Limiting face-to-face contact with others is the best way to reduce the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
What is social distancing?
Social distancing means keeping space between yourself and other people. To practice social or physical distancing:
- Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people
- Avoid large groups of people
- Stay out of crowded places
In addition to everyday steps to prevent COVID-19, keeping space between you and others is one of the best tools we have to avoid being exposed to this virus and slowing its spread. Social distancing is especially important for people who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
Why practice social distancing?
COVID-19 spreads among people who are in close contact. Spread happens when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks, and droplets from their mouth or nose are launched into the air. Studies indicate that people who are infected but do not have symptoms likely also spread COVID-19.
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. COVID-19 can live for hours or days on a surface, depending on factors such as sunlight, humidity, and the type of surface. Social distancing helps limit opportunities to come in contact with contaminated surfaces and infected people outside the home.
Although the risk of severe illness may be different for everyone, anyone can get and spread COVID-19. Everyone has a role to play in slowing the spread and protecting themselves, their family, and their community.
It is very important to stay in touch with friends and family that don’t live in your home. Call, video chat, or stay connected using social media. Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations and having to socially distance yourself from someone you love can be difficult.