Virginia drops mask mandates, but not everyone is quick to give them up

Local businesses now left to decide how to handle their mask policy

 Vaccinated people don't have to wear masks in Virginia
Vaccinated people don't have to wear masks in Virginia

ROANOKE, Va. – Virginians will wake up Saturday morning to one of the biggest rollbacks of the pandemic as Gov. Ralph Northam announced masks are no longer required in most circumstances for fully vaccinated people.

But not all businesses are ready to leave the masks behind just yet.

We first introduced you to Garry Fleming and his downtown Roanoke breakfast joint at the beginning of the pandemic. He closed his doors and had no idea what was coming.

Scrambled has gradually returned to as close to normal as possible and now on the heels of the biggest COVID-19 announcement yet, Fleming is still taking it slow.

“We closed for nine weeks back in last March and April and re-opened in May and re-opened for just weekends for a while,” Fleming said. “We know that we have some of our employees who have not been vaccinated. We have employees that are too young to be vaccinated. They’re in the age group that is just now eligible to be vaccinated.”

On Friday, Northam announced masks are no longer mandatory for fully vaccinated people in most situations. It fast tracks the end of the month date he set in his last announcement.

“Virginians have been doing the right thing, and we’re seeing the results. Seven million shots have been given have in Virginia and two-thirds of Virginia adults have had a shot,” Northam said.

The guidance mirrors that of the CDC. Northam also delivered a frank message to Virginians, mirror that of President Joe Biden.

“It’s very simple, it’s either a shot or a mask, it’s up to you,” Northam said.

Fleming said for the time being, customers dining inside his restaurant should still be masked, and his staff will stay masked too. They’ll take it a day at a time from here.

“And I don’t think that we’re going to get very much of a pushback, I think that we may have one or two, but I don’t think that people are going to be aggravated or angry about it,” Fleming said.


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