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

Respiratory Virus Update – January 2024

Have you heard yourself or someone else saying “I know so many people who are sick right now!”? It would be no surprise, the CDC reports Very High overall respiratory illness activity in Virginia based on healthcare visits for fever and cough or sore throat.

Here are updates about COVID-19, flu, and RSV in our community and the steps you can take to stay healthy in the new year.


In Northern Virginia, COVID-19 hospital admissions and emergency department visits have continued to increase. While the Fairfax County hospitalization level remains in the low category, for most counties in Virginia, it is now in the moderate category. Nationally, emergency department visits, hospital admissions, and deaths have all increased.

COVID-19 variant JN.1 is causing an increasing percentage of COVID-19 infections and is now the most widely circulating variant in the United States. This trend is expected to continue. JN.1’s continued growth suggests that the variant either spreads more easily or is better at evading our immune systems than other circulating variants. Existing vaccines, tests, and treatments still work well against JN.1, so current COVID-19 recommendations have not changed. Learn more about JN.1 from CDC.

Find COVID-19 resources.


In Northern Virginia, we remain at a very high influenza-like illness (ILI) intensity level. ILI symptoms include a fever (100.4°F or greater) and cough and/or sore throat. There was a slight decrease in Northern Virginia for emergency department and urgent care visits last week. However, they still made up 6.7% of all visits. In Virginia, children 0-4 years have the highest rate of visits.

Find flu resources.


RSV activity continued to decrease in Fairfax Health District. If you are at high risk for severe illness from RSV, you should continue to take steps to protect yourself, especially if you are traveling or hosting a visitor. RSV activity remains elevated in many areas of the country. Hospitalization rates remain elevated, particularly among young children and older adults.

Find RSV resources.

What you can do

It is not too late to get an immunization. We strongly encourage you to get this year’s vaccine, especially if you are at risk for getting very sick from COVID-19 or flu. COVID-19 and flu vaccines are recommended for everyone 6 months and older. Vaccination rates in the Fairfax Health District are low, with only 17.4% and 34.7% of residents having received the current COVID-19 and flu vaccines respectively. Find a vaccine near you at

People who are 60 years or older, pregnant, or parents of infants should talk to a healthcare provider about RSV immunization.

If you have any symptoms of a respiratory virus — like fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, to name a few — there are three things to do right away.

  • Stay home. We understand this may be challenging in some situations, but we strongly encourage everyone to stay away from others to prevent spreading a virus. If you have COVID-19, stay home for 5 full days. Then wear a high-quality, well-fitted mask around others for days 6-10 if you need to be around others.
  • Get tested. You cannot tell the difference between flu and COVID-19 by symptoms alone because many of the symptoms are the same. Get tested for COVID-19 as soon as you have symptoms. Your healthcare provider may also recommend getting tested for flu. Once you know what you have, then you can take the recommended steps.
  • Seek treatment. Treatments may be available to you, especially if you are at higher risk of severe illness. You must act quickly for them to help. Talk to your healthcare provider or visit a Test to Treat location.

We encourage you to take steps to prevent the spread of viruses. Actions can include: improving indoor air quality by increasing ventilation and filtration, choosing to wear a high-quality mask, and covering coughs and sneezes. For more ways to stay healthy, go to Healthy Habits to Help Protect Against Respiratory Viruses.

Stay informed:

Visit our web page and follow us on social media for updates on respiratory viruses and other health topics. The CDC also shares situation updates and ways to Protect yourself and others from Flu, COVID-19, and RSV.


Fairfax Virtual Assistant