The community search feature quickly displays community levels based on locale, alongside recommended actions, like masking. The most notable tool is a location finder for the "Test-to-Treat" program, a recently created option that enables anyone with COVID-19 symptoms to go to a participating provider, such as a pharmacy, to get tested. If patients test positive for COVID-19, they can receive antiviral medications on the spot if prescribed by the provider. Find Test-to-Treat locations near you at COVID.gov. Visit alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus to find local COVID-19 testing or vaccines today.
Omicron Sub-variant Concern
BA.2, an Omicron sub-variant that has undergone several genetic changes from the original Omicron virus, has been identified in Fairfax County COVID-19 patients, reports Fairfax County Emergency Information. The sub-variant has been found in other areas across the state, the U.S. and globally. BA.2 is now estimated to be responsible for at least one in three COVID-19 infections in the country and one in five COVID-19 infections in Virginia.
While BA.2 appears to be more contagious and can spread faster, it is not known to make people sicker, the report from the county said.
Recent studies show that getting a booster dose and remaining up to date on vaccination significantly increases protection against Omicron infections and hospitalizations in both adolescents and adults.
“Existing COVID-19 vaccines remain effective against BA.2 infections and provide similar protection as for the original Omicron virus. Staying up to date on vaccination is particularly important as people who have received a booster are much better protected against illness and hospitalization than those who have only received two vaccine doses,” says Dr. Ben Schwartz, Fairfax County Health Department division director of epidemiology and population health.
As we learn to live with the COVID-19 virus, we need to be prepared for the emergence of new variants, the county report said. Keeping up to date on vaccinations is the single most effective way to protect yourself since immunity gained from natural infection or vaccination is known to wane over time.
Additional Boosters Recommended for Some Groups
The CDC updated its recommendations to allow certain immunocompromised individuals (a weakened immune system) and people over the age of 50 to receive another mRNA booster to increase their protection against severe disease from COVID-19. This additional booster should be received at least 4 months after an initial booster dose or third dose in a primary series. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expanded the emergency use authorizations for the Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to include this second booster.
Based on newly published data, adults who received both a primary and booster dose of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine at least 4 months ago may now receive a second booster dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.
Find vaccine clinics offering booster doses by visiting alexandriava.gov/Vaccines. Vaccines are available at all local vaccine providers free of charge regardless of insurance status.
Quarantine and Isolation Calculator Tool
The CDC released a robust new COVID-19 Quarantine and Isolation (Q&I) Calculator, which was developed in response to requests from partners and the public. The Q&I Calculator provides tailored information about precautions people with COVID-19 and their close contacts should take to protect their loved ones and neighbors. Please note that the Q&I Calculator is not for people with COVID-19 who are severely ill or those who are immunocompromised and are at high risk of needing hospitalization.
Alexandria COVID-19 Vaccination Data At-a-GlanceVaccination charts are available at alexandriava.gov/120654. Detailed data, including data on age, race and ethnicity, are available at alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus