Why you should social distance even when wearing a mask


Why you should social distance even when wearing a mask

Wearing a face mask when you’re in public is an excellent way to help limit the spread of COVID-19, but it’s important to remember to keep your distance from others, too.
COVID-19 is believed to spread primary between people who are within six feet of each other through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.
With no vaccine available, the best way to protect yourself from the illness is to avoid exposure to it. If you have to be around others in public, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends wearing a mask and social distancing by staying at least six feet away from other people.
“You’re adding layers of protection,” says Dr. Gerald Harmon, vice president of medical affairs at Tidelands Health. “A mask and social distancing work together and are more protective than either measure alone.
“It’s very important to wear a mask in public settings, but remember that wearing a mask is not a substitute for social distancing. Whenever you can, you should keep at least six feet from people who aren’t in your household.”

Safe in Our Care

All patients, visitors and team members are required to wear a face covering or mask in all Tidelands Health care locations as part of the health system’s “Safe in our Care” initiative, which also includes designated social distancing zones, Safe Care Navigators, who screen patients for symptoms of COVID-19, provide hand sanitizer for hand hygiene and answer safety-related questions, enhanced check-in and check-out procedures and enhancements to the organization’s already-stringent cleaning protocols in lobbies and exam rooms.

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Eventually, the goal is to develop an effective vaccine for COVID-19, Dr. Harmon says. But until one becomes available, each of us has a responsibility to do our part to help limit spread of the illness.
“Wear a mask, avoid large gatherings, observe social distancing and regularly wash your hands,” Dr. Harmon says. “These simple steps, when taken by all of us, will slow the spread of COVID-19.”

Meet the Expert

Dr. Gerald Harmon

Dr. Gerald Harmon, who has cared for patients in our region for more than 35 years, is a family medicine physician and vice president of medical affairs at Tidelands Health.

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