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Rich Cowan: What you Need To Know About Social Distancing and COVID-19

Mar 17, 2020 05:57AM ● By Rich Cowan
(Editor's note: The following was first published on Dracut Civic Watch and is republished with permission.)

WHAT IS SOCIAL DISTANCING?
It is a strategy to further prevent the spread of the coronavirus after a community has taken other steps, like closing schools, crowded workplaces and big church services.
Two facts:
* The United Kingdom has acknowledged that only severe cases are getting tested, and that people with mild symptoms are not tested. That means according to UK's health advisor, that UK has 10 times as many infections as are officially confirmed. (see: https://bit.ly/38JY71X )
*
The City of Somerville has 3 confirmed CoVID-19 cases from the Biogen conference testing. Because two of them have kids who have been in school, the city is assuming it has many mild or undetected coronavirus cases. (see: https://www.somervillema.gov/coronavirus ) BECAUSE of the many undetected cases (some of these may already be in Tewksbury), it is time to take a look at Social Distancing.
Here is an excerpt from new guidelines for EVENTS just released yesterday on the City of Somerville web site. It gives you an idea what social distancing is all about: All events must be held in a space large enough to prevent crowding for the expected attendees. Social distancing for attendees must be possible (six feet apart or more).
  • If food is served:arrange for prepackaged foods such as boxed lunches or food to be served by staff who are trained in safe food handling; do not serve foods where multiple hands will touch the food (e.g., buffet style) (again, served food by staff trained in food handling could be substituted); ensure hand-washing facilities are accessible and supplied with adequate soap and paper towels; if available, provide hand sanitizer for attendees for in-between handwashing opportunities.
  • All commonly touched surfaces will be cleaned before and after events (doorknobs, railings, sink handles, etc.).
  • All attendees should be reminded not to attend if they are feeling unwell, coughing, or sneezing.
  • All attendees should be reminded to avoid social touching (handshaking and social hugs/kissing should be avoided).
The full description of Somerville's response can be seen here: https://bit.ly/2vjxtPD Certainly we hope the rate of infection stays low in our community. Are groups you are part of planning to engage in social distancing?
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