Social distancing is a term you have probably heard many times during the coronavirus pandemic. But, what does social distancing mean, and how does it work?
The Public Health Department of Santa Clara Valley Health and Hospital System has good information about social distancing. It states: “Social distancing is a term applied to actions that are taken by Public Health officials to stop or slow down the spread of a highly contagious disease.”
Social distancing measures are taken to restrict when and where people can gather to stop or slow the spread of infectious diseases. Social distancing measures include limiting large groups of people from coming together, closing buildings, and cancelling events.
The White House has issued The President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America. It includes the following:
Listen to and follow the directions of your State and Local Authorities.
If you feel sick, stay home. Do not go to work. Contact your medical provider.
If your children are sick, keep them at home. Do not send them to school. Contact your medical provider.
If someone in your household has tested positive for the coronavirus, keep the entire household at home. Do not go to work. Do not go to school.
If you are an older person, stay home and away from other people.
If you are a person with a serious underlying health condition that can put you at increased risk (for example, a condition that impairs your lung or heart function or weakens your immune system), stay home and away from other people.
Work or engage in schooling from home whenever possible.
Avoid social gatherings of more than 10 people.
Avoid eating or drinking at bars, restaurants, and food courts – use drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options.
Do not visit nursing homes or retirement or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance.
Practice good hygiene: Wash your hands, especially after touching any frequently used item or surface. Avoid touching your face. Sneeze or cough into a tissue or the inside of your elbow. Disinfect frequently used items and surfaces as much as possible.
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