How Does Social Distancing Prevent Spread Of COVID-19?
You would be hard-pressed to find any man, woman, or child around the world these days who hasn’t heard of social distancing. As this practice becomes more and more commonplace, it can be easy to forget exactly what social distancing means and why it is so important to help slow the spread of COVID-19. The professional team of board-certified ER physicians and medical staff at iCare ER & Urgent Care are proud to offer rapid, accurate, and reliable COVID-19 testing at our convenient locations in Fort Worth and Frisco, TX in the event that you or a family member thinks they may have been exposed to the virus. In the meantime, it is critical that you continue to follow social distancing guidelines and adhere to the other recommendations made by the CDC to lower the risk of contracting and/or spreading coronavirus.
How is coronavirus spread?
To understand why social distancing is such a beneficial practice, it is helpful to know a little bit more about how the virus is spread. COVID-19 is primarily thought to be spread through respiratory droplets that are expelled from a person’s nose or mouth as they are talking, laughing, coughing, sneezing, yelling, eating, or even breathing. In some cases, these droplets can survive on surfaces and be transferred to an individual that way as well. Most often, however, it is thought that the expelled respiratory droplets of an infected individual enter through the uninfected person’s mouth, nose, or eyes either directly or indirectly through hand-to-face contact.
What is social distancing?
Social distancing is a beneficial practice for avoiding the spread of germs by maintaining a certain amount of space between you and those around you. In the case of COVID-19, the CDC recommends keeping at least six feet of distance between yourself and anyone around you, particularly indoors. Social distancing greatly reduces the risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19 by minimizing the transfer of respiratory droplets from one person to another. Because some patients with COVID-19 can be completely asymptomatic, it is essential that social distancing and other safety measures are practiced, regardless of whether or not a person is showing signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
The symptoms of coronavirus can vary from person to person, with some infected patients being completely asymptomatic, while others develop severe symptoms and even life-threatening complications. Generally speaking, children have more mild COVID-19 symptoms than adults, though this is not always the case. Although not every person with COVID-19 will demonstrate an identical set of symptoms, there are some signs and symptoms that are fairly common among COVID-19 patients, including:
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle aches
- Lost sense of taste and/or smell
Further complicating matters, especially as we enter flu season this year, is many of the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to the flu. If you are experiencing symptoms consistent with either flu and/or COVID-19, it is important to visit your nearest ER in Frisco or Fort Worth to get tested. Both of our convenient iCare ER & Urgent Care locations offer on-site testing for COVID-19 and the flu with no need for an appointment. We are proud to offer three advanced COVID-19 tests for the most accurate, rapid, and reliable results possible, including:
- BioFire PCR: An extremely sensitive antigen test that boasts 97% accuracy in identifying an active COVID-19 case in as few as 2 – 3 days after exposure. Most patients receive their PCR test results on the same day.
- Sofia SARS antigen: A nasal or throat swab test for identifying active infections that typically yields results in less than an hour. Patients should keep in mind that this test is less sensitive than PCR testing and may produce a false-negative result in some cases.
- Antibody: A blood test to confirm the presence of COVID-19 antibodies, which means the patient has been previously infected or may be currently infected with COVID-19. Antibody testing should be performed a minimum of ten days after exposure to COVID-19. Results are typically returned within a few hours.
Do I still have to wear a mask when I am social distancing?
The CDC recommends wearing a mask at all times when indoors, when in the vicinity of persons who are not living in your household, when caring for infected patients or high-risk individuals, and when social distancing is not possible. Even when you are able to maintain a safe distance of six feet or more between yourself and others, wearing a mask can provide an extra layer of protection for both yourself and those around you.
How can I protect myself from the flu and COVID-19?
For the flu, patients are encouraged to receive a yearly flu vaccine, which is highly effective against the influenza virus and offered at both of our locations with no need for an appointment. Because there is currently no vaccine or cure available for COVID-19, following strict safety and hygiene measures is the best way to protect yourself from contracting coronavirus. Fortunately, these practices are also extremely beneficial in slowing the spread of the flu, the common cold, and other germs, too. To guard yourself against COVID-19 and the flu this season, use these tips and guidelines:
- Practice social distancing
- Wear a mask
- Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly
- Avoid group activities and large gatherings, especially indoors
- Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces regularly
- Monitor yourself and others for symptoms of illness
- Eat a healthy diet, stay hydrated, and get plenty of sleep to boost your immune system
- Get a flu shot
- Get tested for COVID-19 and/or the flu if you have any suspicious signs or symptoms
Social distancing works. Keep yourself and your family safe from COVID-19 in North Texas
There is extensive evidence to support the tremendous benefit of social distancing as a way to prevent the spread of coronavirus. As we approach the holiday season, which is typically characterized by group dinners and family gatherings, it is vital that you take extra precautions to ensure proper social distancing is being practiced and other safety measures are being taken. If you do develop symptoms that you believe are consistent with COVID-19, or if you think you may have been exposed to the virus, visit either of our convenient iCare ER & Urgent Care locations to obtain rapid COVID-19 testing in Frisco or Fort Worth, TX. Let’s all continue to do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep our friends, family, and loved ones safe and healthy.
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