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–5pm.

TTY 711

10777 Main Street
Fairfax, VA 22030

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

Infected or Exposed to COVID-19?

On this page

When you can be around others
Additional guidance
What you need to do when you isolate or quarantine
Guidance for international travelers


Isolation Quarantine

You isolate when you have been infected with the virus, even if you don’t have symptoms.

You quarantine when you might have been exposed to the virus and may or may not have been infected.


Close Contact 

Close contact is:

  • 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, beginning two days before symptoms developed or two days before taking a COVID-19 test, if asymptomatic.
  • 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.

Note: In indoor K-12 settings, a student who is within 3 to 6 feet of an infected student is not considered a close contact as long as both students are wearing masks and the school has other prevention strategies in place. See Guidance for Parents of School-aged Children.


calendar icon When You Can Be Around Others

Here are the isolation and quarantine actions you need to take if you have COVID-19 symptoms, tested positive for COVID-19, or were exposed to COVID-19. 


Who Action to Take How long?
I tested positive for COVID-19 and/or have symptoms of COVID-19

Isolate & Follow Prevention Guidance

Everyone, regardless of vaccination status:

  • Day 1 to 5:
    • Stay home and away from others.
  • Day 6 to 10:
    • If you have no symptoms or your symptoms are resolving, you can leave your house. Continue to wear a well-fitting mask to reduce any risk of infecting others. See additional guidance below.
    • If you have a fever, continue to stay home until 24 hours after your fever resolves.

If you do not meet all these criteria, remain in isolation until all these conditions are met up to a full 10 days after your first day of symptoms or the day of your test if you have no symptoms.

If you have access to a test and want to test, use an antigen test towards the end of the 5-day isolation period. Collect the test sample only if you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and your other symptoms have improved.  (Loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation.)

If your test result is positive, you should continue to isolate until day 10. 

See the VDH Isolation Calculator for more guidance about when your isolation may end.

I am a close contact of someone who has COVID-19 and am up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccinations. That means I:

  • Am 12 years or older and have received all recommended vaccine doses including a booster dose 


  • Am 5-11 years old and am 2 weeks or more after receiving the 2-dose primary series of COVID-19 vaccine


  • Received a second dose (and an additional dose if immunocompromised) of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines within the last 5 months


  • Received a first dose of J&J vaccine within the last 2 months


  • Have had COVID-19 within the last 90 days confirmed by a positive viral test

Follow prevention guidance

Day 1 to 10

  • Wear a well-fitting mask around others. See additional guidance below.
  • Test on day 5, if possible.
  • If you develop symptoms, get a test and stay home. 
  • If you test positive for COVID-19 during this 10-day period, follow the isolation guidance above.

See the VDH Quarantine Calculator for more guidance.

I am a close contact of someone who has COVID-19 and and am NOT up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccinations. That means I:

  • Am ages 12 or older and received two doses of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines more than 5 months ago and are not boosted


  • Received one dose of the J&J vaccine more than 2 months ago and are not boosted


  • Am not vaccinated or are partially vaccinated
Quarantine & Follow Prevention Guidance

Day 1 to 5

  • Stay home and away from others.
  • Test on day 5, if possible. If you test positive for COVID-19, follow the isolation guidance above.

Day 6 to 10

  • Continue to wear a well-fitting mask around others. See additional guidance below.
  • If you develop symptoms get a test and stay home. If you test positive for COVID-19, follow the isolation guidance above.

See the VDH Quarantine Calculator for more guidance about when your quarantine may end.

Mask iconAdditional Guidance for Everyone Who Needs to Isolate or Quarantine 

This guidance does not apply for healthcare professionals, for patients and visitors to healthcare settings, residents of long-term care facilities or other congregate settings or people who are severely ill with COVID-19 or have a weakened immune system (immunocompromised). Individuals in these categories should CDC Guidance for further information. 

Wear a well-fitting mask when around others for a full 10 days.

  • If you are unable to wear a mask when around others, you should continue to isolate/quarantine for 10 days. Avoid people who are immunocompromised or at high risk for severe disease, and nursing homes and other high-risk settings, until after at least 10 days.
  • Do not go to places where you are unable to wear a mask, such as restaurants and some gyms, and avoid eating around others at home and at work until a full 10 days after your first day of symptoms.
  • See CDC Guidance for questions related to travel if you are isolating or quarantining.
  • A well-fitting mask fits snugly but comfortably against the side of your face and completely covers your nose and mouth. Masks should include two or more layers of fabric. Double masking, wearing a disposable mask underneath and a cloth mask on top, may help your mask fit better and provide extra protection. See more mask guidance.

Due to the rapid spread of COVID-19, the Health Department is adjusting the case investigation process. Learn more.

If you have tested positive for COVID-19, see this guidance on isolation and how to identify and inform your close contacts. 

While Waiting for Test Results

You should stay home and away from others while you are waiting for your test results. This helps protect your friends, family and others from possibly getting COVID-19 from you.

home iconWhat You Need to do When You Isolate or Quarantine

 There are several things that you must do to prevent disease spreading to people in your home and community. Your actions can protect others from COVID-19.


Stay home

  • Do not leave your house.
  • Do not spend time with others, including those you live, especially people who are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19, with even if you feel well.
  • Do not share personal or household items (like cups, towels, and utensils), and use a separate bedroom and bathroom, if possible.
  • Do not go for walks.
  • Do not go to school or work.
  • Do not run errands.

Monitor symptoms

  • Take your temperature twice a day; once in the morning and once at night.
  • If you need to seek medical care, call your health care provider and inform the office you are isolating for COVID-19 illness before going into the office.
  • If you have a health emergency (including trouble breathing), seek emergency medical care immediately.
  • Share your symptoms with the Health Department if you have been asked to do so by a contact tracer.

Continue to practice good respiratory and hand hygiene

  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the inside of your elbow.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces everyday.

 Get tested, if you are quarantining 

  • Follow the testing guidance above.
  • Call ahead to make an appointment and wear a well-fitting mask when you leave home.

Find support

  • Fairfax has support for those who will need to be temporarily out of work and away from others. From rental and food assistance to health care and housing, there may be resources to get you by today so you can onboard to a healthier tomorrow.
  • Call Coordinated Services Planning at 703-222-0880 to get connected or the Health Department’s Community Health Worker Program for a referral at 703-267-3511. 

Returning to Work & School

Employers and school administrators are asked to apply isolation and quarantine guidelines from the CDC in determining when employees or students are able to return instead of requiring a clearance letter.  

Airplane iconGuidance for international travelers

COVID-19 is still spreading within Virginia, across the United States, and in other countries. If you are not fully vaccinated, you are urged to avoid travel, especially if you are at higher risk of serious COVID-19 or if you will be visiting someone at higher risk of serious COVID-19. 

Getting vaccinated, including additional doses for those who are immunocompromised and boosters if eligible, is the best way to protect yourself from severe disease and slow the spread of COVID-19. All travelers should consider the risks for getting or spreading COVID-19 and follow recommendations and requirements at their destination. 

Even if you are up to date with your vaccines, you should self-monitor for symptoms and get tested 3-5 days after returning from international travel

As of December 6, 2021, all air passengers 2 years and older, regardless of vaccination status, must show a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 1 day (24 hours) before international travel to the United States. Alternatively, passengers can show documentation of recovery from COVID-19 within the past 3 months. 

For the more information and the most recent travel updates for domestic and international travel, see the VDH Travelers page.
Fairfax Virtual Assistant