WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that large gatherings are avoided to help limit the spread of COVID-19 virus, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
“This recommendation is made in an attempt to reduce the introduction of the virus into new communities,” the CDC said in a press release “and to slow the spread of infection in communities already affected by the virus.”
The CDC is urging a nationwide halt to gatherings of more than 50 people for the next eight weeks, to help limit the risk of coronavirus being spread. The CDC issued guidelines for “community mitigation strategies,” which include recommendations for “social distancing.”
The recommendation applies to gatherings such as festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, conferences, and weddings, but not to-day-to organizations or businesses.
“While everyone needs to be mindful of what they can do to avoid spreading the virus, namely thorough handwashing, social distancing and avoiding crowds, this is still not the time to panic,” said Kansas Governor Laura Kelly. “It is time to be aware of the need to be very careful.”
Schools in more than 30 states in the U.S. have shut their doors with many other public places following suit. Some states like California and New York are banning large gatherings altogether.
“It is time to use common sense safety measures,” said Governor Kelly. “This remains the best defense against COVID-19, they’re all important safety measures that will help prevent the spread of this virus.”
Health officials have used a variety of terms to get the public to take necessary precautions, so what do they mean?
What is social distancing?
The term “social distancing” refers to a conscious effort to reduce close contact between people, limiting social gatherings and interactions between large groups of people.
According to the CDC, social distancing includes staying out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings and maintaining distance, approximately 6 feet or 2 meters away from others whenever possible.
Examples of “congregate settings” the CDC warns against:
- Crowded public places such as shopping centers, movie theaters or stadiums
- Mass transit
- Sporting events
What is quarantine?
Quarantine is the separation of a person (or group of people) who is believed to have been exposed to a contagious disease, but who is not currently showing symptoms.
What is isolation?
Isolation means that a person who has become sick is completely separated from others who are not sick. The person in isolation is kept away from everyone but healthcare providers, who will care for the person while wearing protective gear.
For more information on these terms, click here.
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