More than 52 percent of state residents are fully vaccinated, according to The Washington Post’s tracker — a long way from herd immunity, but enough to mark a major milestone in the pandemic.
Here are answers to some common questions.
Are coronavirus cases going down in Virginia?
Yes. You can follow the trends on The Washington Post’s tracker.
How many people in Virginia have been vaccinated so far?
The Virginia Department of Health’s website has information on how many Virginians have received a vaccine.
I haven’t gotten vaccinated yet — do I still need an appointment?
No. Most vaccination sites are accepting walk-ups. Virginians can enter their address to find the nearest location offering shots here.
That includes clinics run by health districts and health-district partnerships with hospitals, Federal Emergency Management Agency-funded community vaccination centers — such as ones in Tysons Corner and Prince William County — and pharmacies.
Are there any pandemic restrictions in Virginia?
Northam lifted all of the state’s limits on business capacity and social distancing on May 28 — earlier than the June 15 date he had previously announced. He also said he will not extend Virginia’s state of emergency when it expires at the end of the month but plans to keep some protections, such as a stay on evictions, in place.
Is the state offering incentives for people to get the vaccine?
In January, Virginia announced that it would be offering inmates in state-run prisons some incentives to get vaccinated, including free credits to call or email loved ones and a package of commissary items such as snacks. Danny Avula, Virginia’s vaccination coordinator, said in April that the state is considering similar incentive programs for members of the public. One option could be giving away food or an experience, he said.
Will I need a booster shot — and if so, how can I get one?
This is still not immediately clear. Vaccine developers such as Pfizer have said people will “likely” need a booster shot within 12 months of being vaccinated, but this has not been confirmed by federal agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Read about the latest scientific updates from The Post’s Health Section.
Who can go maskless?
Northam lifted the indoor mask mandate for fully vaccinated people effective May 15, in accordance with new federal guidance. The CDC issued guidance on May 13 that said fully vaccinated people don’t need to use masks or engage in physical distancing indoors or outdoors, except on public transportation, in health-care settings or in places where they are still required.
How I be sure someone is fully vaccinated?
Virginia has no plans to require a “vaccine passport” or any proof that someone has received the shots. “Anyone who is not vaccinated is strongly encouraged to wear masks in all settings,” Northam spokeswoman Alena Yarmosky said.
Who still has to wear a mask?
Lots of people. Businesses can require mask-wearing by customers and employees. Masks will continue to be required in all K-12 school settings.
Unvaccinated employees of restaurants, retail, fitness, personal care and grooming, and entertainment venues must still wear masks indoors, according to Northam’s order. The state lifted the potential misdemeanor criminal penalty for refusing to wear a mask, but no one has been prosecuted for that charge since it was imposed last year.
Rebecca Tan contributed to this report.