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

Healthy Habits to Help Protect Against Respiratory Viruses

Practicing healthy habits can help you reduce the chances of getting and spreading respiratory viruses like flu, RSV, and COVID-19. These germs can be easily spread by:

  • Coughing, sneezing, or talking when in close proximity to others
  • Touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands after touching contaminated surfaces or objects

The more healthy habits you adopt, the better you can prevent illness caused by a respiratory virus and keep others around you healthy.

Get Vaccinated | Stay home when sickWash your hands | Cover coughs & sneezes | Avoid touching your face | Know your testing & treatment options | Consider where you are gathering | Consider masking | Practice other healthy habits | Stay Informed

vaccine iconGet vaccinated

You can lower your risk of getting sick or very sick by getting vaccinated.

  • COVID-19: Staying up to date on COVID-19 vaccines significantly lowers the risk of getting sick, being hospitalized, or dying from COVID-19. Everyone 6 months and older is eligible for an updated COVID-19 vaccine. 
  • Flu: A yearly flu vaccine is the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses. Everyone 6 months and older is eligible for a flu vaccine.
  • RSV: This year, CDC has recommended multiple, new immunizations to protect those most at risk of getting very sick with RSV: infants, toddlers, and adults 60 years and older.

Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines.

Learn more about flu vaccines.

Learn more about RSV immunizations.

Find a COVID-19 or flu vaccine near you.

house iconStay home when you are sick & avoid people who are sick

When you are sick, stay away from others to protect them from getting sick. 

  • If you are sick, staying home from work, school, gatherings, errands, and public areas can help prevent spreading germs to others. 
  • Ideally, people with cold-like symptoms should not interact with children at high risk for severe RSV disease. If this is not possible, carefully follow the prevention steps, wash their hands before interacting with the children, and refrain from kissing high-risk children.

When possible, avoid close contact with people who are sick. 

See how long to stay home and away from others if you have COVID-19 or what to do if you were exposed to COVID-19.

handwashing iconWash your hands — often

Washing your hands frequently is the most important and easiest action you can take to lower your chance of getting sick and spreading illness.

Always wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Help kids build healthy habits by teaching them how to wash their hands correctly. Watch: Your Health Is in Your Hands With the Help of a Shark.

Learn more about key times to wash your hands and what to consider when using hand sanitizer.

person coughing into a tissue iconCover your coughs and sneezes

Covering coughs and sneezes and keeping hands clean can help prevent the spread of serious respiratory illnesses. Help stop the spread of germs:

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
  • Throw the tissue in the trash afterward.
  • If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hands.
  • Immediately wash your hands after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.

Help kids build healthy habits by teaching them how to cover their coughs and sneezes. Watch: Cover Your Coughs and Sneezes - Kids.

Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and objects people frequently touch that may be contaminated can also help stop the spread of germs (like flu and RSV). 

Don't touch iconAvoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth 

When you touch your face, the germs on your hands can enter your mucous membranes through your nose, eyes, and mouth, causing infection. Protect yourself by:

  • Washing your hands at keys times like before touching your face, putting in contact lenses, and eating.
  • Using a tissue for your nose
  • Using a tissue to scratch or rub your eyes or to adjust your glasses
  • Preventing itchiness by using facial moisturizer for dry skin and eye drops for dry eyes

Covid-19 home test and medicine iconsKnow your testing and treatment options

If you have symptoms, getting tested can help you know what illness you have. It will also help let you know the steps you need to take for your health and to stop from spreading disease to others. Testing is available for COVID-19 and the flu, and if you test positive, treatment may be available. Talk to your healthcare provider.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, know when to get tested get tested and that more than one negative test may be needed to be sure you’re COVID-19-free. If you have COVID-19, you should follow guidance for isolation and your contacts should be aware of what to do after being exposed. See the guidance.

Learn what to what to do if you get sick with COVID-19. Find a Test to Treat location.

Learn what to what to do if you get sick with flu.

Learn what to what to do if you get sick with RSV.

People sitting around a table talking iconConsider where you are gathering

When you gather with others consider how crowded the space is and how well ventilated it is.

  • Improve ventilation (moving air into, out of, or within a room) and filtration where you are gathering to help prevent virus particles from accumulating in indoor air and reduce the chance of becoming infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.
  • Spending time outside instead of inside when possible can also help. Viral particles spread between people more readily indoors than outdoors.

See How to Improve Ventilation in Your Home.

mask iconConsider wearing a mask

The closer you are to a greater number of people, the more likely you are to be exposed to respiratory viruses. You can choose to wear a mask at any time.

You should always wear a mask:

  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19
  • For 10 days after your symptoms started, or if you don't have symptoms, 10 days after the date you tested positive

Masks and respirators (specialized filtering masks such as “N95s”) can provide different levels of protection depending on the type of mask and how they are used. Loosely woven cloth products provide the least protection, layered finely woven products offer more protection, well-fitting disposable surgical masks and KN95s offer even more protection, and well-fitting NIOSH-approved respirators offer the highest level of protection.

Icon of a person with an apple in one hand and a weight in the other Practice other healthy habits

Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.


Connect with us iconStay Informed

Stay informed about what is happening in our community. Read our updates and find us on social media:

X (Twitter): @fairfaxhealth

Facebook: @fairfaxcountyhealth

Instagram: @fairfaxhealth 

YouTube: @fairfaxhealth

Fairfax Virtual Assistant