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What is social distancing?

Social distancing is the practice of keeping a physical distance of at least six feet between yourself and others to minimize the risk of spreading coronavirus. Experts say social distancing can slow down the virus in your community, which helps prevent the U.S. healthcare system from getting overwhelmed by coronavirus patients.

Practicing social distancing doesn’t mean you have to remain in your home at all times. You can, in fact, spend time outside, going for walks and hikes, as long as you remain six feet away from non-family members.

Bars, restaurants, sporting events, weddings, and other community gathering places have been shuttered throughout much of the country, which helps keep people apart.  But local and state governments are recommending or requiring more extreme social distancing as well. That includes shelter in place orders in California, Illinois, and New York.

In mid-March, the CDC said it was inadvisable to gather in groups of 50 or more, but President Trump followed that up by saying that gatherings should be limited to 10 people or less.

“Every single reduction in the number of contacts you have per day with relatives, with friends, co-workers, in school will have a significant impact on the ability of the virus to spread in the population,” Dr. Gerardo Chowell, chair of population health sciences at Georgia State University, told the New York Times.

Sources: Johns Hopkins, New York Times, Vox


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