Dec 14

Northern Virginians Urged to Prevent Flu, COVID-19, Other Respiratory Viruses

Posted on December 14, 2022 at 12:10 PM by Nancy McCormick

Northern Virginia’s hospitals are experiencing severe capacity shortages due to the spread of respiratory illnesses such as the seasonal flu, COVID-19 and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). Just as communities across the country have experienced, local emergency rooms continue to be inundated with sick patients, leading to longer wait times. This trend is expected to persist throughout the winter season, adding further strain to local care sites and health care workers.

The members of the Northern Virginia Emergency Response System (NVERS) are asking residents, particularly vulnerable populations such as young children and older adults, to continue to practice health safety and, if medical attention is needed, seek it from the most appropriate provider. 

If Sick, Seek the Appropriate level of Medical Care

“We want to ensure all Northern Virginians are informed on seeking the right care at the right time at the right place,” said NVERS Executive Director Kristin Nickerson. “For example, seeking care from your primary care provider, a community clinic or an urgent care may be less time consuming and less costly than going straight to the emergency room.”

Northern Virginia public health officials encourage everyone to take precautions to avoid getting sick, and, if sick, to seek the appropriate level of care (PDF) to avoid overwhelming hospitals and to ensure everyone can access the care they need. 

Take Steps to Protect Yourself and Others

“COVID mitigation strategies taken over the past few years were also helpful at reducing infections from other common respiratory viruses. These viruses are now able to spread more easily,” said Loudoun County Health Director Dr. David Goodfriend. “We recommend taking all precautions to prevent illness, starting with vaccines for the flu and COVID-19 — including all boosters available — and incorporating steps like hand-washing, covering coughs and sneezes, staying home and keeping children out of school when they are sick, and other mitigation strategies.”

Residents are urged to take these protective actions to prevent illness and avoid spreading illness to others:

  • Get a flu vaccine as soon as possible. Everyone 6 months and older, including pregnant women, should get a flu vaccine every season with rare exceptions. Many pharmacies, doctor’s offices, community health clinics and local health departments offer vaccines. Find a location near you to get a flu vaccine at
  • Get vaccinated against COVID-19 if you have not done so already. Get boosted if you have been vaccinated and it has been at least two months since your last vaccine dose. Updated bivalent booster doses are available for vaccinated individuals 6 months and older. Health officials advise parents to discuss this option with their child’s health care provider. Visit to find a COVID-19 vaccine provider.
  • Because there is no vaccine to protect against RSV or many of the other common winter viruses, it is important to take these simple and effective prevention steps: 
    • Wash your hands regularly. 
    • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Avoid or limit time around others who are sick or may be sick.
    • Consider maintaining social distancing or wearing a mask, particularly if you are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19, influenza or other respiratory infections.
  • If you are sick, stay home from work and away from others to avoid spreading illness. This includes keeping children out of school when they are sick and not taking them to events or activities. 
  • Consider avoiding crowded and indoor areas where distancing is not possible, or where you will be in close contact with anyone who is not a member of your household, or whose vaccination and illness status may be unknown. 

Northern Virginia hospitals and health districts will continue to closely monitor respiratory illnesses in Northern Virginia and disease trends locally. While no one can predict the full effect of these diseases on the community, practicing preventive actions to the greatest extent possible will help protect the community from illness.

For More Information

For more information on health issues in Northern Virginia, visit To find a COVID-19 or flu vaccination location, visit or email the Loudoun County Health Department.

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The Northern Virginia Emergency Response System (NVERS) is a collaboration of the region’s health care and public safety systems and comprises 16 acute care hospitals and 29 counties, cities, and towns. NVERS coordinates a regional approach to emergency preparedness, response, and recovery activities.

About Northern Region Health Districts

The Northern Virginia region includes health districts representing Loudoun, Fairfax, Prince William and Arlington counties, including all towns and municipalities, and the City of Alexandria.

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Sep 08

Bivalent COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Now Available at Pharmacies, Other Providers

Posted on September 8, 2022 at 10:17 AM by Nancy McCormick

Loudoun County encourages eligible individuals to consider getting a single dose of the new COVID-19 bivalent booster at least two months following a completed primary series or booster vaccination, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The bivalent vaccines, also known as “updated boosters,” contain messenger RNA (mRNA) components of the original strain and the omicron variant. 

The bivalent Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is authorized for use as a single booster dose in individuals aged 18 years and older and the bivalent Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is authorized for use as a single booster dose in individuals aged 12 years and older. 

Monovalent COVID-19 vaccines (based on the original strain of the virus), whether Moderna, Pfizer, Novavax or Johnson & Johnson Janssen, are no longer authorized as booster doses for individuals aged 12 years and older. 

Where Can I Get a Booster?

The bivalent vaccine booster is now available at many local pharmacies and some private medical offices. To find a provider, go to Loudoun County encourages eligible individuals to consider getting the bivalent booster at the same time they receive their annual flu shot. September and October are the best times to get vaccinated for protection throughout the expected winter surge.

For More Information

More information about COVID-19 vaccines and boosters is posted on the CDC’s website. Anyone with questions may call the Health Department's information line at 703-737-8300 or send an email.

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Jul 14

Weekly COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics for Children Scheduled Through September 2

Posted on July 14, 2022 at 1:24 PM by Nancy McCormick

Throughout the rest of the summer, the Loudoun County Health Department will hold weekly vaccination clinics at its Leesburg location for children 6 months of age and older. The clinics will serve families on Fridays through September 2, 2022, from 8:30 4:00 p.m. by appointment only. There is no charge for the vaccine.

The Virginia Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend all children 6 months and older be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. 

To schedule an appointment, call the COVID-19 Hotline at 703-737-8300 Monday through Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. During the scheduling call, Health Department staff will discuss with parents and guardians the specific vaccines offered at the clinic. 

For additional information about COVID-19, visit

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