Aug. 27, 2021 - Masks are again required inside Hampton city buildings, including offices, libraries, community centers, and the Hampton History Museum, in the wake of rapidly spreading Covid-19 cases.
City Manager Mary Bunting made the announcement Aug. 26, in light of guidance issued by the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry and the Centers for Disease Control.
Covid cases in Hampton, the region, and the country have increased rapidly again after a decline in spring and early summer. Health experts attribute the rapid increase to the Delta variant, a mutation of the original Covid-19 that is more transmissible and also believed to cause more serious illness. All of Hampton Roads -- and most of Virginia -- are defined by the CDC as having high transmission rates.
The Virginia Department of Health added 89 Hampton residents to the list of Covid-19 cases today. That’s the highest one-day number since Feb. 6. Statewide, there were 3,520 cases reported today. That’s also the highest one-day number since Feb. 6.
The number of people hospitalized with Covid-19 is also increasing. Across the state, the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association reported that 1,608 people are currently hospitalized with confirmed or suspected cases of Covid-19; 411 of those are in intensive care units.
The vast majority of cases and hospitalizations have occurred in people who are not fully vaccinated. The Department of Health reports that fully vaccinated people account for less than 1% of cases and hospitalizations. That data was posted today but only reflects cases through Aug. 14.
Because breakthrough cases (cases of Covid-19 among people who are fully vaccinated) do occur, the CDC recommends that even people who are vaccinated "wear a mask in public indoor settings if they are in an area of substantial or high transmission."
To be most effective, masks should fit tightly over your nose and mouth, have two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric, have a nose wire to prevent air from leaking out of the top of the mask, and not contain exhalation valves or vents that allow particles to escape, according to the CDC.