Health Department

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.
703-246-2411 TTY 711
10777 Main Street
Fairfax, VA 22030
Gloria Addo-Ayensu, M.D., M.P.H.
Director of Health


Icon of COVID virus and warning symbolAbout Long COVID


For healthy adults, COVID-19 protection isn't just about avoiding a few weeks of illness,  it's about preserving long-term health.Some people who have been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 can experience long-term effects from their infection. This is known as post-COVID conditions or long COVID. People call post-COVID conditions by many names, including: long COVID, long-haul COVID, long-term effects of COVID, and chronic COVID.

Long COVID is a wide range of symptoms (physical and mental) that continue or develop after initial COVID-19 which continues for weeks, months, or longer and are not explained by an alternative diagnosis. Learn more about how long COVID is defined.

There is no test that determines if your symptoms or condition is due to COVID-19. Long COVID is not one illness and is different from person to person. Your healthcare provider considers a diagnosis of post-COVID conditions based on your health history, including if you had a diagnosis of COVID-19 either by a positive test or by symptoms or exposure, as well as doing a health examination.

Scientists are working to better understand post-COVID conditions and how many people experience them. Estimates of the proportion of people who have long COVID vary. Some estimates of the risk of long COVID vary between 5 and 30%, and a recent large study by CDC suggested that one in five adult COVID-19 survivors aged 18 to 65 years and one in four survivors aged 65 years and over have a health condition related to their previous COVID-19 illness. Learn more about Data for Long COVID from the CDC

Who is More Likely to Develop Long COVID

Researchers are working to understand which people or groups of people are more likely than others to get long COVID, and why. So far, studies have found that the following people may be more likely than others to get long COVID:

Scientists are researching some health inequities that may place these communities at higher risk of both getting infected or developing post-COVID conditions.

How to Prevent Long COVID

The best way to prevent long COVID is to protect yourself and others from becoming infected.

The CDC recommends staying up to date on COVID-19 vaccination. CDC also recommends improving ventilation, getting tested for COVID-19 if needed, and seeking treatment for COVID-19 if eligible, along with other prevention steps.

People as young as six months are eligible for the updated vaccine.

Icon of multiple symptoms of long COVIDSymptoms


People with long COVID can have a wide range of symptoms that can last weeks, months, or even years after infection. Post-COVID conditions may not affect everyone the same way.

People with long COVID may experience health problems from different types and combinations of symptoms happening over different lengths of time. Sometimes the symptoms can even go away or come back again. 

General symptoms (Not a Comprehensive List)

  • Tiredness or fatigue that interferes with daily life
  • Symptoms that get worse after physical or mental effort (also known as “post-exertional malaise”)
  • Fever

Respiratory and heart symptoms

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Cough
  • Chest pain
  • Fast-beating or pounding heart (also known as heart palpitations)

Digestive symptoms

  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach pain

Neurological symptoms

  • Difficulty thinking or concentrating (sometimes referred to as “brain fog”)
  • Headache
  • Sleep problems
  • Dizziness when you stand up (lightheadedness)
  • Pins-and-needles feelings
  • Change in smell or taste
  • Depression or anxiety

Other symptoms

  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Rash
  • Changes in menstrual cycles

Learn more about symptoms.

Long COVID can sometimes result in disability. Learn more: Guidance on “Long COVID” as a Disability Under the ADA.

Icon of hands holding a heartLiving with Long COVID


Living with long COVID can be hard, especially when there are no immediate answers or solutions.

People experiencing long COVID can seek care from a healthcare provider to come up with a personal medical management plan that can help improve their symptoms and quality of life. 

Preparing for an appointment can make all the difference in getting the proper evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment. To help get the most out of appointments, scroll through the information below. You can also download a printable Healthcare Appointment Checklist.

Caring for People with Long COVID

Having or supporting someone with Long COVID can be challenging, especially when there are few or no immediate answers or solutions. However, there are ways to help.

Find an overview of Post-COVID Conditions and resources for healthcare providers.

Fairfax Virtual Assistant