Coronavirus: What exactly is social distancing? Here’s what experts say

The spread of the new coronavirus has led to more COVID-19 cases and also new directives: wash your hands more, stop shaking hands, and consider “social distancing.”

The virus has so far resulted in one death in Canada, and 79 confirmed cases in the country as of March 10.

Globally, the virus has resulted in close to 110,000 deaths and 3,809 deaths as of March 9, according to the World Health Organization.

Social distancing

So what does social distancing mean?

The U.S. Centres for Disease Control (CDC) defines it as “remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible.”

Canada’s public health agency’s guide for provincial and local health authorities defines social distancing as steps to “minimize close contact” with people in the community, such as “quarantine or self-isolation at the individual level” along with broader steps such as avoiding crowds.

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