Department of Family Services

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Monday–Friday 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

TTY 703-222-9452

12011 Government Center Parkway, Pennino Building
Fairfax, VA 22035

Michael A. Becketts,

Three Steps to Stay Safe from COVID-19 if You are 60+

Article by Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management

(Posted 2020 September)

Golden Gazette newsletter banner graphic

As communities and businesses continue to open, people are looking for ways to resume some daily activities as safely as possible. It is important to remember that COVID-19 continues to spread in our community. Everyone is at risk, but older adults and people of any age with underlying medical conditions are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

Before venturing out, it is important for you to consider your own personal situation and the risks it poses to you, your family and your community,” said Fairfax Health Director Dr. Gloria Addo Ayensu. “Just because you can go to more places doesn’t mean you should.”

Here are things to consider and steps you can take to protect yourself:

Step 1. Minimize Your Risk

In general,older adult holding phone to right ear the more closely you interact with others and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread. That’s why you are safer at home and should limit in-person contact. Let your family and friends know this is the time for social distancing but not social isolation.

  • Meet by phone or video chat.
  • Get groceries and medications delivered to your door.
  • Consider doing banking online or by drive- through.
  • Book services in advance and use online reservation systems and cashless payment options, when possible.
Step 2. Make a Plan
  • Talk with family members now to determine who will help you if you get sick.
  • Recognize that caring for a sick family member puts you at greater risk for illness. Make a caregiving plan now for ill family members.
  • Keep extra medicines, cleaning products and groceries on hand in case you need to stay home for a while.
Step 3. Follow Health Recommendations

Take care of your own health

  • Wash hands frequently or use hand sanitizer
  • Cover your coughs/sneezes with a tissue or into your elbow
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and things you touch often (tables, chairs, doorknobs) to remove germs.

Get rest and stay hydrated

  • If you get sick with fever, cough, shortness of breath or other COVID-19 symptoms, stay home and call your doctor right away.
  • If you have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19, stay home and follow guidance for isolation and quarantine.

For more information on these topics, visit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s page on resuming daily activities at  or go to Fairfax County’s COVID-19 webpage.

This article is part of the Golden Gazette monthly newsletter which covers a variety of topics and community news concerning older adults and caregivers in Fairfax County. Are you new to the Golden Gazette? Don’t miss out on future newsletters! Subscribe to get the electronic or free printed version mailed to you. Have a suggestion for a topic? Share it in an email or call 703-324-GOLD (4653).

Back to top

Fairfax Virtual Assistant