Uptick in COVID-19 Cases Prompts Fairfax Health District to Urge Continued Vigilance   ...   Fairfax County Health Dept.

Over the past two weeks in the Fairfax Health District, cases of COVID-19 have risen by 62%; and since a low on March 21, the daily number of cases has about tripled. Although not as high as the peak in cases seen in January, this change is concerning.  Just during the past week, there have been 15 new outbreaks (clusters of three or more connected cases of illness) reported in the county with 12 occurring in schools and daycares. Despite this surge in cases, hospitalizations continue to be low, and the community level remains at “low.”The BA.2 variant now is causing most COVID-19 infections in the United States. While there is no evidence that BA.2 results in more severe disease compared to other variants, it is more transmissible as shown by the increase in cases and outbreaks in recent weeks. Additionally, the virus that causes COVID-19 continues to mutate with subvariant BA.2.12 identified first in New York state and now seen nationwide.

Protect Yourself and Others

Residents are encouraged to remain vigilant to protect themselves from illnesses and help stem transmission of the virus. Health officials urge the following steps:Rethink your risk and the risk of others around you. We all make decisions about whether to get vaccinated, wear a mask or change our activities based on what we see as our own risk of COVID-19, the risk to our loved ones and to our community. With the number of COVID-19 cases increasing again, here are some questions to ask yourself:
  • Have you held off on getting vaccinated?
  • Have you or someone in your household been diagnosed with a new medical condition that increases your risk of COVID-19, started a new medication that decreases your immunity, or become pregnant?
  • Has an elderly parent or other relative moved in with you or is there someone you’re providing care for?
  • Do you have a new baby; or is your child just starting daycare, school or will be going to camp this summer?
If your answer to any of these questions about life changes is “yes,” consider getting a vaccination or a vaccine booster dose against COVID-19 for yourself and those in your household. There are instances where some vaccinated people get COVID illness, but the disease will be milder and they will have a reduced chance of hospitalization. Consider wearing a mask in indoor settings, avoiding crowds and taking other precautions to keep yourself and your loved ones safer.While masks are no longer required in most settings, you can continue to wear a mask any time you are indoors or in crowds. Consider your risk and those you spend time with and select a mask with the best fit and protection (for example, an N95, KN95 and KF94). People with COVID-19 symptoms, a positive test or recent exposure to someone with COVID-19 should continue to isolate, wear a mask and take these precautions.Develop a posture of preparedness. Make sure to stay up to date on boosters and vaccinations, when eligible. Vaccines are proven to be highly safe and effective in preventing serious illness. Anyone 5 years and older who lives in Virginia is still eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, which is widely available and provided at no cost at Fairfax County clinics. A first booster dose is recommended for everyone 12 years and older who has received their initial vaccine primary series five or more months ago. A second booster dose with an mRNA vaccine is available for people who are 50 and older and some immunocompromised individuals at least four months after their first booster dose. More information on boosters can be found here.  Finally, make sure to get tested if you have symptoms.Stay informed. Continue to look for updates from the Fairfax County Health Department and other public health agencies. Monitor COVID-19 community levels in the Fairfax Health District and/or where you might be visiting. Take additional precautions if you see an increase in community levels, especially if you are at high-risk for illness.Take time to catch up. Now is the time to catch up on other health care that help keep you and your family members healthy. Schedule appointments that may have been put off, such as dentist visits, cancer screenings, or childhood immunizations.Keep it up. While we have made progress, we still need to take steps to keep ourselves and our community safe. In addition to the steps above, we can prevent spread of COVID-19, and other illness, by:
  • Avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces
  • Staying home when you are sick
  • Getting tested when you have symptoms; order free at-home tests here
  • Informing your contacts if you have COVID-19
  • Covering coughs and sneezes
  • Washing hands frequently

Stay Informed About COVID-19

If you have questions about COVID-19 vaccines, please call 703-324-7404. Call our Health Department Call Center at 703-267-3511 with Coronavirus questions. Both call centers are open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday thru Friday.

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