The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has encouraged Americans to practice social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19 and flatten the curve on coronavirus. Social distancing, the deliberate effort to increase the space between people, can include large-scale measures—like the cancellation of major sporting events—or can be practiced individually by choosing to stay home and avoid crowds.
Social distancing is an important containment measure because according to researchers, the rapid spread of coronavirus is likely due to the movements of people with no or very mild symptoms. By taking steps to limit interactions, we can slow the spread and protect our community. With effective social distancing practices in place, we can reduce the chance of infection among high-risk population, prevent surges in illness, and lessen the burden on health care systems and workers.
Social Distancing in the Workplace
Still, many essential jobs must be completed, and people have to leave their house for work. The CDC defines social distancing, in the context of COVID-19, as maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet (or 2 meters) from others. This means no handshakes, no in-person meetings, and increasing the space between people.
- Grocery Stores: For supermarkets and essential retail, have shoppers at the check-out line stand at a safe distance using floor markings to indicate where it’s to stand. Install a clear shield to reduce exposure for cashiers.
- Facilities: For manufacturing facilities still operating, limit your workforce so you can spread operators out at a healthy distance. Hang signs reminding workers to practice social distancing and use floor marking shapes to indicate where operators can work.
- Waiting Rooms: In reception areas, limit capacity by restricting available seating and placing chairs 6 feet apart. Post signs urging visitors to follow social distancing guidelines.
By practicing social distancing and adhering to local and state guidelines, we can help slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep our communities safe.
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