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Published on April 02, 2020

FAQs about social distancing

What's acceptable while social distancing?

With so many restrictions right now, you may be asking yourself, "What can I do during a pandemic?" Here's a roundup of some things that are acceptable.

Can I... go grocery shopping?

Yes! You can grocery shop, but you should take precautions to reduce your risk of exposure to COVID-19 and other germs. If possible, leave children at home and have only one person per household go to the store. Shop when there's generally less traffic, such as early in the morning or late at night. Some grocery stores are committing the first few hours of the day to older adults and those with a compromised immune system. Another option is to buy groceries online and pick them up curbside.

Can I… order takeout?

Yes! You can order takeout. There is currently no evidence to support that COVID-19 is transmitted through food. Ordering takeout is a great way to help local businesses in a time when many are struggling. As always, wash your hands before eating.

Can I… wear a mask?

The CDC recommends wearing a cloth face covering in public when it's difficult to maintain other social distancing measures (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies). Note: the cloth face covering should not be a surgical mask or N-95 respirator. These are critical supplies that must be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders. Instead, you can easily make a cloth mask out of a bandana or T-shirt. Here is a quick tutorial.

Can I… exercise?

Yes! It's incredibly important to exercise during times of stress. While it's best to avoid gyms and public places right now, you can do at-home workouts or go outside. Fresh air and sunshine are great for the immune system. When outdoors, be sure to stay 6 feet away from others. While it's OK to go for a walk with those in your household, meeting up with a friend for a walk is not permitted.

Can I… go outside?

Yes! Getting outside is so important for your physical and mental health, as well as your immune system. Go for a walk or simply relax on your front steps. If you are unable to go outside, sit by a window. When outside, be sure to keep your distance from others.

Can I… see my doctor or dentist?

Stay in contact with your doctor or dentist to confirm if your appointment will stay scheduled. It's important to continue working with your healthcare team to manage any chronic conditions or concerns that arise. MyChart is a great option for messaging your provider. You may also call your primary care provider or the Nurse Advisor line at (608) 775-4454.

Can I… use public transportation?

Avoid public transportation when you can. If you must take it, practice exceptional hand hygiene and avoid touching your face. Stay home if you're sick to help protect others.

Can I… go to work?

If you are able, consider working from home. If your job requires you to be on-site, do your best to maintain a 6-foot distance from others, wash your hands and sanitize regularly, and avoid touching your face. When you return home, change your clothes and wash your hands with warm, soapy water, scrubbing for at least 20 seconds.

Can I… travel?

All non-essential travel should be postponed.

Can I… visit family?

While it is OK to visit with family who live in your house, it's not acceptable to meet with others. Take advantage of phone and video calls to stay connected with loved ones.

Can I… schedule playdates?

Although it's difficult, children should not play with kids outside of those who live in your household. This can be hard for children to understand. Read more about talking to kids about COVID-19.

Can I… take my child to daycare?

Daycare services should be carefully considered. Recent restrictions have limited the number of children and staff allowed in a facility right now, which has made it difficult for some parents who are working on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic to maintain childcare. If you are staying home and are safely able to keep your child(ren) home with you, that is the best option. If your kiddo must go to daycare, help them wash their hands before and after and change their clothes when they come home.

Where can I… get help?

If you are struggling with the mental load of this pandemic, it's important to know you're not alone. Reach out to someone you trust or call 211 to speak with a specialist. Great Rivers 2-1-1 offers free, confidential community information and referrals 24 hours/day. Dial 2-1-1 or (800) 362-8255 to talk to an information and referral specialist.

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