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Kalispell Regional Hospital urges people to adhere to social distancing

Posted at 7:39 PM, Mar 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-25 21:39:40-04

KALISPELL — We've all heard the term social distancing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak but what does it really mean?

Kalispell Regional Hospital Chief Medical Officer Dr. Doug Nelson says the practice is important because being proactive and practicing social distancing can slow the rapid spread of COVID-19.

"This is our chance in the Flathead Valley to nip this in the bud as much as possible," said Dr. Nelson. "We don't have evidence of community transmission yet, it may be out there in the community, but we haven't had evidence of transmission."

He explained that when a person sneezes or coughs those droplets can travel up to three feet. So, standing at least six feet away from someone will prevent you from getting hit by those droplets.

"Most coughs and sneeze the droplets go out three feet. So, six feet of separation is a way to ensure a safer zone for people to interact," said Dr. Nelson.

He also noted that social distancing means limiting contact with as people many as possible and staying home when you can, "people need to be taking this as seriously as they possibly can."

In addition to social distancing,Dr. Nelson reminds people to stay home if they're sick, wash their hands for at least 20 seconds and not touch your face.