Social Distancing and More

What Is Social Distancing?

Social distancing is a way to keep people from interacting closely or frequently enough to spread an infectious disease. Schools and other gathering places such as movie theaters may close, and sports events and religious services may be cancelled.

What Is Quarantine? Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who have been exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick. It lasts long enough to ensure the person has not contracted an infectious disease.

What Is Isolation? Isolation prevents the spread of an infectious disease by separating people who are sick from those who are not. It lasts as long as the disease is contagious.


Health care providers and health authorities should provide information on the disease, its diagnosis, and treatment. Do not be afraid to ask questions—clear communication with a health care provider may help reduce any distress associated with social distancing, quarantine, or isolation. Ask for written information when available. Ask a family member or friend to obtain information in the event that you are unable to secure this information on yourself.


If you are in a hospital, you may have access to health care providers who can answer your questions. However, if you are quarantined at home, and you’re worried about physical symptoms you or your loved ones may be experiencing, call your doctor or other health care provider: Ask your provider whether it would be possible to schedule remote appointments via Skype or FaceTime.


Speaking out about your needs is particularly important if you are in quarantine, since you may not be in a hospital or other facility where your basic needs are met. Ensure you have what you need to feel safe, secure, and comfortable. Work with local, state, or national health officials to find out how you can arrange for groceries and toiletries to be delivered to your home as needed. Inform health care providers or health authorities of any needed medications and work with them to ensure that you continue to receive those medications.


Reaching out to people you trust is one of the best ways to reduce anxiety, depression, loneliness, and boredom during social distancing, quarantine, and isolation. You can: Use the telephone, email, text messaging, and social media to connect with friends, family, and others.

Talk “face to face” with friends and love ones using Skype or Face Time. Talk about your experiences and feelings to loved ones and friends, if you find it helpful. Maintain a sense of hope and positive thinking; consider keeping a journal where you write down things you are grateful for or that are going well.


Relax your body often by doing things that work for you—take deep breaths, stretch, meditate or pray, or engage in activities you enjoy. Pace yourself between stressful activities, and do something fun after a hard task.

For the most updated and accurate information about the Coronavirus 2019, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html