Effective Tuesday, July 5, 2022, the Court has an updated masking policy. The policy is Division-specific and continues its division-by-division approach. The Court’s masking rules are being more closely tied to the CDC’s Community Level metric that is specific to each city where an Eastern District of Virginia Courthouse is located. In this regard, if the relevant city (Alexandria, Richmond, Newport News, or Norfolk) is in the CDC’s “high” category, masks will be required. If it is in the “medium” or “low” category, masks will be optional. To facilitate your viewing of this policy’s application, please make use of the CDC’s COVID Data Tracker website before arriving at a Courthouse. Otherwise, you will see the applicable notice posted at Courthouse doors district-wide. One version of the notice will advise that the wearing of masks is required to enter the courthouse while the other version of the notice will advise that doing so is optional. Please be mindful that these notices could change depending on the above-noted CDC criteria. The District’s updated masking policy also has been posted on the Court’s public-facing website.
As Monday, July 4, 2022, is a federal holiday in observance of Independence Day, the updated masking policy for that week takes effect on July 5th. Based on information reviewed, yesterday, on the above-linked CDC website, the Alexandria, Newport News, and Norfolk Divisions each will have an “Optional” mask policy. Because the City of Richmond currently is in the CDC’s “high” Community Level category, the use of masks remains required in the Richmond Division. All individuals, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear a well-fitting respirator (N-95, KN-95, etc.) or a surgical/procedure mask that covers their nose and mouth continuously in all indoor public areas unless it is medically unsafe for them to do so and they obtain permission from the Chief Judge or Senior Active Judge. For individuals that do not have a well-fitting respirator or surgical/procedure mask, one will be provided at all Courthouses and Court facilities requiring masks and one will be available at the location where masks are strongly encouraged.