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.
Executive Order 63 requires 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.
Who must wear a face covering?
Anyone aged five and over is required to wear a face covering inside certain public places. It is strongly recommended that children older than two wear face coverings. Children aged two and under should never wear a face covering. A person who has trouble breathing, who cannot secure or remove the face covering without assistance, or who has a medical condition limiting the use of face coverings should not wear a face covering.
Where am I required to wear a face covering?
Face coverings must be worn in the following locations:
- Inside essential and non-essential brick and mortar retails establishments
- Inside personal care and personal grooming establishments
- Inside places where people congregate, including places of worship, waiting rooms, and libraries
- Inside food and beverage establishments, except when eating or drinking
- When utilizing public transportation, as well as when in any waiting or congregating areas associated with boarding public transportation
- When accessing state or local government services
- All employment settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained for more than 10 minutes
Do I need to wear a face covering outdoors?
In outdoor areas where you are not able to maintain six feet of physical distancing between yourself and others, it is strongly recommended that you wear a face covering. You should strive at all times to maintain six feet of physical distancing from others outside of your household.
What is the Purpose of a Face Covering?
A cloth face covering can help prevent individuals who do not know they are carrying COVID-19 from transmitting the virus to others. The cloth is intended to catch droplets from your nose and mouth that may be projected when you talk, sneeze, cough and breathe. By limiting the potential of these droplets from landing on others and on surfaces, you can reduce the spread of the coronavirus and other germs even when you do not have symptoms .Learn more on the CDC Cloth Face Covering FAQs.
It is important to understand that cloth face coverings do not prevent you from becoming infected with coronavirus. The best ways to protect yourself are practicing physical distancing, washing your hands and the other prevention measures prescribed by the CDC.
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
Physical distancing is one way to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Infectious diseases do not respect boundaries. Each individual is a critical part of the community mitigation strategy.
Even if you feel healthy, social distancing is the best way to slow the spread of COVID-19. This means avoiding close contact with people outside of your home and family.
- Maintain distance of approximately 6 feet from others when possible
- Avoid congregate settings and mass gatherings.
- Except when necessary, avoid:
- Public places where close contact with others may occur (such as shopping centers, movie theaters, stadiums, parks, playgrounds)
- Workplaces (unless office space allows distancing from others)
- Schools and other classroom settings
- Local public transportation (such as on a bus, subway, taxi, ride share, plane, ship)
- Avoid physical contact when greeting such as handshakes, hugs and high-fives
- Those who are at greater risk of complications from COVID-19, such as older adults and individuals with underlying health issues or compromised immune systems, should limit contact with others
- Use basic prevention measures:
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Wear a cloth face covering that covers your nose and mouth.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Stay home when sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Avoid non-essential travel.
- View more tips from Virginia Department of Health
- View additional guidance from the CDC
County Government Facilities
- Physical distancing measures are currently in place for the safety of the community and staff in county facilities.
- You may notice changes in how we deliver service as we maintain a distance of 6 feet between individuals.
- Please obey posted signage.
What is Physical Distancing?
Receive updates from Loudoun County
- Text LCCOVID19 to 888777 to receive text alerts from Loudoun County about COVID-19
- Sign up for email and text updates on COVID-19 in Notify Me, Blogs category
- Follow the Loudoun County Government Facebook Page and @LoudounCoGovt
Loudoun County Public Schools
Contact us with Questions
- Email the Health Department
- Call the information line: 703-737-8300
- Monday-Sunday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.