Stop the Spread

By Office of Communication and Community Relations
February 23, 2021

Note: Much of the following content comes from the Fairfax County Health Department’s Protect Yourself & Slow the Spread of COVID-19 webpage.

Protect Yourself and Stop the Spread of COVID-19

Below are simple steps that will protect you and your family. Your actions keep all of us healthy! 


Help stop the pandemic by getting vaccinated. Studies show that COVID-19 vaccines are effective at keeping you from getting COVID-19.  The COVID-19 vaccination is an important tool to help us get back to normal. Learn more about the benefits of getting vaccinated.  

  • COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.
  • Vaccines work because they cause the body to produce an immune response against a disease.
  • The COVID-19 vaccine is a long-anticipated tool that will help slow the spread of illness and end the pandemic. 
  • Getting vaccinated will protect you and people around you, including those at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19. 

COVID-19 vaccines teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. It typically takes a few weeks after vaccination for the body to build protection (immunity) against the virus that causes COVID-19. None of the COVID-19 vaccines contain the live virus that causes COVID-19 so a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.

There are steps you can take to protect yourself until you can get vaccinated. Even after you get vaccinated it’s important to continue using all the tools available to help stop this pandemic as we learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work in real-world conditions. Even after vaccination, take steps to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.

Vaccination is occurring across the Fairfax Health District.  If you live in the Fairfax Health District (Fairfax County, City of Fairfax, City of Falls Church and the towns of Vienna, Herndon and Clifton), then you should register with Fairfax County using the online form. If you need additional assistance, you can contact the vaccine call center at 703-324-7404.

Vaccine Stories

Dr. Sergio Rimola is a physician with Inova. He received the COVID-19 vaccine for his family, his friends, and his patients. Watch his story.


Person wearing mask with text that says "Wear cloth face coverings your actions can slow COVID-19". Keep it up to keep numbers down.

Research shows that cloth face coverings can reduce the virus’ spread, especially when worn by everyone because they prevent you from spreading the virus to others if you are sick and don't realize it. What's not recommended:

  • Masks with one-way exhalation valves or vents should NOT be worn. They allow the air you breathe out to go through the holes in the material, which can allow respiratory droplets to reach others and potentially spread the COVID-19 virus.
  • Children under age 2, people who have trouble breathing, or those who are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance should not use face cloth face coverings. 

See more tips for wearing a cloth face covering and learn more about cloth face coverings.


The virus is not likely to spread through coughs and sneezes if we stay 6 feet away from others. This is especially important because we don’t know if someone we come in contact with is sick. By maintaining this physical distance in all our interactions, we will reduce the risk of getting sick from respiratory droplets. 

Practice social distancing.  Your actions can slow the spread of COVID-19.SOCIAL DISTANCING TIPS

  • Do not hug, shake hands or high five. These actions can transmit a virus from person-to-person.
  • Maintain a distance of at least six feet from others when possible. (For example, do not sit close to co-workers and eat lunch while unmasked.)
  • Avoid mass gatherings and congregate settings. The CDC defines congregate settings as crowded public places where close contact with others may occur.
  • Those who are at risk for more severe COVID-19 illness, such as older adults and persons with compromised immunity, should limit contact with others and be rigorous about social distancing and other protective measures.

Wash your hands frequently.  Your actions can slow down COVID-19.WASH YOUR HANDS/COVER COUGHS AND SNEEZES

Use soap and water. Lather for 20 seconds. Rinse and turn off the faucet using a towel. 

COVID-19 can spread from a contaminated surface onto our hands, and then into our eyes, nose or mouth where it causes the infection. Simply washing your hands correctly and frequently can lower your chance of getting sick and spreading germs to others. 

You should always wash your hands before you touch your nose, mouth and eyesfor example, when changing contact lenses.

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


Surfaces should be kept as clean as possible.

In school facilities, FCPS custodians use EPA-approved, hospital grade disinfectant and sanitizing products to clean daily. Cleaning crews sanitize touch surfaces/points thoroughly such as door handles, glass, elevator buttons, doors, tables, chairs, and light switches. 

Safety teams visit schools to observe how well schools are following the mitigation strategies by conducting random onsite spot checks, delivering education and resources, and reporting data back to administrators for corrective action, if needed. 

Answer the call.  Your actions can slow the spread of COVID-19.ANSWER THE CALL FROM HEALTH DEPARTMENT

Make the choice to answer if the Health Department calls and help keep you, your family, and your community safe. 

Contact investigation is an important part of the approach to protecting the health of the Fairfax community and our schools during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can help by answering the call and following guidance. 

If you test positive for COVID-19, the health department will call you to talk to you about what this means, ask you to stay home and away from those you live with, and talk to you about who you’ve been in contact with. They may also call to let you know that you were in in close contact with someone with COVID-19 and ask you to self-quarantine for 14 days. In both cases, you’ll be asked to complete wellness checks and referred you to medical and other support services if needed. 

When the health department calls, they won’t ask you for money or financial information, your social security number, passwords, or other personal information unrelated to COVID-19. And unless you give permission, your name will not be revealed to those you came in contact with — even if they ask.

Choose to be part of the solution and answer the call to help keep your friends and neighbors healthy. Learn more about contact investigations