What is Social Distancing?

Social distancing, or physical distancing, means keeping space between yourself and others outside of your home. In addition to other common-sense practices, social distancing is one of the best tools we have to decrease exposure to COVID-19 and slow it’s spread. To practice social distancing:
• Stay at least 6 feet, or two arms’ lengths, from other people
• Do not gather in groups
• Stay away from crowded places and avoid mass gatherings

Why is social distancing important?
COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact for long periods of time. Research suggests that COVID-19’s rapid spread is likely due to movement of people who are symptom free or have very mild symptoms, in other words, those who are unaware that they have the virus. Social distancing helps limit opportunities to come in contact with contaminated surfaces and infected people outside of the home.

Why six feet?
The size of the respiratory droplet dictates how far they can fly from the mouth or nose. Most researchers estimate that six feet is the distance to the outside edge of the splash zone. Although six feet of distance is the standard adopted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the more distance between yourself and others outside of your home, the better for reducing the spread of illness.

Tips for Social Distancing:
• Follow guidance from authorities where you live.
• If you need to shop for any reason, stay at least 6 feet away from others.
• Cover your moth and nose with a cloth face covering when around others.
• Avoid gatherings of any size outside of your household.
• Work from home when possible.
• Avoid public transportation if possible.
• Stay connected via telephone or social media while physically staying away.

To stay up-to-date on COVID-19 in North Carolina and to learn more, visit ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus or text COVIDNC to 898211. Call 2-1-1 (or 888-892-1162) for general questions or for help finding human services resources in your community.