Social distancing is one of the most effective ways to contain the spread of COVID-19. While specific restrictions on what Canadians can do vary from province to province, here are the basic Dos and Don'ts of social distancing, as advised by the Public Health Agency of Canada and chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam:
— Stay home as much as possible.
— Get fresh air, go for a jog or walk your dog but always keep two metres (six feet or about two arms-lengths) distance from other people.
— Go to the grocery store or pharmacy as needed but keep the two-metre distance and wash your hands upon your return home. Shopping online and arranging to have things dropped off at your home is even better.
— Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the washroom and when preparing food. The extra scrubbing time matters. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water aren't available.
— Cough or sneeze into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. Dispose of any tissues as soon as possible in a lined wastebasket and wash your hands afterwards.
— Clean high-touch surfaces frequently with regular household cleaners or diluted bleach (1 part bleach to 9 parts water). This includes things like doorknobs, toys, toilets, phones, electronics, remote controls and bedside tables.
— Use technology to keep in touch with people at higher risk like the elderly or those in poor health. Avoid personal contact.
— Avoid non-essential gatherings. That means no visits with your neighbours or friends, no play dates, no sleepovers, no parties and especially no public gatherings in crowded spaces, like conferences, concerts or sporting events (if there are any on).
Social distancing: what to do and what not to do to curb spread of COVID-19
— Avoid public transportation or, if you must use it, travel at uncrowded hours.
— Don't shake hands or kiss cheeks in greeting.
— Don't touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 19, 2020.