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Social Distancing Guidelines

It's important to limit face-to-face contact with others so we can all help reduce the spread of coronavirus, COVID-19. By keeping your distance from others, you can help slow the spread of this disease.

What is Social Distancing?

Social distancing, also called “physical distancing,” means keeping space between yourself and other people outside of your home. To practice social or physical distancing:

  • Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people
  • Do not gather in groups
  • Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings

In addition to everyday steps to prevent COVID-19, keeping space between you and others is one of the best tools we have to avoid being exposed to this virus and slowing its spread locally and across the country and world.

Why Should I Practice Social Distancing?

COVID-19 spreads mainly among people within close contact for a prolonged period of time. Spread happens when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks, which launches droplets from their mouth or nose into the air. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people nearby, and can also be inhaled into the lungs. 

It may be possible to contract COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes. However, this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. COVID-19 can live for hours or days on a surface, depending on factors such as sunlight, humidity, and the type of surface. Social distancing helps limit opportunities to come in contact with contaminated surfaces and infected people outside the home.

Everyone has a role to play in slowing the spread and protecting themselves, their family, and their community.

Tips for social distancing

  • Follow guidelines from the Vermont Department of Health
  • When you go to the grocery store or pharmacy, stay at least 6 feet away from others. Also consider other options:
    • Mail-order medications if possible
    • Use a grocery delivery or pickup service
  • Be sure to cover your mouth and nose with a mask when you have to go out in public.
    • Cloth face coverings should NOT be placed on children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
    • Keep at least 6 feet between yourself and others, even when you wear a face covering.
  • Avoid gatherings of any size outside your household, including children and teens. 
  • Work from home when possible. 
  • Avoid using public transportation, ridesharing or taxis, if possible.

Stay Connected While Staying Away

Social connections are important for our mental and emotional health. It's important to stay in touch with friends and family that don’t live in your home. Call, video chat, write letters or use social media. Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations and having to socially distance yourself from someone you love can be difficult.

Remember, we are all in this together even though we need to stay physically apart. Thank you for doing your part to keep yourself, your family and our community health!

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