Health Department

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Our administration office at 10777 Main Street in Fairfax is open during regular business hours 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday. Clinic services are not offered at this location. COVID-19 call center hours are Monday–Friday, 9am–7pm.

703-267-3511
TTY 711

10777 Main Street
Fairfax, VA 22030

Gloria Addo-Ayensu, M.D., M.P.H.,
Director of Health

FAQ: Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

Vaccine FAQs

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CDC FAQs

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VDH FAQs

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Fairfax Health District FAQs

Information for Fairfax Health District

What is the Fairfax Health District?

The Fairfax Health District includes Fairfax County, the City of Fairfax, the City of Falls Church and the towns within the county.

What is Fairfax Health Department doing to respond to COVID-19?

The Fairfax County Health Department is working closely with its local, state and federal partners to respond to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. 

  • We work to quickly identify or respond to cases of COVID-19 and take the appropriate public health action to reduce its spread and protect the general public. That rapid response helps ensure that the ill person is isolated from others and receives the care they need and it lessens the chance of other people getting sick. 
  • We provide information and guidance to hospital systems, health care providers, public safety and first responders, on how to evaluate individuals presenting with symptoms of COVID-19 to ensure that possible cases are managed safely, to support laboratory testing, and to implement recommendations from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 
  • We monitor and manage outbreaks in high-risk settings and recommend infection control strategies, including guidance on isolation and quarantine, personal protective equipment, and environmental sanitation.   
  • We recommend appropriate community measures, such as social distancing or temporary closures and cancellations of events and large gatherings, to reduce the impact of COVID-19. 
  • We inform and educate our residents on the important personal protective measures they can take  ̶  good hygiene (hand washing, covering your cough), staying home when sick or when around someone with COVID-19  ̶  to prevent the spread of illness to themselves, their family and their community.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a rapidly evolving situation and our actions are based on the best scientific information we have from VDH and CDC and subject to change. We will continue to work with our partners and health care communities to incorporate the most up to date information in our response efforts. 

Is the Health Department still providing health services?

To help limit the spread of the coronavirus there are several closings and changes in Health Department Services that went into effect on March 30, 2020.

For the latest information about available services see this alert.

Where do I find out what more about what is open?

Where else can I find county information related to the coronavirus?

Please see the county COVID-19 page for updates and other resources. 

See also:

VDH COVID-19 in Virginia

CDC COVID-19

I want to help, what can I do?

Thank you for your interest in assisting the COVID-19 response effort. There are several ways that you can volunteer and donate. Please visit Ways to Donate and Help During COVID-19.

If you are interested in volunteer opportunities to assist with COVID-19, please consider joining the Fairfax Medical Reserve Corps. Information can be found on our website. After reviewing information, click on the link that says “Become an MRC Volunteer” at the bottom of the page

How do I become a contact tracer?

The Health Department has received many inquiries regarding plans and employment opportunities related to COVID-19 contact tracing. Contact tracing is an important element of the Fairfax County Health Department’s approach to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. The Health Department has been conducting contact investigations since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, utilizing a large number of staff who have been redeployed from other public health work, including school health.

If you are interested in potential contact tracing employment opportunities, please visit the County’s employment page as well as the Institute for Public Health Innovation (a contract partner) for available positions and updates. If you are interested in volunteering to support aspects of the County's COVID-19 response other than contact tracing, please consider joining the Fairfax Medical Reserve Corps.

Learn more: Help Still Wanted: Recruitment of Contact Tracing Staff Continues

Where can I find information for parents of school-aged children?

Information for parents, including answers to frequently asked questions, resources, and a glossary of terms is available on our Guidance for Parents of School-aged Children page.

Information about Testing and Cases

Where can I get tested for COVID-19?

You should get tested for COVID-19 if you have any symptoms — even if you have had the COVID-19 vaccine — or if you spent time with someone who has symptoms or tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 10 days.

You are encouraged to seek testing from your health care provider or other provider offering testing. Residents who exhibit COVID-19-like symptoms and do not have access to testing options available in the community may schedule an appointment for testing at a Health Department clinic. Call the call center at 703-324-7404 to schedule a testing appointment.

Please visit our testing page for more information about who we test and to find testing locations in the Fairfax Health District. 

I do not have a doctor or a medical home. What do I do?

Fairfax County offers many options for people who lack medical insurance. Please see the Coronavirus (COVID-19): Health Care Options for the Uninsured website for those options.

 

How many cases of COVID-19 are there in Fairfax County?

We provide daily updates about the number of cases and deaths in the Fairfax Health District. Please see the COVID-19 Case Information page.

Please note: the information shared on that page is not intended to be used for individual diagnoses or to measure individual risk. 

Can you provide more information about cases?

At this time, the only information about cases is provided on the COVID-19 Case Information page.

Additional information will be provided on case investigations that identify significant community exposures, or when events warrant.

Please note: the information shared on that page is not intended to be used for individual diagnoses or to measure individual risk. 

What is Fairfax County doing to stop the spread of COVID-19 at long term care facilities?

The Health Department has contacted all of Fairfax County’s assisted living and skilled nursing facilities and provided education on COVID-19 prevention. 

Whenever there is a case of COVID-19 in an assisted living or skilled nursing facility, the Health Department works with management and staff to ensure full implementation of infection control practices. These include isolating all residents who have symptoms of illness; restricting congregating and eliminating gatherings; screening of staff for symptoms at the beginning of each shift; discouraging cross-facility employment; guiding appropriate use of personal protection equipment (PPE); providing guidance on enhanced cleaning practices; and implementing visitor restrictions.

As we continue to work with facilities to ensure these practices are followed to limit continued infection, we cannot underestimate how critical personal responsibility is at this time. Our community can help us prevent the spread of illness by practicing social distancing, covering coughs and sneezes, washing hands frequently for at least 20 seconds and staying home when sick.

More information can be found on the Health Department’s long-term care facilities webpage.

Is there guidance for day care centers?

The Fairfax County Health Department is updating daycare guidance based on the most current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Virginia Department of Health, and Virginia Department of Social Services recommendations consistent with the Governor’s current orders for phased re-opening. The Health Department will be providing this updated guidance to daycare providers.

  • Since daycares are considered high-risk settings, the Health Department begins its mitigation work right way in response to one case to prevent the spread of further illness.
  • The Health Department pro-actively reaches out to daycare facilities when we are aware of one COVID-19 case, before an outbreak.  We work with the facility’s administration and staff to review the situation, complete thorough case investigations and contact tracing, review their practices, offer guidance, and conduct a site visit by our specialized task force comprised of environmental health specialists, epidemiologists, and public health nurses.
  • During the site visit we look for any areas for improvement and collaborate to develop facility-specific recommendations.  Additionally, we provide resources for these facilities to help them stay current on the frequent updates to guidance.
  • Should two or more cases occur within a daycare (which we deem an outbreak) we would provide ongoing outbreak management and operational recommendations as stipulated by guidance from agencies listed above.
  • Our partnership with the facility continues with scheduled check-ins during the remainder of the outbreak and beyond to provide rapid response with making isolation, quarantine, and operational recommendations as well as responding as new cases or concerns arise in the future.

What is Serology testing? Can I be tested using this information?

Serology, or antibody, testing checks a sample of a person’s blood to look for antibodies to the virus that causes COVID-19. When someone gets COVID-19, their body usually makes antibodies. However, it typically takes one to three weeks to develop these antibodies. Some people may take even longer to develop antibodies, and some people may not develop antibodies. A positive result from this test may mean that person was previously infected with the virus. Talk to your healthcare provider about what your antibody test result means.

Antibody tests should not be used to diagnose COVID-19. To see if you are currently infected, you need a viral test. Viral tests identify the virus in respiratory samples, such as swabs from the inside of your nose.

We do not know yet if having antibodies to the virus that causes COVID-19 can protect someone from getting infected again or, if they do, how long this protection might last. Scientists are conducting research to answer those questions.

What is close contact?

Close contact includes:

  • Being within 6 feet of a person who has COVID-19 for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.
  • Having direct exposure to respiratory secretions from a person who has COVID-19. For example, being coughed or sneezed on, sharing a drinking glass or utensils, or kissing.
  • Providing care for a person who has COVID-19.
  • Living with a person who has COVID-19.

If you have been in close contact with a person who has COVID-19 while they are contagious, you need to quarantine and monitor your health. 

Learn more on the When to Isolate and When to Quarantine page.

Can I be reinfected with COVID-19?

In general, reinfection means a person was infected (got sick) once, recovered, and then later became infected again. Based on what we know from similar viruses, some reinfections are expected. 

We are still learning more about the virus that causes COVID-19, and the CDC is actively working to learn more about reinfection to inform public health action. Find out more.

I’m traveling this summer. What should I consider?

Consider the location where you are going. If traveling within the United States, go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID data tracker webpage to review the level of COVID-19 transmission for your destination. If your destination is experiencing high or substantial transmission, reconsider traveling, but if you do go to these areas wear a mask indoors as recommended by the CDC, even if you are fully vaccinated. You do not need to get tested before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel within the U.S.

If you are traveling internationally, go to the CDC webpage for COVID-19 travel recommendations. Enter your destination and review the travel advisory. Reconsider travel if COVID-19 levels are high or very high. You do not need to get tested before leaving the United States unless your destination or airline requires it.  You still need to show a negative test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before boarding an international flight to return to the United States

If you intend to still travel, be sure you are fully vaccinated and wear a mask. When you return home, get a COVID-19 test 3 to 5 days post travel but you do NOT need to self-quarantine after arriving in the United States.

No matter your destination, unvaccinated travelers should avoid all non-essential travel.

Information about Variants

Should I be concerned about the Delta variant?

Data shows that the Delta variant is substantially different from the original version of the coronavirus and other variants that have emerged. The Delta variant, first identified in India, is much more contagious, poses more of a risk to unvaccinated people and spreads more than twice as easily as previous variants. Vaccination is the best way to fight COVID-19 caused by the Delta variant. Take steps to protect your health and the health of others by wearing a mask in public indoor settings, practicing social distancing, avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces, washing hands, and staying home when sick.

Should vaccinated people worry about the Delta variant?

Most transmission is happening among the unvaccinated and in areas with low vaccination rates. COVID-19 vaccination is an important tool to help stop the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 vaccination helps protect people from getting sick or severely ill with COVID-19 and might also help protect people around them.

Current data shows that COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the United States offer protection against most variants currently spreading in the United States, including the Delta variant. However, the Delta variant might cause illness in some people even after they are fully vaccinated. While vaccinated people represent a very small number of transmissions, emerging evidence points that some vaccinated people can be contagious if they are infected with the Delta variant and can spread it to others.

Are vaccines working as expected?

Nearly 190 million vaccinated people in the United States have a very strong degree of protection against the variants, including Delta. Fully vaccinated people are overwhelmingly avoiding severe illness, hospitalization, and death. Unvaccinated people account for most of the hospitalizations and deaths in the U.S.

Are vaccines effective against the Delta variant?

Yes! COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death. It also helps reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community. More than 75 percent of Fairfax Health District residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. But that means 25 percent have not. With the Delta variant, vaccination is more urgent than ever to help stem the rise in cases.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Do I need to wear a mask?

As of Aug. 3: Based on the CDC’s latest guidance, in areas of substantial or high transmission, everyone should wear a mask in public indoor settings to help prevent the spread of the Delta variant and protect others. In the Fairfax Health District, we are currently experiencing substantial community transmission. As a result everyone, including individuals fully vaccinated against COVID-19, should wear a mask in public indoor settings. Indoor masking in an important approach to prevent further spread of COVID-19 and should be combined with other strategies or “layers of prevention.” In addition to masking, people should:

  • Get vaccinated if they have not done so already. No appointments are needed and walk-ins are available. Vaccinations are free.
  • Stay home when you’re ill except to get tested or see a healthcare provider.
  • Maintain 6 feet physical distancing from others.
  • Practice good handwashing.
  • Get tested if symptomatic or if you spent time with some who is sick or tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Adhere to health department recommendations for isolation and quarantine if you are infected or are a close contact of an infected person.
  • Stay in touch with the most current information in Fairfax County.

Does the Health Department supply PPE?

The Health Department does not have stockpiles of personal protective equipment, known as PPE, that can be shared with community providers and we have no special track to get our orders filled immediately – we are facing delays like everyone else.

How do I donate PPE?

Please visit the Ways to Donate and Help During COVID-19 page to learn more about donating PPE such as facemasks and gowns.

Other COVID-19 Related Information

Can I get COVID-19 from a mosquito or tick bite?

At this time, there is no data to suggest that this new coronavirus or other similar coronaviruses are spread by mosquitoes or ticks. The main way that COVID-19 spreads is from person to person, through respiratory droplets.

However, ticks and mosquito do spread other diseases. Learn more about how to protect yourself from the Disease Carrying Insect Program.

The American Mosquito Control Association has additional FAQs related to mosquitoes and coronavirus.

Sources: CDC, WHO

What do I need to know about using disinfectants safely?

According to the the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), when using an EPA-registered surface disinfectant, always follow the product’s directions and remember:

  • Never apply the product to yourself or others. Do not ingest disinfectant products. This includes never applying any product on List N (the agency’s list of disinfectants to use against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19) directly to food.
  • Never mix products unless specified in the use directions. Certain combinations of chemicals will create highly toxic acids or gases.
  • Wash the surface with soap and water before applying disinfectant products if the label mentions pre-cleaning.
  • Follow the contact time listed for your product on List N. This is the amount of time the surface must remain visibly wet to ensure efficacy against the virus. It can sometimes be several minutes.
  • Wash your hands after using a disinfectant. This will minimize your exposure to the chemicals in the disinfectant and the pathogen you are trying to kill.

Learn more from the EPA

See also: Tips for Cleaning and Disinfecting at Home during COVID-19

 

I heard "X", is it true?

Facts matter.

See the COVID-19 Myth and Rumor Control page  for more information about distinguish between some common rumors and facts regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

Do your part to the stop the spread of coronavirus, as well as the spread of disinformation, by doing three easy things:

  1. Don’t believe the rumors.
  2. Don’t pass them along, especially on social media.
  3. Go to trusted sources of information like Fairfax County Government, the Virginia Department of Heath and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to get the facts about (COVID-19) response.

What do I need to know about public drinking water fountains and bottle fill stations?

Public drinking water supplies are safe to drink, however the surfaces around the fountain including the spout, button/leaver and nozzles could pose a risk for the transmission of COVID-19 and other germs.

  • Don’t place your mouth on the spout of the fountain or allow your water bottle to come into contact with the nozzle when refilling.
  • Test the water flow and let the water flow for 10 seconds to allow for fresh, clean water to come through prior to drinking.
  • If the fountain requires you to push a button or lever, clean the surface before and after, or use your elbow.
  • Clean your hands afterwards with an alcohol-based rub or wash them with soap and water.

To minimize the risk of Legionnaire’s disease and other diseases associated with water, building operators need to take steps to ensure that all water systems and features (e.g., sink faucets, drinking fountains, decorative fountains) are safe to use after a prolonged facility shutdown. Drinking fountains should be cleaned and sanitized, but also encourage people to bring their own water to minimize use and touching of water fountains.

It's important to stay hydrated, especially during these very warm summer months, but to take into consideration these above recommendations.

Fairfax Virtual Assistant