Guide to Face Coverings

Face Covering Requirement

As of May 28, 2021, Executive Order 79 is in effect which terminates Seventh Amended Number Seventy-Two.

However, all individuals in the Commonwealth aged five and older should cover their mouth and nose with a mask in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance.

Where to Wear Face Coverings

In the following settings, masks are still required by the governor’s executive order, by federal requirements and guidelines, or by private entities:

  • Students, faculty, staff, and visitors (regardless of vaccination status) in public and private K-12 indoor school settings.
  • Public transit, including the Connector and Fastran.
  • Health care facilities including all clinic settings operated by the Health Department and the Community Services Board.
  • Congregate settings including jails, group homes and shelters.
  • Employees in other workplace settings, including childcare and summer camps, will continue to abide by established CDC guidelines.
  • Mask requirements set by private entities, such as grocery stores and restaurants.

Guidance For Individuals

Guidance from the CDC now states that if you are fully vaccinated, you can resume activities without wearing a mask or socially distancing except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance. You are considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after receiving the second dose in a 2-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna), or 2 weeks after receiving single-dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson). 

If you are not fully vaccinated:

  • Continue to take preventative measures in more settings, including correctly wearing a mask, maintaining social distance, and choosing safer activities.
  • See how to get a vaccine. COVID-19 vaccine is readily available and free for everyone 12 years and older.

Guidance For Businesses

Although capacity limits, distancing, and other business requirements are fully lifted, businesses and other establishments are encouraged to follow Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and CDC recommendations and best practices for masking, distancing, handwashing, cleaning, symptom screening, ventilation, etc.

Report Concerns/Violations

Call 1-877-ASK-VDH3 (Virginia Department of Health)

Do NOT call the Fairfax County Health Department or the public safety non-emergency number about compliance with the governor’s executive order for face coverings.  

Masks for children

Although CDC and VDH recommend that all individuals aged 2 years or older wear a mask if not yet fully vaccinated, adults should use their best judgement in putting face masks on children ages 2-4 while inside public areas or when outdoors and within 6 feet of others who do not live with them. Masks should not be worn by children under the age of 2 years. For children aged 2 years or older, find a mask made for children, if possible. 

Masks with Exhalation Valves or Vents

The purpose of masks is to keep respiratory droplets from reaching others to aid with source control. Masks with one-way valves or vents allow exhaled air to be expelled out through holes in the material. This can allow exhaled respiratory droplets to reach others and potentially spread the COVID-19 virus. Therefore, CDC does not recommend using masks if they have an exhalation valve or vent.

Face Covering Tip Sheets

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Fairfax Virtual Assistant