March 12, 2021
To the Fairfax County Community,

It's been a year since our first COVID case in Fairfax County and a year since COVID shut us down, shut Virginia down, and shut the world down. A lot has changed since then. Over 1,000 Fairfax County residents have passed from COVID. I'm sure many of you have lost family and loved ones outside of the County as well. Aside from that, the stress and isolation that has come with this disease has been incredibly difficult. This anniversary is truly a solemn one.

The path forward isn't simple. We still see about 140 new cases a day and I urge you to continue to wear a mask, social distance, and wash your hands. What's next won't be easy, but there is a way forward.

Vaccine supply is beginning to increase and about 16% of our County population is now vaccinated. Just this week our Health Department received 31,000 doses of vaccine, up from 13,500 doses just a few weeks ago. I was reminded when I visited one of our vaccine sites recently how sophisticated our operation is. Please, if you are eligible and haven't already, register to be vaccinated here.

There is also federal help on the way. The American Rescue Plan, that was signed into law by President Biden yesterday will provide over $200 million to Fairfax County so we can continue our efforts to lift up those in need. I was proud to be able to advocate for this bill on the County's behalf.

Despite the hardship of the last year, our County came together. I'm proud of our County staff who have worked hard to support the community and, despite the risk for many, continued to show up to work every day. Whether that was on the frontlines of the pandemic, responding to our hundreds of calls for food and rental assistance each day, or coordinating projects like our RISE grant program for small businesses, their work is crucial.

I want to thank you, too, for stepping up. Whether that was getting groceries for a neighbor, sewing masks for our most vulnerable populations, or volunteering through a County program, your commitment is a constant inspiration for me as I serve the residents of Fairfax County.

So while things still feel difficult, we are in a much better place than one year ago. Better days are ahead.

For COVID-19 resources mentioned in past newsletters, visit mwebsite. If you have a friend who would like to sign up for this newsletter, they can do so here.
CDC Guidance for Vaccinated People
  • This week, the CDC shared new guidance for those who are fully vaccinated.
  • People are considered fully vaccinated: 
  • Two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series, like the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. 
  • Two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, like the Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine. 
  • What's changed:
  • You can gather indoors with fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask. 
  • You can gather indoors with unvaccinated people from one other household (for example, visiting with relatives who all live together) without masks, unless any of those people or anyone they live with has an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. 
  • If you’ve been around someone who has COVID-19, you do not need to stay away from others or get tested unless you have symptoms. 
  • However, if you live in a group setting (like a correctional or detention facility or group home) and are around someone who has COVID-19, you should still stay away from others for 14 days and get tested, even if you don’t have symptoms. 
  • What hasn't changed:
  • Continue to follow mitigation strategies.
  • Read more here.
Other COVID News
  • The Health Department is pleased to announce that in the coming weeks more partners will begin offering the COVID-19 vaccine. Currently, in the Fairfax Health District, vaccine is being administered by the Health Department and through partnerships primarily with health care organizations, pharmacies and urgent care clinics. There are also several pharmacies in the health district that are offering vaccines through a partnership with the federal government. You can learn more here.
  • New strains of the COVID-19 virus are spreading across the United States, as well as in the D.C. region. SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.351 (the “South Africa” variant) and B.1.1.7 (the United Kingdom (U.K.) variant) have been confirmed in Virginia. Learn more about the variants and what Fairfax County is doing here.
Vaccine Resources:

Common Health Questions:

  • People with COVID-19 have a wide range of symptoms reported - ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure. You might experience:
  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Follow mitigation practices:
  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer if that isn't an option (especially when in public places)
  • Cough and sneeze into your sleeve
  • Don't touch your face
  • Social distance
  • Wear a mask (Which is required in Virginia.)
  • What it means to social distance, self-isolate, and quarantine.
  • If interacting with others outside of your household, being outside is safer than inside. You can make your home safer by increasing ventilation and filtration.
  • The New York Times (access to COVID-19 content is free) speaks with infectious disease experts, aerosol scientists, and microbiologists to find out if COVID-19 can land on your clothing, hair, shoes, and mail.

COVID-19 Resources:

  • Fairfax County Health Department
  • To view the number of cases in Fairfax County this page is updated at noon daily.
  • Visit the County site on COVID-19Health Department Website, and see their FAQs.
  • To view multilingual health materials visit the County's Language Portal.
  • Sign up for text message alerts: text FFXCOVID to 888777. Para inscribirse, textear FFXCOVIDESP a 888777.
  • Call the Health Department from 9am-7pm weekdays and 9:30am-5pm on weekends: 703-267-3511
  • Email: [email protected]. This account will be staffed Monday through Friday, 8am-8pm.
  • Inova has a helpful FAQ.
We recognize that we are in very trying times, but I hope this newsletter helps you track the progress we are making.

As I often say, we are truly lucky to live in Fairfax County where we have the resources to overcome challenges and a community who rises to the occasion.

Jeffrey C. McKay
Contact the Office

[email protected] | 703.324.2321 |