What is Social Distancing?

Social distancing, also called physical distancing, means keeping a safe space between yourself and other people who are not from your household. To practice social or physical distancing, stay at least 6 feet from other people who are not from your household in both indoor and outdoor spaces. Social distancing should be practiced in combination with other everyday preventive actions to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including wearing masks, avoiding touching your face with unwashed hands, and frequently washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

Importance of Social Distancing
Since people can spread the virus before they know they are sick, it is important to stay at least 6 feet away from others when possible, even if you or they do not have any symptoms. Social distancing is especially important for people who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. COVID-19 can live for hours or days on a surface, depending on factors such as sunlight, humidity, and the type of surface. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes. However, this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. Social distancing helps limit opportunities to come in contact with contaminated surfaces and infected people outside the home.

Social Distancing Stops the Spread of Disease
Some viruses like the virus that causes COVID-19 spread easily, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Social distancing puts space between individuals. If someone is sick and there are no people around, a virus cannot spread. Social distancing means we are doing our best to stay away from people to limit the spread of coronavirus. It’s really important because if everyone gets coronavirus at once and ends up in the hospital at the same time, our health care system would be overwhelmed.

Social distancing is your social responsibility
The COVID-19 pandemic has placed a new level of personal accountability in front of each of us. To slow the spread of coronavirus and protect the health and vitality of our communities, we must each remain committed to the extra precautions our public health officials are recommending. At the core of these preventive measures is the need for continued social distancing even if you’re healthy. While it can feel inconvenient, social distancing doesn’t have to mean social isolation. Fortunately, we live in a time full of digital tools and resources that can help us stay connected. From video calls to online games, there are plenty of ways to socialize with your friends and loved ones without potentially contributing to the spread of COVID-19.
While those at the highest risk seem to be those over age 60 and those with chronic health conditions, the best thing everyone can do is adhere to strict social distancing measures. Even if you feel like you’re young and healthy and think you’re probably not going to get sick, we all have parents, grandparents, and elderly neighbors in our circles and we are doing this for them. So everyone must strictly follow social distancing.

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