Keep Calm and Wash Your Hands

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Keep Calm and Don't Touch Your Face graphic


We are sure many of you have been following the news about COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and have been thinking about how it might affect you as a volunteer. It’s impossible to predict if or how our community will be affected in the coming weeks but please know we want to be prepared and proactive.

Volunteer Fairfax wants to make sure all our RSVP volunteers know our main priority is your health. We ask that volunteers do not go into their normal volunteer stations/opportunities if you are feeling sick or are exhibiting any signs of illness as described by the Fairfax County Health Department. Specifically, the CDC recommends that anyone with symptoms of an acute respiratory illness stay home from work until symptom free, without the aid of symptom-altering medicines for 24 hours.  We want you to know that if you don’t feel comfortable volunteering at this time, contact your volunteer organizations’ site supervisor/volunteer coordinator for more information. Or if you do not know who to contact, email our office at for contact details. We also recommend being mindful of the population you’re serving and whether they are an at-risk population.


We will continue to monitor this evolving situation closely and communicate on a regular basis. You can check the status of any RSVP programs on our Facebook page

Older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness. Please consult with your health care provider about additional steps you may be able to take to protect yourself. The CDC recommends you should:


protect-wash-handsClean your hands often

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid close contact

Stay home if you’re sick

COVIDweb_06_coverCoughCover coughs and sneezes

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Wear a facemask if you are sick

  • If you are sick:  You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room. Learn what to do if you are sick.
  • If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.

Clean and disinfect

  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  • If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

COVIDweb_09_cleanTo disinfect:

Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work. Use disinfectants appropriate for the surface.Options include:

  • Diluting your household bleach.To make a bleach solution, mix:
    • 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of waterOR
    • 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water

Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.

  • Alcohol solutions.
    Ensure solution has at least 70% alcohol.
  • Other common EPA-registered household disinfectants.Products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens pdf icon[7 pages]external icon claims are expected to be effective against COVID-19 based on data for harder to kill viruses. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products (e.g., concentration, application method and contact time, etc.).

Do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions, suggestions or concerns. You can follow the links to the CDC and the VA Department of Health site for more specific information. For more information on how to prevent this illness and protect yourself, check out this link from the CDC website

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