CDC may update mask guidance soon, UVA doctor weighs in

Published: Feb. 18, 2022 at 4:52 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Mask mandates are lifting around the commonwealth in places like schools and restaurants. While people are now making this choice for themselves, one doctor with the University of Virginia is sharing his advice on moving forward.

“We’re not quite in that in that situation where we can just start lifting a lot of restrictions,” Doctor Taison Bell said.

Dr. Bell says there are still people to protect, such as those who are more vulnerable to COVID-19, immunocompromised, or not able to get vaccinated.

He is also concerned about schools lifting mask requirements because in the Blue Ridge Health District only 52% of kids between age 5 and 11 have their shots. Bell also points out children under 5 are still not eligible, so 0% of them are vaccinated.

“So what that means for you is that if you do have concern to upgrade the quality of your mask to in N95, KN95, or a KF94 equivalent, and make sure that you’re doing as much as you can to protect yourself,” Bell said.

He says there isn’t a magic number that means the masks should come off.

“I mean, you know, hospitalizations are still above 2,000,” Bell said. “And, you know, the equivalent of that in a month would be the same as a very bad flu season.”

Dr. Bell says the most important thing is preventing people from being hospitalized, which means getting vaccinated and boosted if eligible.

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