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.

703-267-3511
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 isolation/quarantine guidance
What you need to do when you isolate or quarantine
Guidance for 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. If your test is negative, you can end isolation after 5 days, but should continue to wear a mask at home and in public until Day 10 and take other precautions (see below).

Do not travel until a full 10 days after your symptoms started or the date your positive test was taken if you had no symptoms.

If you are at higher risk of getting very sick, contact your healthcare provider to see if you are eligible for treatmentEarly treatment can prevent you from getting sicker.

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

Follow prevention guidance

  • You do not need to quarantine.
  • You may return to work and normal activities.
  • Monitor for symptoms in the next 10 days, and if you develop symptoms, follow these instructions.
I am a close contact of someone who has COVID-19 and had confirmed COVID-19 (tested positive with a viral test) within the last 6 months. Follow prevention guidance
  • You do not need to quarantine.
  • You may return to work and normal activities.
  • Monitor for symptoms in the next 10 days, and if you develop symptoms, follow these instructions.

I am a close contact of someone who has COVID-19 and am NOT up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations  and have not had COVID-19 in the last 6 months.

Quarantine & Follow Prevention Guidance
  • Stay home and quarantine for at least 5 full days. Watch for symptoms until 10 days after your exposure.
  • Wear a well-fitting mask if you must be around others at home.
  • If you develop symptoms, isolate immediately, get tested and stay home until the results return, wearing a well-fitting mask around others. Do not travel until a full 10 days after you last had your exposure.
  • If you do not develop symptoms by day 5 after close contact with a COVID-19 case, get tested. Continue to watch for symptoms until 10 days after exposure.
  • Take precautions, including wearing a mask around others, until day 10.

 

Quarantine & Isolation Calculators

The Virginia Department of Health has recently updated their quarantine recommendations. See the calculator below for guidance.

Isolation Calculator

Use this calculator for guidance on when your isolation can end.

Quarantine Calculator

Use this calculator for guidance on 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. 

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • See CDC Guidance for questions related to travel if you are isolating or quarantining.

 

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.

Isolation and Quarantine Guidance

Stay home and follow additional guidance

  • Do not leave your house. 
  • Do not go to work, school, or public areas. Do not take public transportation, taxis, or ride-shares. 
  • 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.
  • If possible, stay away from people with weakened immune systems and people at higher risk for severe COVID-19 for 10 days after exposure. 
  • Do not travel during your 5-day quarantine. Avoid travel until 10 days after exposure. 
  • Do not go to places where you are unable to wear a mask, such as restaurants and gyms, and avoid eating around others at home and at work until 10 days after your last close contact with someone with COVID-19. 

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.

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.

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. 

Airplane iconGuidance for travelers

COVID-19 is still spreading within Virginia, across the United States, and in other countries. 

Make sure you are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines before travel.

Check your destination’s COVID-19 situation before traveling. State, tribal, local, territorial, and other countries' governments may have travel restrictions and requirements in place. Prepare to be flexible during your trip as restrictions and policies may change during your travel.

Wearing a mask over your nose and mouth is recommended in indoor areas of public transportation (including airplanes) and indoors in U.S. transportation hubs (including airports).

Do NOT travel if…

  • You have COVID-19 symptoms, even if you recovered from COVID-19 within the past 90 days or are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines.
  • You tested positive for COVID-19.
    • Do not travel until a full 10 days after your symptoms started or the date your positive test was taken if you had no symptoms.
  • You are waiting for results of a COVID-19 test.
    • If your test comes back positive while you are at your destination, you will need to isolate and postpone your return until it’s safe for you to travel. Your travel companions may need to quarantine.
  • You had close contact with a person with COVID-19 and are recommended to quarantine.
    • Do not travel until a full 5 days after your last close contact with the person with COVID-19. It is best to avoid travel for a full 10 days after your last exposure.
    • If you must travel during days 6 through 10 after your last exposure:
      • Get tested at least 5 days after your last close contact. Make sure your test result is negative and you remain without symptoms before traveling. If you don’t get tested, avoid travel until a full 10 days after your last close contact with a person with COVID-19.
      • Properly wear a well-fitting mask when you are around others for the entire duration of travel during days 6 through 10. If you are unable to wear a mask, you should not travel during days 6 through 10.

If you had close contact with a person with COVID-19 but are NOT recommended to quarantine:

  • Get tested at least 5 days after your last close contact. Make sure your test result is negative and you remain without symptoms before traveling.
    • If you had confirmed COVID-19 within the past 90 days, you do NOT need to get tested, but you should still follow all other recommendations (including getting tested if you develop COVID-19 symptoms).
  • If you travel during the 10 days after your last exposure, properly wear a well-fitting mask when you are around others for the entire duration of travel during the 10 days. If you are unable to wear a mask, you should not travel during the 10 days.

 

--From the CDC, July 12

International Travel

Before you travel, see international travel requirements and recommendations. 

Travel Within the U.S.

Check the current COVID-19 Community Level at your destination

It is now recommended that you get tested for current infection with a viral test if your travel involved situations with greater risk of exposure such as being in crowded places while not wearing a well-fitting mask or respirator.  Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms; isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms.

See more guidance about travel within the U.S.

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.  

Fairfax Virtual Assistant