Face Coverings & Physical Distancing

Wearing cloth face coverings that covers your nose and mouth and keeping a safe distance, 6 feet or more, from others are two ways to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

On May 26, 2020, Governor Northam issued Executive Order 63 requiring Virginians to wear face coverings in public indoor settings to help contain the spread of COVID-19. A face covering includes anything that covers your nose and mouth, such as a mask, scarf, or bandana. Under the Governor’s executive order, any person age ten and older must wear a mask or face covering at all times while entering, exiting, traveling through, and spending time in the following public settings:

  • Personal care and grooming businesses
  • Essential and non-essential brick and mortar retail including grocery stores and pharmacies
  • Food and beverage establishments
  • Entertainment or public amusement establishments when permitted to open
  • Train stations, bus stations, and on intrastate public transportation, including in waiting or congregating areas
  • State and local government buildings and areas where the public accesses services
  • Any indoor space shared by groups of people who may congregate within six feet of one another or who are in close proximity to each other for more than ten minutes

Exemptions to these guidelines include while eating and drinking at a food and beverage establishment; individuals who are exercising; children under the age of two; a person seeking to communicate with a hearing-impaired person, for which the mouth needs to be visible; and anyone with a health condition that keeps them from wearing a face covering. Children over the age of two are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering to the extent possible.

  1. Cloth Face Coverings
  2. Physical Distancing

Wear a face covering to protect people around you if you must leave your home for essentials, like groceries or to the pharmacy. Face coverings protect people around you if you are infected but do not have symptoms. A covering is not intended to protect the person wearing it. Learn more on the CDC Cloth Face Covering FAQs.

How to Wear a Cloth Face Covering

  • Wear a cloth face covering to cover your nose and mouth. 
  • Use simple cloth face coverings made at home from common materials at low cost. Get instructions on how to make your own face covering. .
  • Save surgical masks or N-95 respirators for healthcare workers and other first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.

Follow these tips for wearing and caring for cloth face coverings:

  • Make sure there are no gaps around your nose and mouth.
  • Wash your hands before putting on a face covering.
  • Be careful not to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth when removing your face covering.
  • Wash your hands immediately after removing the covering.
  • Do not place face coverings on children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated, or unable to remove the mask without assistance.
  • Routinely wash face coverings. According to CDC, a washing machine properly washes a cloth face covering.

County Government Facilities

  • Effective Friday, May 29, 2020 face coverings are required in all county facilities. 

How to Make Your Own Cloth Face Covering

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Contact us with Questions

  • Email the Health Department 
  • Call the information line:  703-737-8300
    • Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
    • Saturday-Sunday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m