What are social distancing requirements?

With the COVID-19 pandemic quickly spreading across the nation and throughout the world, there have been many recommendations and requirements issued to help ‘slow the spread’ and reduce everyone’s risk. Social distancing was one of the first recommendations issued by the CDC, and continues to be the first and most important thing that anyone can do at this time. Learning what the social distancing requirements are is essential for everyone regardless of their situation.

What is Social Distancing?

Social distancing is simply a practice of staying away from people so that the COVID-19 virus can’t spread between the people. COVID-19 has been shown to be quite contagious and can spread through droplets expelled from a cough or sneeze, which can travel at least six feet. The most recent information being released also suggests that the virus can spread simply from breathing or talking. In areas with low airflow, the virus can stay in the air for quite some time, putting others at risk. This is why social distancing is a key component of fighting this pandemic.

Requirements of Social Distancing

The specific requirements for social distancing will vary from state to state and situation to situation. As of now, there is no federal law mandating any level of social distancing throughout the country. The CDC, however, recommends that everyone keep at least six feet of space between them and any other people. This, combined with healthy hygiene habits like washing hands frequently, will help to reduce the risk of this virus spreading.

In the workplace, OSHA has also issued a variety of recommendations for social distancing. As with the CDC, these recommendations are not legal obligations, though they have been shown to help keep people safe. For example, OSHA is recommending employers encourage employees to work from home, spreading out shifts, moving desks or work areas to create additional distance, and more. All of these recommendations are issued specifically to help create an environment where proper social distancing is possible in the workplace.


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