Social distancing: Why a few steps makes a big difference

Did you know that six feet can actually go a long way? That’s the idea behind social distancing.

How does social distancing help prevent the spread of COVID-19?

COVID-19 is spread by droplets, such as from a sneeze or a cough, so putting in a little extra space between yourself and others helps to reduce the likelihood of spread.

Social distancing video: We stand together, safely

How you can start social distancing

It’s important to keep at least six feet between yourself and others when possible. This means standing a bit farther back while waiting in lines, walking farther apart through hallways, talking with someone with more space between you (this may feel awkward at first), and taking the stairs instead of elevators when able. 

You can also:

  • Avoid group rounding
  • Avoid congregating in halls
  • Avoid traveling in groups throughout the hospital
  • Avoid being close to the person in front of you in line (entrances, cafeterias, etc.)

Try instead:

  • Rounding with each intern separately
  • Batching your duties as much as possible
  • Doing documentation at home
  • Keeping distance between you and the person next to you in line or crowded spaces

Download a flyer on social distancing here.

Do you have a patient or coworker who is getting a bit too close and you’re not sure what to say? Try out the simple script below to put social distancing into practice.

“I’m going to take a few steps back. We’re practicing social distancing, which means we stand at least six feet apart. It helps prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keeps us both safe.” 

Or try, “I say it because I care: six feet apart.”

You can also both practice putting your arms straight out, as demonstrated in the image below. If you can touch hands, you’re too close!

Mike Brownlee, PharmD, and Theresa Brennan, MD, demonstrate a safe distance during an employee forum on March 19.

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