Guest Blog by Kevin Embrey, MPH
Virginia Department of Health
Loudoun County Health Department
With many Loudoun residents now fully vaccinated and the winter surge in COVID-19 cases behind us, now is the perfect time to celebrate the business community’s response to the pandemic AND look at how you can continue to do your part.
With diligent symptom checking, masking, social distancing, outdoor seating, touch-free service and other methods, we have been able to reduce the impact of COVID-19 in Loudoun and businesses have stayed open. Thank you for your role in slowing the spread of COVID-19!
Launched last June when Northern Virginia entered Phase 1 of recovery, the Loudoun Is Ready pledge served as a marker of confidence for businesses, their employees and customers to return to operation. We applaud the nearly 800 businesses that took the pledge, and asking for your continued commitment to:
- Continue to follow guidance and best practices from CDC and Virginia Department of Health to mitigate the spread of COVID-19;
- Report to the Loudoun Health Department if you have employee cases, and support contact tracing to “box in” the virus;
- Support vaccination of eligible staff.
As of July 1, many COVID-19 mitigation mandates expired in Virginia, leaving locations and customers to develop and enforce policies that work best for them. At the same time, the Loudoun County Health Department has created a COVID-19 Business and Workplace team that can work directly with businesses to offer training on best practices to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 now that restrictions have been lifted. As a Loudoun County business owner, you are invited to participate in one of our upcoming virtual workshops to learn about the services that the Health Department can provide and how we can best ensure safety together.
Sign Up to Be Part of an Upcoming Loudoun Is Ready Workshop
Sign up here to receive an invitation to one of our upcoming workshops. Attendees will receive a certificate that can be shared on their business websites and storefronts to make the community aware of your commitment to keeping Loudoun and our visitors safe.
Viruses are tricky to contain, particularly as new variants appear, but the best time to beat the next outbreak is before it happens. The New York Times estimates that the average cost of hospitalization due to COVID-19 is now $23,489 per patient, so now is the time for you and your staff to get fully vaccinated. Visit vaccines.gov to find a vaccine provider near you.
Wear Masks Indoors, Regardless of Vaccination Status
The Delta variant, which is now the main variant circulating in Virginia, is significantly more contagious than the original COVID-19 virus and can cause infection in both vaccinated and unvaccinated people. Until more people are vaccinated, wearing masks remains an important tool to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Businesses should encourage or require all employees and patrons to wear masks when there are substantial or high levels of disease transmission in the area, in accordance with CDC guidance.
It takes a united effort between our team and yours to prevent exposure to variants and prepare Loudoun for cold and flu season this fall and winter. If there’s any way that the Health Department can help your business, please do not hesitate to ask. Let’s keep the lines of communication open, and we’ll see you at an upcoming virtual workshop.
You can also reach out via email with individual questions for the Loudoun County Health Department’s COVID-19 Business and Workplace Team.