What Does Social Distancing Mean?
Social distancing refers to a practical health and safety measure designed to limit or prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus through the collective effort of separating close contacts between infected parties and healthy individuals. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends maintaining a distance of six feet between individuals.
WorkplaceTesting Explains Social Distancing
Initially, public health authorities and healthcare practitioners rallied to promote social distancing, a dynamic approach designed to maintain control of the infected populations within a particular community to prevent the number of serious cases requiring hospitalization from exceeding hospital capacity. While historical case studies reflect the usefulness of social distancing tactics, for example, closure of public venues, current metrics suggest precautionary steps to curb the coronavirus are, inversely, more beneficial than launching measures during an outbreak. The underlying premise for social distancing methods focuses on restraining the infection rate against the influx of hospitalizations adversely impacting medical staff, boosted by practicing regular hand washing since many cases are often asymptomatic.
In the workplace, many employers drafted health and safety policies conforming to a CDC-regulated framework of implementing social distancing methods, tailored to protect employees without compromising productivity and, in turn, the bottom line. The corporate infrastructure has adopted specific guidelines centered around social distancing parameters including flexible workspaces (i.e. telecommuting) and flexible work hours (i.e. staggered shifts) to minimize exposure risks. For businesses where customer engagement is an essential job task, adopting social distancing tactics via placement of restrictive notices, for example, boundary markers (i.e. floor tape), installing partitions, and limiting customer traffic within facilities deter further outbreaks.