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Stay Vigilant - Physical Distancing Makes a Difference

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Stay Vigilant - Physical Distancing Makes a Difference

May 01, 2020

Though physical distancing can be frustrating and tiring, it's still the best practice to keep safe from coronavirus. Dr. Emily Spivak from the Division of Infectious Diseases talks about why staying vigilant with physical distancing is important during the COVID-19 pandemic, even as restrictions start to loosen.

Episode Transcript

Interviewer: Utah has fared pretty well against COVID-19, and as we start hearing about getting back to normal, Dr. Emily Spivak from the Division of Infectious Diseases at University of Utah Health warns us to keep in mind the reason things are going so well.

Dr. Spivak: I do want to caution people that just because we've done well doesn't mean that it's over. And I feel in myself that people are getting frustrated, they're getting tired. They get complacent. The social distancing, I think, has really worked here. And there will be . . . and I don't know what it will all look like, but clearly some loosening of the social distancing measures. But I think people need to realize we will not go back to normal likely quickly. And there is a real risk of a resurgence if people are just to disregard social distancing and start large gatherings because the virus is here. We know it's still here. We still have cases every day. And we need to be able to get on top of those quickly and social distance again if we need to when things resurge.

Interviewer: And of all the things we've been asked to do, Dr. Spivak is firm in her belief about what has made the biggest difference.

Dr. Spivak: I think physical, social distancing is the number one, most important thing people can do, and what we have done to minimize things here. Of course, respiratory etiquette, coughing, sneezing into your elbow, washing hands, washing and cleaning high-touch surfaces, mask wearing as we are recommending, which I realize has also been very confusing for the public. Those things are all important, but I think social distancing is the most important.

Interviewer: And as far as masks, Dr. Spivak says masks are not a replacement for social and physical distancing.

Dr. Spivak: And the messaging hopefully has been clear that it does not replace social distancing. Social distancing and staying at home and staying away from large groups is still the most important practice.

Interviewer: So remember, even if restrictions start loosening, you can still do the things and be vigilant to protect yourself.