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

Slow the Spread of COVID-19 and Other Respiratory Viruses

While we have made progress in reducing severe illness, hospitalizations and death from COVID-19, the virus that causes COVID-19 continues to spread and continues to cause illness. We still need to take steps to protect ourselves and others.

What’s new: On March 1, 2024, the CDC issued new respiratory virus recommendations for the general population and non-healthcare settings.

This new guidance provides the same recommendations for all respiratory viral illness — whether its caused by COVID-19, flu, RSV, or the cause is not known. The new guidance focuses on staying home while you have fever and other symptoms AND for 24 hours after you start feeling better, no matter which respiratory virus you have. This new guidance also emphasizes taking more prevention steps over the next 5 days as you get better and return to normal activities.

If You Are Sick

If you get sick, there are important actions to take.

  1. Stay at home and away from others until at least 24 hours after both:
    1. Your symptoms are getting better overall, and
    2. You have not had a fever without using fever-reducing medication
  2. Use prevention strategies below for 5 days when you resume normal activities.

If you are at risk for severe illness, talk to your health care provider right away. Treatments may be available for you.

When you are sick, pay attention to your symptoms to help you decide when you are well enough to leave home. Your symptoms should be mild and you should be well enough to take part in your normal activities. The time people need to stay home may be different depending on how sick they are and the length of symptoms. This period could be shorter, the same, or longer than the previous guidance for COVID-19.

If your fever is gone and your symptoms are getting better and stay better for 24 hours, you are typically less contagious. But, it still takes more time for your body to fully get rid of the virus. When you start getting back to your daily routine, use core and additional prevention strategies described below for 5 days.

Learn more about what to do when you are sick. 

Prevention Strategies

Learn More

The CDC says this means you are starting to feel better and the body is returning to normal after an infection.

Symptoms can be used as simple indicators to help people make decisions about preventative strategies, such as how long to stay home or when to return to work or school. A respiratory virus infection can have many types of symptoms, some of which can last beyond when someone is infectious, such as a lingering cough. So having a single symptom or a combination of symptoms is not as important as the overall sense of feeling better and the ability to resume activities. Fever is mentioned as a specific symptom in the guidance because people tend to be more infectious when they have a fever.

Respiratory viruses can make anyone sick. However, there are many factors that can make it more likely for someone to become very sick from a respiratory virus.

In addition to the prevention guidance listed on this page, there are several specific considerations for people with certain risk factors for severe illness: young children, older adults, people with weakened immune systems, people who are pregnant, and people with disabilities.

If you or someone around you has one or more risk factor for severe illness, learn about these special considerations. 

The CDC suggests ways organizations can help people stay healthy. Some examples include:

Healthcare Facilities and Staff

The guidance on this page is intended for the public. Guidance for healthcare settings, including Long-Term Care Facilities, remains the same.

See: COVID-19flu, and general infection prevention and control and Interim Guidance for Managing Healthcare Personnel with SARS-CoV-2 Infection or Exposure to SARS-CoV-2.

Fairfax Virtual Assistant