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Justice: mask mandate lifted for vaccinated

CHARLESTON — West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice said Friday he is lifting the face covering mandate for residents who are fully vaccinated for the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Justice was reacting to the recommendations on Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control that said people who have been vaccinated can go about without a mask.

“It’s a good day. It’s a great day,” Justice said.

The face covering requirement will remain in effect for those who are not fully vaccinated, Justice said.

The governor plans to lift the mandate on June 20 provided about 65 percent of residents receive at least one shot.

Justice said he was signing an executive order modifying the face covering requirement to immediately follow the new CDC recommendations for fully vaccinated residents.

Any business or school can still require a mask, regardless of the executive order or new CDC guideline, the governor said.

“Remember, you do not have a constitutional right not to wear a mask,” Justice said.

Several national major chains, including Home Depot and grocer Kroger Co., announced that they would keep mask mandates in place for now.

Sixty-five percent of the state’s population 12 years old and older should have received one or both shots by June 20, enabling the mask mandate to be lifted, Justice said last week.

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