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What is social distancing?

Also called “physical distancing”, it consists of keeping a safe distance between people.

Social distancing is one of many preventive measures that must be taken into account to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including wearing masks, avoiding touching your mouth, nose or eyes, and washing your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

In order to put it into practice either physically or socially, you should follow the following tips:

  • Keep at least 6 feet away (2 meters or about 2 arms outstretched length) from other people.
  • Avoid holding or participating in group meetings, even at friends’ houses, parks, restaurants, stores, or other places.
  • Don’t be in places where there are crowds.
  • Evaluate social distancing options in a safe way to get to your work or any other place, whether on foot, by bicycle, or in any other type of transportation.
  • Limit physical contact, only visiting stores that sell basic household items if you really need to, always keeping at least 6 feet away from other people while waiting in line.
  • Keep your distance when exercising. Make sure to go for a walk, exercise, or bike around the neighborhood or another place where you can keep a distance of at least 6 feet from other pedestrians and bicyclists.

Why is it important and necessary to practice social distancing?

COVID-19 spreads primarily between people who are in close contact (within about 6 feet) for a long period of time. Spread occurs when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks, and droplets from their mouth or nose are expelled into the air and end up in the mouth or nose of those close to them. These droplets can also be inhaled and enter the lungs.

Recent studies indicate that people who are infected but have no symptoms likely also play a role in the spread of COVID-19. Since people can spread the virus before they know they are sick, it is important to keep a distance of at least 6 feet from other people whenever possible, even if you or those people have no symptoms.

Social distancing helps limit the opportunities to come into contact with contaminated surfaces and infected people outside the home.

In addition to taking daily measures to prevent COVID 19, keeping your distance from other people is one of the best tools you have to avoid exposing yourself to the virus and minimize its spread in communities.

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