Virginia Gov. Northam Won’t Mandate Masks, Signaling Bipartisan Response to New COVID Cases

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Democrat and Republican governors alike are promising not to implement new mask mandates as COVID-19 cases rise again.

“All Virginians should consider wearing a mask in public indoor settings where there is increased risk of [COVID-19] transmission, as the new [CDC] guidance recommends. This is not a requirement, but a recommendation,” Gov. Ralph Northam (D) said Thursday on Twitter.

“We know the vaccines work—since January, over 98% of [COVID-19] hospitalizations and deaths have been among unvaccinated Virginians,” he continued. “But we are now seeing a rise in cases due to the Delta variant [the Virginia Department of Health] reported more than 1,110 new cases today, up from less than 200 a month ago.”

Star News Education Foundation Journalism ProjectIn a third tweet, Northam said that “getting vaccinated is the surest way we can bring this pandemic to an end,” and that the vaccines are “safe, effective, and free.”

Northam struck the same tune as Georgia’s Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, who also said Thursday that he will not be implementing new mask mandates.

“Georgia will not lock down or impose statewide mask mandates,” Kemp said, as reported by The Georgia Star News. “As the first state in the country to reopen over a year ago, we’ve proven that Georgians know how to come together and protect themselves and their loved ones.”

He also touted the vaccine as the solution to the pandemic.

“The data is clear. Thanks to efforts initiated under the Trump Administration, we have a medical miracle in multiple vaccines that protect from the virus and save lives. Nearly all new COVID hospitalizations in Georgia are among the unvaccinated,” Kemp continued. “My family, myself, and other state leaders have all rolled up their sleeves and gotten their shot. I encourage all Georgians who have concerns or questions to talk to a medical provider and get vaccinated as quickly as possible.”

After a largely partisan response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which by-and-large saw Democrat-run states impose more strict regulation than Republican states, it appears that the new wave will be handled in a more uniform manner.

However, cities could still decide to impose mask mandates.

One city in Georgia, Savannah, is already reimposing such mandates.

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Pete D’Abrosca is a contributor at The Virginia Star and The Star News Network. Follow Pete on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Gov Ralph Northam” by Gov. Ralph Northam.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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