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Governor Jim Justice abides by CDC recommendations and lifts mask mandate for fully vaccinated residents

Updated: May. 14, 2021 at 5:36 PM EDT
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NORTH CENTRAL, W.Va (WDTV) - After the CDC’s newest guidance, stating that anyone who is fully vaccinated is not required to wear a mask inside or outside or practice social distancing, Governor Jim Justice made an announcement early Friday afternoon in response.

“I am also announcing that I am signing an executive order to modify our face covering requirement and we will immediately begin following the updated CDC guidance for all those West Virginian’s that are fully vaccinated,” Justice said.

Even with the mask mandate lifted, for those with the single Johnson and Johnson dose or both shots for Pfizer and Moderna, the CDC says it is still required to wear a mask on any public transportation like planes or buses.

This also goes for any businesses and workplaces that still require face coverings.

“What is being called by some the ticket to freedom, is not permission to disrespect stricter rules that need to remain in place. For example, that is masking while visiting health care certainly for one of those,” Dr. Mark Povroznik from the United Hospital Center, said.

While there are still reasons to be excited, Povroznik said people should still use caution.

“Whether you’re vaccinated or not, if you’re in an uncomfortable setting and you’re not familiar with those that are around you, you still have that privileged to stay masked up,” he said.

The CDC says this only applies to those who are two weeks past their final shot, and for those who are not, you still should mask up.

Although these are only recommendations from the CDC, as Governor Jim Justice is choosing to follow them, he is hopeful better days are ahead.

“It’s a good day, it’s a great day. For the ones that are fully vaccinated, we want to absolutely tell that mask how much we appreciate it, even though it’s been terribly cumbersome and invasive, we know that. But at the same time, we also want to appreciate it,” Justice said.

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