Social distancing serves to protect public health and curb the spread of COVID-19

Doctor with stethoscope
Valley News - Health

PASADENA – Social crowding – individuals gathering less than 6-feet apart – has been proven to enable the coronavirus to spread through populations. The coronavirus transmits from person to person primarily through coughing and sneezing, from which the virus is carried on droplets that can enter through the nose, mouth and eyes of others.

“With social distancing, along with the other infection prevention guidance including staying at home, frequent hand-washing and the wearing of masks, the rate of individuals being infected by this highly infectious virus will remain lower,” Dr. James E. Baker said with Kaiser Permanente Southern California. “Without such preventive measures, the number of coronavirus cases rises dramatically. That steep increase can overwhelm the health care system of communities and countries as we have seen in New York City and Italy, for example. When the system is overwhelmed, it’s harder for everyone to receive the level of care normally provided, even those who don’t have COVID-19.

“With social distancing, people may still be transmitting the coronavirus to others, but at a much slower rate, thus flattening the curve,” he said.

The number of individuals infected will be spread out over a longer period of time, which in itself will reduce rapid transmission of the virus.

“This will allow health care resources to keep up with the demand to care for patients, provide better care and save lives,” Baker said.

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Submitted by Kaiser Permanente Southern California.