Physical Distancing Guide
Need-to-Know Info About Distancing and COVID-19
What does physical distancing mean?
Physical distancing, also called “social distancing,” means keeping a safe distance between yourself and other people, particularly if they're not from your household.
Distancing has three parts:
- Staying home as much as possible
- Staying at least 6 feet away (about 2 arm lengths) from other people while in public
- Avoiding gatherings with many people present
Why physical distance?
COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact (within about 6 feet) for a prolonged period. Because people can spread COVID before they show symptoms, it's important to practice physical distancing.
Why 6 feet?
Six feet is the distance that water droplets can travel when someone talks.
You can’t see them, but these invisible droplets are expelled into the air when people talk as well as when they laugh, sneeze, or cough. Spread happens when those droplets land in the mouth or nose of those nearby. They can also be inhaled into the lungs.
Physical Distancing FAQs
- I’ve been vaccinated for COVID-19. Do I still need to physical distance?
Based on the latest science, the CDC has stated that anyone who is fully vaccinated can resume indoor and outdoor activities safely without physical distancing.
- I’ve been fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Do I still need to avoid gatherings?
The science is clear: if you are fully vaccinated, you are protected, and you can start doing the things that you stopped doing because of the pandemic. This includes indoor and outdoor activities- large or small.
- Do I need to maintain physical distancing outside?
Yes. Outdoor activities are safer than indoor activities, but it’s still a good idea to maintain your distance when outdoors. Saliva particles can travel up to 6 feet during normal conversation.
- Is it okay to travel now that I've been fully vaccinated for COVID-19?
Even if you're fully vaccinated, you should delay domestic and international travel. If you must travel, be sure to follow CDC's recommendations.
- Do I need to practice physical distancing if I'm wearing a mask?
Masks are not intended to replace physical distancing and handwashing recommendations which people should continue to use to protect themselves.
- How can I make essential errands safer?
Stay at least 6 feet away from others while shopping and in lines. If possible, use drive-thru, curbside pick-up, or delivery services to limit face-to-face contact with others.
CDC Distancing Guidelines
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that limiting close face-to-face contact with others is the best way to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Get the lastest information from the CDC on distancing.
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What's the latest on physical distancing? DHEC has answers. Check out their distancing guide at https://www.stayscstrong.com/physical-distancing for answers to common questions.