What are social distancing guidelines?

During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic the CDC and medical professionals are strongly recommending people engage in social distancing. In many places, certain aspects of social distancing are even required by law until this pandemic is over. Understanding what the guidelines for social distancing are is critical for employers and employees so they can follow the advice of medical professionals and stay as safe as possible.

Two Key Components of Social Distancing

There are two primary aspects of social distancing guidelines that are most commonly talked about. They are as follows:

  • Minimize Groups – To the extent possible it is necessary to avoid having multiple people together in the same room. The current recommendation is to keep any groups to 10 or fewer, but that is as a maximum.
  • Remain Six Feet Apart – When it is necessary for people to be in the same area, social distancing guidelines dictate that they should keep at least six feet of distance between them at all times. This is to help reduce the risk that the virus could go from one person to another through the air.

It is important to note that these two key aspects of social distancing are not 100% effective and should serve as minimum requirements when it is necessary to have people together in one area. To the extent possible, keeping people isolated or more than six feet apart will reduce the risks of transmission even further.

Additional Guidelines for Social Distancing

When social distancing isn’t entirely possible, or even in situations where it is possible but there are still people around, the CDC has issued a number of recommendations to help reduce the risk. Making sure people wash their hands before entering a room, and after leaving it, is one of the most important. Avoiding any physical contact with other people (such as shaking hands) is also necessary. According to the most recent recommendations, the CDC also suggests that people wear cloth face masks whenever in an area with others, even if they are more than six feet apart.


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