What is Social Distancing?


Staying Healthy:  What is Social Distancing?

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highly recommends that people of all ages stay away from large gatherings.  This limiting of gatherings is called social distancing. Many universities, public schools, and sporting institutions have been shut down for the next few weeks in an effort to prevent the virus from spreading.

The goal of social distancing is to prevent sick people from coming in close contact with healthy people thus preventing and reducing the spread of the COVID-19 virus.  The CDC defines social distancing as “remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (at least 6 feet) from others when possible.”  Congregate settings include sporting events, festivals, parades, church services and functions, grocery stores, coffee shops, concerts, and large hangout settings which include skating rings, malls, and movie theaters.  Social distancing also includes avoiding handshakes, close contact such as hugging, avoiding public transportation when possible, limit nonessential travel, and working from home if applicable.

Other acts to prevent the spread of the virus include frequent hand-washing, use of hand sanitizer, using proper respiratory etiquette, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, and staying at home when not feeling well.  Hand-washing should be completed before you eat, after using the restroom, after playing with pets, after sneezing, blowing your nose or coughing, before and after touching a cut or open sore, after playing outside, and anytime hands are visibly soiled.  Proper respiratory etiquette helps to limit the transmission of respiratory pathogens spread by droplet or airborne routes. Proper respiratory etiquette includes covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, using tissues and throwing them away after use, and washing your hands or using hand sanitizer every time you touch your mouth or nose. 

If you are sick, please stay home and avoid public places.  Clean and disinfect frequently high touched surfaces daily. Such surfaces include tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, video game controllers, toilets, faucets, and sinks.