As businesses and venues begin to open back up to the public, the emphasis remains on social distancing as the most effective tool to limit the spread and transmission of COVID-19 in our community.

However, if faced with a situation where active social distancing instructions and measures aren’t in place, what do you do? Here are a few do’s and don’ts to help you practice social distancing no matter where you are.

Social Distancing Do’s:

  • Maintain 6 feet of distance between you and others in public places. Remember, this is about 2 arm lengths, so be aware of those around you and navigate public spaces accordingly.
  • Follow signs/directional placements. Many businesses and public places have signage and directional features to control the flow of persons within their space to limit their contact and potential exposure. Pay attention and follow these instructions.
  • Wear a Mask/Cloth Face Covering. Be sure to cover your nose and mouth when out in public, either with a medical grade mask or a reusable cloth mask. Even a scarf or bandana can work in a pinch, as long as your nose and mouth are covered. While it’s not the most comfortable fashion statement, you’ll be limiting your exposure and keeping others safe from potential exposure from you.
  • Wash Your Hands/Use Hand Sanitizer. Be sure to wash your hands when returning home from a public place and often while you are out, if the opportunity presents itself. Utilize hand sanitizing stations and even consider keeping a bottle of hand sanitizer in your car to use in between trips.
  • Bring Your Own Wipes/Disinfectant. It’s not tacky or rude, but keep a stash of disinfectant wipes with you in your purse or in your car and bring them in with you to wipe down surfaces (such as door handles and shopping carts) when out and about. Not only will you be protecting yourself from exposure, you’ll also be assisting to stop the spread from high contact surfaces.

Social Distancing Don’ts:

  • Don’t ignore directions and signage. Many public places are now required to place directional signage and control flows in aisles at stores and public places. These are for your safety and the safety of others, so pay attention and follow directions.
  • Don’t ditch your mask. It’s hot and uncomfortable, but your mask is your best defense against exposing someone else to COVID-19 or being exposed yourself. Keep your mask on in public places and encourage others to do the same.
  • Don’t count on someone else to take charge. Be responsible for social distancing and best practices for yourself and those with you in public places. If the business or space that you are visiting doesn’t have instructions and accommodations in place and you are uncomfortable, leave and go elsewhere. Only by consistently following social distancing guidelines can we slow and potentially stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community.