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How to practice social distancing

Note: This article was last updated in March 2020. For the latest updates on COVID-19, see

You can help prevent the spread of COVID-19, but it’s important to act now.

Even if you’re healthy, you should stay home and avoid other people as much as possible to help save lives.

Because there is no vaccine yet for COVID-19, the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Here are some key prevention strategies:

Social distancing: If you’re out in public, try to put about six feet of space between other people and yourself.

“The virus is thought mainly to spread from person to person,” the CDC explains.

Staying home: Remain inside if you can, but if you must go out, stay away from large crowds.

“I would like the public to understand the importance of staying home and avoiding crowds,” says Piedmont infectious disease physician Jesse Couk, M.D.

Avoiding close contact with people who are sick: If someone is ill, they should stay home except to get medical care, says the CDC.

Quarantining if you may have been exposed:Quarantine means separating a person or group of people who have been exposed to a contagious disease but have not developed illness (symptoms) from others who have not been exposed,” the CDC explains.

Other important preventive measures include hand-washing, covering coughs and sneezes, wearing a facemask if you’re sick, and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces daily.

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