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West Orange Times & Observer Tuesday, Mar. 24, 2020 2 years ago

Orange County offers tips on social distancing

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Health officials have advised individuals to stay away from large crowds.
by: Eric Gutierrez Former Staff Writer

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, health authorities worldwide have been encouraging individuals to practice social distancing.

But what exactly is social distancing and how does one practice it?

Simply put, social distancing can be defined as taking measures to limit physical contact with other people. These measures are often taken to restrict when and where people can gather to prevent or slow the spread of infectious diseases. Social distancing measures often include placing limits on large groups of people coming together, closing certain buildings and public spaces, and canceling events that attract large crowds. 

Daniella Sullivan, health services administrator at Orange County Government, shared a number of tips for how citizens can practice social distancing.

“The goal is to maintain a healthy distance between you and other people,” Sullivan said. “The goal (also) is to minimize the unnecessary contact with people, and that involves avoiding things like public transportation, or nonessential travel, or business meetings or things like that. It’s keeping (away from) social gatherings and not going to crowded areas and that type of activity.”

Sullivan added that, for jobs that have implemented work-from-home measures, businesses should limit in-person meetings and use video, phone or other telecommunication methods for meetings when necessary. 

“You can still keep (business) operations going while you will comply with the recommendation of social distancing,” Sullivan said. “There are other companies that have transitioned to remote work. … In Orange County in particular, we have seen a lot of strategies related to that.”

Although social distancing currently is strongly recommended for people all over the world, that doesn’t mean individuals won’t be coming into contact with others. There will be instances where individuals might have to interact — such as picking up groceries or working at a job that cannot be done from home — but social distancing measures can still be taken. 

“The recommendation is (you have) to be at least 6 feet (away from others),” Sullivan said. “Hand hygiene is always going to be the key. … Social distancing does not mean that you’re going to be socially isolated. We still need to go to the pharmacy or to the grocery store and we have to be a little bit more cautious when we go to those public places. … Avoid being in close distance with others.”

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Eric Gutierrez was a staff writer with the West Orange Times & Observer and Southwest Orange Observer....

See All Articles by Eric

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