Virginia House won’t have mask, vaccine mandates this year

Virginia Politics

House of Delegates members walk past the south portico at around 8:30 p.m. at the end of the veto session at the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond, Va., Wednesday, April 22, 2020. The House members were meeting outside under a tent instead of in the House Chamber in order to practice social distancing due to the COVID-19 outbreak. (Bob Brown/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP, Pool)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia General Assembly is set to convene in person next week amid a surge in cases of COVID-19.

When the session begins, members in at least one chamber will not be facing mask, testing or vaccine mandates.

The incoming leadership of the House of Delegates, which will be newly under GOP control, made the announcement Friday that there would be no such requirements.

Speaker-designee Todd Gilbert said he is urging anyone taking part in person during the session to get vaccinated and receive a booster where appropriate.

Members of the Senate are still hashing out their plans.

The session kicks off Wednesday.

Meanwhile, current House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn, a Democrat, on Friday called for mandatory full vaccination, including booster shots, for all members of the House and staff. She also called for a virtual option for committee and floor votes in case members are exposed or have tested positive for COVID-19, among other measures.

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