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Richmond, surrounding counties re-enter high COVID-19 community level

two people wearing masks speak
Crixell Matthews
File: A person checks out of a 2020 COIVD-19 testing event at Diversity Thrift in Richmond. (File photo: Crixell Matthews/VPM News)

New CDC data shows that Richmond and several of its surrounding counties reached the high COVID-19 community level this week.

In the city of Richmond, as well as Chesterfield, Henrico, Hanover, Goochland and New Kent counties, more than 2 out of every 1,000 people have tested positive for the coronavirus since May 19, while more than 10 per 100,000 were hospitalized for the virus.

The Richmond and Henrico Health Districts recommends wearing a mask to everyone spending time in a public, indoor space in an area at the high community level.

“For any folks who have taken a break from indoor mask wearing during times of low and medium COVID-19 levels, now is the time to break out those masks from the drawer and make sure to stay diligent about wearing it in indoor places,” said Dr. Melissa Viray, acting director at RHHD. “Mask wearing alongside vaccinations and staying home when sick will help us stay as safe as possible during this wave of higher COVID-19 levels.”

Public health officials stress that vaccines remain the best way to protect yourself from COVID-19. A recent study from researchers at Brown University and Microsoft AI Health found that more than 300,000 COVID-19 deaths could have been prevented by universal vaccination, including more than 7,000 deaths in Virginia.

RHHD also encourages stocking up on at-home tests, which can be requested from The tests are provided free of charge.

VPM News is the staff byline for articles and podcasts written and produced by multiple reporters and editors.