Virginia Department of Health (VDH) data from November 16, 2020, shows that Stafford has taken the lead in counts in the Rappahannock Area Health District (RAHD), a district comprised of Stafford, Spotsylvania, Caroline and King George counties and the city of Fredericksburg. RAHD officials have recently gained additional staff capacity and are better able to track trends in each county. Stafford is working with RAHD to disseminate information to reduce infection rates going into the holiday months and winter.
“We are asking the public to commit to following recommendations by VDH to help us get through winter and a possible COVID-19 vaccine and maybe an illness-free spring,” said Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Meg Bohmke, Falmouth District. “Our biggest weapons against the Coronavirus are our actions, and our actions together.”
The Governor recently came out with some more guidance and temporary restrictions, so it is important to stay up-to-date with those changes. RAHD has several resources for the public to learn about staying safe during this pandemic, whether it is your family, at your work or enjoying your community. Below are some critical points to remember through this holiday season:
- RAHD recommends wearing a mask around anyone outside your household. Wearing face coverings includes when around strangers in the grocery store and friends, extended family, coworkers, classmates, and others. Recent research from the Centers for Disease Control shows that cloth masks can effectively protect you and those around you from COVID-19.
- With the holiday season approaching, it is essential to remember that people are most likely to get infected at indoor gatherings, social events, parties, gyms, restaurants, bars and other public spaces. Avoid crowded spaces and follow precaution (wearing masks and distancing) at indoor gatherings to minimize the spread of COVID-19, and keep in mind to keep group gatherings to 25 or less.
- If you are feeling sick, even with very mild symptoms, please stay home.
- Employers can play a huge role in preventing COVID-19 throughout our community. Remind employees to stay home if they are sick! Require masks and six feet of distancing at all times in the workplace and, if possible, provide paid sick leave policies. Not only will this keep your staff and the public safer, but it can also help your business by preventing outbreaks in which large numbers of employees must miss two weeks of work to isolate or quarantine or the possible shutdown of your business.
To find out more about how you can slow the spread of COVID-19 during the holiday season in particular, please visit https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/frequently-asked-questions/observing-religious-holidays-during-covid-19/.