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Social distancing is a way to slow the spread of a contagious disease such as COVID-19 by reducing contact between people. The goal is to reduce the chance everyone gets sick at the same time, which will overwhelm our health care system.
Why practice social distancing if you’re healthy? So you don’t infect someone who isn’t.
• Try to stay 6 feet away from people. COVID-19 is transmitted via droplets. Stay far enough away so no one coughs or sneezes on you.
• Avoid physical contact. No more hugs or kisses.
• Don’t touch your face. Be mindful of what you touch.
• Restrict trips away from home.
• Ask yourself: Do I have to leave the house? If not, don’t.
• If you have to leave, do so at off-peak hours. Hit the grocery store early in the morning or late in the evening. Avoid crowds.
• Wash your hands before you leave, while you’re out and when you get back.
• Think about Uber Eats, Grubhub and other delivery services if restaurants are still open. And Instacart and Shipt for groceries. Avoid contact with the driver.
• Small groups are risky. Everyone must be healthy, wash themselves and common items and maintain the 6-foot rule.
• Dating? A pandemic is probably a bad time to meet someone new.
• Parents, play dates may not be a good idea. Kids can transmit the disease. Can you really clean your kids and everything else well enough? Ireland banned play dates, by the way.
• Stay away from people with flu-like symptoms. If you have flu-like symptoms, stay away from everyone else.
• Remember: You don’t have to have symptoms to be infected.
• The more at-risk you are, the stricter you should be. If you are in your 60s or older, or have an underlying disease or disorder, such as heart disease, COVID-19 is more dangerous to you.
Where is this heading? California Gov. Gavin Newsom advised everyone 65 or older in his state to self-isolate at home.
What you think is unreasonable now may seem overdue a week from now.
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Tampa Bay Times coronavirus guide
Q&A: The latest and all your questions answered.
EVENT CANCELLATIONS: Get the latest updates on events planned in the Tampa Bay area in the coming weeks.
PROTECT YOURSELF: Household cleaners can kill the virus on most surfaces, including your phone screen.
BE PREPARED: Guidelines for essentials to keep in your home should you have to stay inside.
STOCK UP YOUR PANTRY: Foods that should always be in your kitchen, for emergencies and everyday life.
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FACE MASKS: They offer some protection, but studies debate their effectiveness.
WORKPLACE RISK: A list of five things employers could be doing to help curb the spread of the disease.
READER BEWARE: Look out for bad information as false claims are spreading online.
OTHER CORONAVIRUS WEBSITES:
• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
• Florida Department of Health
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