Mar 20, 2020 4:30 PM

physical distancing
physical distancing
physical distancing

Physical Distancing, Explained

Physical distancing, also known as social distancing, can help slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep high-risk populations safe. “It helps protect the most vulnerable,” says Emily Spivak, MD, an associate professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at University of Utah Health. “It’s part of our civic duty.”

Physical Distancing = Limiting Close Contact

  • Maintain a distance of at least six feet when around other people.

  • Reduce unnecessary trips. When you go to the grocery store, purchase what you need for a week to minimize return visits. Same goes for medicine and prescriptions.

  • Avoid congregating with more than 10 people in lines or groups.

  • Practice good hygiene. Wipe down commonly touched areas like door knobs or grocery cart handles with sanitizing wipes. Use gloves while shopping or pumping gas—then dispose of the gloves when you’re done. Avoid touching your face, nose, mouth, or eyes. Don’t pull your cell phone out of your pocket. And when you return home, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with hot water and soap.

Fresh Air & Exercise Are Important!

At the same time, fresh air and exercise are important to combat social isolation. Take a walk around your neighborhood—with your dog if you have one— or ride a bike with family members. Gardening or yard work are also great ways to get fresh air and clear your head.


This information was accurate at the time of publication. Due to the changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, some information may have changed since the original publication date.

COVID-19 coronavirus physical distancing

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