Health Director Letter to Arlington Business Community

This guest blog post is from the Arlington County Health Director Reuben K. Varghese, MD, MPH 

Dear Business Owner,

Thank you for shared commitment to support our Arlington community during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

As a partner in protecting the health and safety of employees and customers, implementing two basic guidelines will limit the spread of COVID-19 among employees and customers in your business setting: 

  • Maintain physical distancing between people of at least 6 feet.
  • Encourage employees and customers to wear a cloth face covering when out in public

According to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms. This means that the virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity — for example, speaking, coughing or sneezing — even if those people are not exhibiting symptoms.   

In light of this new evidence, CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures could be difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission, like we have here in Arlington, VA. 

Wearing cloth face coverings is an additional action to the basic steps we need to all follow to protect ourselves and others: 

  • Maintain 6-foot distances from others at all times; wearing a cloth face covering does not replace physical distancing.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after being in a public place, or after blowing nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with the inside of the elbow.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick and staying home when ill.
  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.

Maintaining at least 6 feet of distance between us and others and using cloth face coverings when out in public are 2 important ways each of us can help better protect our family, friends, and neighbors from being exposed to COVID-19.  

My sincere appreciation for all you continue to do to support Arlington and its residents through this unprecedented time. 


Reuben K. Varghese, MD, MPH 
Health Director and Chief, Public Health Division

Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 | Toolkit to Help Implement these Guidelines 

Topic: COVID-19 Resources
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