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Social Distancing When You Can’t Fully Quarantine for COVID-19

Social Distancing When You Can’t Fully Quarantine for COVID-19

Mar 26, 2020

This blog was posted on March 26th. Because the situation surrounding COVID-19 is constantly evolving, some information may not be up to date. Stay informed by following information from your local officials and by visiting the CDC website.

Social distancing is important, as it can help slow the spread of disease and keep hospitals from becoming overwhelmed. However, maintaining six feet of distance from others can be difficult at times, especially if you’re a caregiver or work around people. Learn about steps you can take to slow the spread of the coronavirus and start implementing them into your daily routine.

How Coronavirus Spreads

Coronavirus, or COVID-19, is thought to spread mainly through person-to-person contact. The virus is transmitted in respiratory droplets that can enter the atmosphere when people talk, sneeze, cough, etc. That means that if an infected person doesn’t cover their mouth and nose, they could potentially spray you with respiratory droplets. Or perhaps you came in contact with someone who contracted the virus, and they touched their mouth or nose with their hand. When that person shakes your hand, they transfer some of the virus to your hand.

According to the CDC, 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 possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. To that end, it is extremely important to sanitize objects and surfaces that are touched often. To disinfect, you can use a diluted household bleach solution, a solution with at least 70% alcohol, or an EPA-registered household disinfectant.

How to Use Social Distancing to Prevent Coronavirus

Since the coronavirus mainly spreads through respiratory droplets in the air, maintaining at least six feet of distance from other people can help prevent the transmission of this disease. However, this practice can be hard, especially if you have children or you’re still required to report to work. Here’s our advice:

  • If You Have Children. Avoid scheduling playdates and skip the trip to the playground. Find entertaining things to do at home, like reading stories, making crafts, or having playdates over video chat.
  • If You Work in Close Contact With People. Do your best to maintain six feet of distance from coworkers and customers at all times. If closer contact is necessary, wash your hands before and after every interaction and avoid touching your face. Stay home if you feel sick.
  • If You Care for a Vulnerable Person. Seniors or someone with a compromised immune system can experience more severe symptoms if they get COVID-19. If you’re a caregiver, be sure to stock up on medications, medical supplies, and non-perishable food items so you don’t have to go outside as much. Wash your hands frequently, disinfect surfaces, and minimize contact with people outside of your home.
  • If You Have to Go to the Hospital. Call ahead so the staff at the location can prepare. Be sure to let them know if you have coronavirus-like symptoms.
  • If You're Caring for a Sick Person. This is one of the few cases where wearing a mask can be beneficial. Maintain six feet of distance from the person as much as possible, and wash your hands after contact. Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces and dishes often while wearing disposable gloves. Discard the gloves and wash your hands immediately after cleaning.

If you think you have COVID-19, call your Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group primary care physician to learn about the next steps you should take.

Sources:
The New York Times | Wondering About Social Distancing?
FDA | Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Frequently Asked Question
AARP | Practical Tips for Caregivers Concerned About Coronavirus
CDC | Clean & Disinfect