Pandemic restrictions ease as more get vaccinated


Photo courtesy of Eric Kim

Freshman Eric Kim takes off his mask on May 18 to embrace the new CDC regulations.

Dayana Najarro, Staff Writer

After over a year of COVID-19, the number of people getting vaccinated is leading many states like Virginia to slowly lift restrictions which has been a direct cause of case numbers in Virginia going down and less people having to be hospitalized. According to The New York Times, In February, Virginia averaged 3,000 cases per day. In May, there are less than 1,000 cases per day. 

Fairfax County has begun allowing more activities to occur and institutions to open, such as public schools, which started hybrid learning on March 16.

“I think I would feel safe when most people are vaccinated and when I am as well,” freshman Cindy Park said “School is a place with many people so I feel if only some people are vaccinated it wouldn’t be as safe as if most people were and the same goes with going out to other places.”

According to, social gatherings must limit the number of people. On March 23, Governor Northam announced that indoor gatherings can host up to 50 people and for outdoor gatherings, there can be up to 100 people. Virginia has increased the limits from the previous rule where there were only 10 people allowed for indoor gatherings and 25 for outdoor gatherings. However, people should still be cautious going outside despite social gathering lifted restrictions.

“I’m staying safe by going out as little as possible,” freshman Eric Kim said. “If I do then it’s with the same people I always go with as I know who they have been with too. I have also been wearing a mask wherever I go.”

As of May 10, all those over the age of 12 are available to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Around 44% of Virginians have been fully vaccinated. Before May 13, Americans were required to wear masks outside. Now, fully vaccinated individuals can go maskless outdoors unless it is a crowded area. People are able to domestically travel when they are fully vaccinated as opposed to being tested before traveling. As for dining rooms, they must be closed by 12 a.m. which was extended from 10 p.m.

“I think Fairfax is doing a good job with vaccinations because my family members have all received at least their first dose of the vaccine,” Kim said “I’m staying safe by going out as little as possible. If I do then it’s with the same people I always go with as I know who they have been with too. I have also been wearing a mask wherever I go.”

While conditions are slowly becoming safer and more activities are being opened up, the Centers for Disease Control and prevention still recommends mask wearing in crowded places, social distancing and limiting overall exposure to people outside of your family. As the pandemic is still going on, everyone needs to stay vigilant to keep themselves and others safe.

“I think it’s good right now but I’m still a little cautious about everything. The loosened restrictions have really affected me personally but I don’t think loosening them was a bad idea at all,” Park said.