Please remove masks for teachers and other workers in VA.
The data is clear! THE CDC is dragging their feet but mask mandates should be dropped for ALL workers in Virginia.
It's obvious that bureaucrats politicized this virus from the start, and now the narrative is completely falling apart. Based on the polling data, the current elite bureaucrats and politicians have decided that they can't win the next election by continuing to push these restrictive policies. Remove these ineffective COVID requirements, restrictions, and recommendations for all employers and employees.
The mask mandate is ineffective! Please remove all mask mandates for VA workers!
Remove all COVID restrictions, requirements and recommendations.
Remove masking in all workplaces
Please remove the burdensome Covid requirements for Virginia workers as they are no longer reasonable now that we are in the endemic stage of this virus. School children no longer need to wear masks and it makes sense that school teachers and other workers in VA should now be free from masks, testing and vaccine requirements. We need to take steps to ensure that our schools and other businesses can retain their employees, and move forward in rebounding from the past two and a half years of onerous government restrictions and mandates.
Remove Masks for ALL! Time for normalization!!
All workers in the public and private sector should have the choice to wear or NOT wear a mask in their workplace. Individuals make the best medical decisions for themselves, not political entities!
Covid has become endemic. It’s time to move forward. It is time to remove ALL restrictions and mandates immediately (remove vaccine, testing, and mask requirements) for ALL VA employees…teachers, school staff, hospital workers, civil servants, etc.
Please remove all mandates related to COVID. Vaccines are widely available and those who want them have received them. Let people choose for themselves if they want to mask or not. This is an infringement on personal liberty.
I do not ask my neighbors to wear a coat to keep me warm.
It is insidious that I have the right to choose if my child wears a mask, but I do not have that right to make that choice for my own body.
Virginia has spoken in the elections and the fact that there is even a comment period for this is an insult to every voting Virginian. Remove the masks now!
All COVID mandates (masking, distancing and vaccination) need to be removed immediately. People deserve a choice and can protect themselves if they feel the need.
Scientific evidence in support of mask mandates is abundantly clear. They do not work against the spread of an aerosolized virus, and they have many deleterious effects. They are dehumanizing, harmful to individual mental health, poisonous to civic society, divisive, and can promote physical harm. Furthermore, COVID-19 is not even close to a public emergency that justifies coercive regulations affecting people's bodily freedom and integrity.
Do the right thing, and remove this unnecessary, harmful, and worse than useless mandate.
It has become apparent that these mandates were done unlawfully and go against our Constitutional rights. In addition, it is well known that masks do nothing to prevent transmission of viral agents. There are at least 12 peer reviewed studies showing this. These "mandates" must be removed and never implemented again!
Please remove masks!
Remove masks in all workplaces
We decided two days ago to end required masking in our small office. The relief and return of uninhibited concentration is palpable. However, it concerns me that VA seems to have no concurrent plan in place to protect vulnerable populations like daycare facilities, schools, nursing homes. Shouldn't we at least provide these groups with testing supplies and protocols to avoid more infections, and disruptive shutdowns, isolations, and quarantines? The littlest kids can't get vaccines yet, but they don't live alone!
Covid is no longer a pandemic. The Omicron variant essentially made Covid endemic. Most people have gotten 1,2 or 3 shots or have natural immunity. It’s over! Enough damage has been done. Nobody should be forced to wear masks or take shots or accept any medical treatment as a condition of employment. This is still America for God’s sake! We have rights!
The Permanent standards had a place and time. We are very thankful for how they guided us through some very trying times. We have now come to another crossroad - as the state, country and world has started to open up - the standard is now obsolete. This revocation will allow businesses to decide which parts to keep, which parts to amend and which part to eliminate.
If parents can choose for their kids - businesses and adults can choose for themselves. Keeping a strict policy for 8 hours a day is asinine when employees go home and into the community for the other 16 hours and do not (and should not) keep the stringent adherence as they are required to do at work.
We need to end this craziness. If our God or whatever higher power you belive in saw fit to block our noses and mouths I think He or nature would have designed us and all living creatures that way. Again, it should be about CHOICE. If you feel safe with one or two, please by all means do. But don't expect others to sit eight hours a day with their mouths and noses covered worsening their anxiety levels.
While many commenters have strong opinions regarding mask mandates, I wanted to take a moment to say thank-you to the many experts and officials who carefully consider infectious diseases, worker safety, and minimizing risk.
I believe the Virginia regulations and recommendations are based on scientific evidence, proven epidemiology and public health concerns. As a small business owner, I appreciate, follow and adhere to the local, state and Federal recommendations. It makes sense.
The only possible quibble we have seen in the pandemic is the tremendous difference in population density between the "Golden Crescent" area of the Commonwealth versus the rural Appalachian area where my business of 24 employees is located. Rules that are passed to minimize public transportation congestion or crowded workplaces make sense in high-density areas, but not when there are a total of 10 people in a 50,000 square foot office, or when a typical workday involves no less than 50 feet of space between me and the small handful of people I might see in a typical work day.
The solution is local authority to adjust mandates based on known conditions, current risks and predictive trends. In Montgomery County, Virginia, we have been blessed with an outstanding public health department that tirelessly worked nights and weekends to keep our community safe and well-informed. Please continue to empower localities to do what makes sense for our Commonwealth.
Henry Bass, owner, Automation Creations, Inc.
2020 Kraft Drive, Suite 3000
Blacksburg, VA 24060
The virus is endemic. Allow us to breathe fresh air.
There is a vaccine, N95 masks and a milder variant. Masks should no longer be mandated !
I teach Kindergarten. I have for 32 years. Children need to see my face and expressions during reading. They need to see my mouth for phonics and decoding. Please allow teachers the choice to not wear a mask.
Please stop discriminating between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated when deciding who can wear a mask in the work place. It has been proven that both individuals are the same when it comes to spreading the COVID virus so why does one get to choose and the other does not? This is a form of segregation that I thought we the people were trying to get away from? I want my legal right back to choose what to do with my body which includes how I choose to protect myself from COVID. Two years is long enough..
End mandatory masks. There is no evidence that they stop any disease. In fact, they are germ magnets and spread disease, especially to the wearer. They make people sick. They are medieval, not science.
Please stop the mask mandates.
I am asking the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry to fully and completely rescind their employee mask mandates in conjunction with EO2 and EO6. If we as parents are able to make the personal and private decision for and with our school-aged children, we as Virginia employees should be awarded the same freedom of choice. Students need to see their teachers faces for proper instruction. This does not stop a teacher from wearing a mask if they so choose but that is what it should be - their
Please rescind the mask mandate for all employees in Virginia.
Virginia Beach resident
It is long overdue for all teachers, staff, and therapy providers (think speech therapy in a mask, what a joke) to be able to un-mask at school so that students, but especially those with special needs, can read non-verbal communication cues, clearly hear the messages being said to them in order to correctly process the message, and for those who benefit from visual cues to be able to read lips and see how sounds are formed in the mouth. Our students have been impacted by this for far too long.
Please end the mask mandate and all other mandates ASAP. When Virginia Tech has sold out Basketball games with very few fans wearing masks, it is time to end it! Not to mention the Super Bowl with very few seen wearing a mask!! Almost everyone has been vaccinated and/or has had COVID. Seems there should be high immunity at this point.
Please end the masking in schools for the students as well as the teachers. It should be a personal choice by ALL. Individuals may choose to further "protect" themselves by masking if the so CHOOSE to. The science has proven that masked and unmasked school divisions have had similar COVID cases. Thank you for FINALLY helping the commonwealth get back to some normalization.
The mask mandate needs to go away for everyone. Teachers, grocery/shopping, other businesses. If we can as parents .are decisions for our kids it should be up to us if we want to wear one to work.
No more masks at work please! As a teacher it’s difficult to talk and teach daily wearing a mask for 8 hours. COVID has not been spreading at the elementary level since children have been given the option to wear a mask or not. Please consider giving teachers the same option.
Honorable Members of the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry Safety and Health Codes Board:
On behalf of Chesterfield County, Virginia we thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Department of Labor and Industry Safety and Health Codes Board's proposed revocation of the Virginia Standard for Infectious Disease Prevention of the SARS-CoV-2 Virus That Causes COVID-19, 16VAC25-220. Chesterfield County is one of the larger counties in the Commonwealth of Virginia encompassing over 460 square miles while providing critical infrastructure and essential services to over 365,000 citizens. The county government and public school district employs over 12,000 employees and we are committed to protecting the health and safety of our employees, students, citizens, contractors, and suppliers.
The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged us all in many ways over the past two years, both on a personal basis and as an employer. Chesterfield County has earnestly attempted to implement mitigation protocols within our workplaces that were risk-based, appropriate, effective, and protective of our employees and others who may utilize our services and facilities. At times we have found the guidance coming from the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry, the Virginia Department of Health, and the federal CDC to be confusing, not always grounded on a solid scientific basis, shrouded in uncertainty, everchanging, and onerous to implement.
It is now evident that the pandemic has taken a significant turn for the better across the Commonwealth and in Chesterfield County, as is evidenced by the rapidly declining number of new COVID-19 cases, significant reduction in case positivity rates, and decline in hospitalizations attributable to the predominant Omicron variant.
Chesterfield County agrees with and supports the DOLI Health and Safety Codes Board's acknowledgement that COVID-19 no longer presents a unique grave danger to employees in the workplace. Current thought is that the pandemic has entered an endemic phase and as such will become a ubiquitous community-based illness that has occasional flareups and hotspots. There is no longer a continued need for the existing workplace standard. We support and recommend that the Board vote to revoke the existing workplace standard at the end of the 30-day comment period.
Thank you for your effort to keep Virginia's workers safe and for your kind consideration.
David B. Johnson, CSP
Director, Department of Risk Management and Chief Risk Officer
Chesterfield County, Virginia
cc. Hon Christopher Winslow, Esq. - Chairperson Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors, Hon. Leslie Haley, Esq. Vice Chairperson - Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors, Hon. Kevin Carroll - Member Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors, Hon. James Ingle - Member Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors, Hon. James Holland - Member Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors, Dr. Joseph Casey - County Administrator
Please remove the mask
Vote to REVOKE the Virginia Standard for Infectious Disease Prevention of the SARS-CoV-2 Virus that caused COVID-19, as per the Committee Decision yesterday, February 16, 2022.
Employers and Employees have been negatively effected by this over reaction, and need the opportunity to start recovering lost wages, their jobs, businesses and overall health and well being.
This needs to be Effective as swiftly as possible.
Thank You, Ann Parker
We all know that the COVID debate has gotten to politicized. Looking through the first comments regarding mask requirements, it is clear that people are passionate about this issue. But we are in the midst of another surge. How does it makes sense to relax safety protocol in the middle of a surge? That feels like political posturing, and that is bad for Virginia. Apparently the Department of Labor voted to remove a permanent COVID Standard, which absolutely makes sense. We are going to be stuck with this virus for the foreseeable future, and we can't continue to isolate forever. But please don't remove all safety protocols simply because it is politically expedient. We must carefully plan for how to learn to live with this virus, it does not make sense to immediately undo all of the safety protocols at once to satisfy a few outspoken constituents.
As a teacher (and, you know, an adult) I would like the option to make health choices for myself and take off my mask. Quite frankly, I don't know how anyone expects us to be heard by our students or teach PHONICS to these children with a piece of cloth strapped over our faces. I have literally had to use a microphone so my kids can hear me. I have no issue with anyone who wants to keep wearing a mask but I would like the choice to NOT wear my mask. Drop this whole standard please.
Regulations requiring masks and vaccinations in all workplaces should be rescinded. It has been widely proven through data that masks and mandatory vaccinations offer little protection over unmasked and natural immunity. People should be able to choose if they want to wear a mask and want to get a vaccine for their own protection. End all regulations immediately for vaccinated and unvaccinated employees.
Student at should see teachers’ faces. Everyone should have a choice. Remove mask mandates!
Remove the mask mandates.
Remove the mask mandates! Our children need to see their teachers' faces!
Let teachers teach without masks.
Every American should have the right to be masked or unmasked.
I have unvaxxed kids allowed to come in unmasked, but a triple vax Ed teacher who has already had covid(me) will still have to wear a mask. There’s no science to this. Get rid of it now!
It is time to allow adults to take ownership for their own health and safety. If you want to mask, etc. you can do so. If you don't, you should not be forced to. That is a constitutional right that has been taken away. Bring it back!!!
Please remove all mask and COVID testing mandates for all levels of education (including colleges and universities) in VA. WE ARE OVER IT!
Way past time to return to normal.
Please vote to remove the workplace mask mandate and other COVID requirements. COVID is not a unique workplace risk to begin with and, in any event, the disease is no longer a pandemic, but endemic. We need to live with it. People can choose to mask or not based on their personal situations. And the burden of your COVID rule on business has been significant.
It's time to end the state mandated COVID 19 restrictions. ALL OF THEM!