. “Our increasing vaccination rate and decreasing number of new COVID-19 cases has made it possible to ease mitigation measures in a thoughtful and measured manner. I encourage all Virginians who have not yet received the vaccine to make an appointment today.”

Executive Order 72 has also been revised to allow up to 1,000 spectators for outdoor recreational sports, effective immediately. This change comes two weeks early as the change was scheduled to go into effect on Saturday, May 15.

This revision will allow additional spectators to participate in final games of the current high school sports season and the summer sports season.

Northam says the next steps to ease mitigation measures will go into effect on May 15.

According to the governor, he expects to be able to roll back the remaining capacity limits in mid-June as long as COVID-19 case numbers remain stable and vaccination progress continues.

Virginians over the age of 16 can schedule a vaccination appointment by visiting or calling 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682, TTY users call 7-1-1).

For more information on COVID-19 guidelines in Virginia, visit

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