WESTFIELD, NJ — With COVID-19 cases rising, “social distancing” is the latest buzzword — and a public health priority — whether you are experiencing symptoms or not.

Here’s what the Westfield Regional Health Department (along with state and federal public health officials) want you to know — and do — in keeping with the best practices of social distancing to help to “flatten the curve.”

  • Keep out of “congregate settings”
  • Avoid mass gatherings
  • Maintain physical distance (at least 6 feet is recommended)

“Staying at home and limiting travel is crucial to mitigation,” the health officials said. “Do not have people over for dinner, friends over for play dates, sleepovers or other gatherings.”

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What else do you need to know?

  • If you interact with others, do your best to maintain a 6-foot radius away from other people
  • Use proper hand hygiene before and after going out around other people. Wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds. If you cannot wash your hands use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Disinfect and clean commonly used objects and surfaces, such as doorknobs and remote controls.
  • If you feel sick, stay home. Call your healthcare provider if you have symptoms such as a cough, fever or difficulty breathing.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw it in the trash.

What if you are told to self-quarantine and/or isolate? “If you are told to self- quarantine or isolate, you MUST stay in your home,” the local health officials said.

“Social distancing is the last thing that people want to do during a time of distress,” said Westfield Mayor Shelley Brindle in a live streamed update Wednesday. “We want to come together as a community we’re just going to have to find creative ways to do that.”

All right, so what is safe for me to do?

  • Take a walk
  • Go for a hike
  • Play in your yard
  • Clean out a closet
  • Read a book
  • Listen to music
  • Cook a meal
  • Family game night
  • Go for a drive
  • Group video chat
  • Stream a favorite show
  • Call a friend
  • Call an elderly neighbor
  • Editor's Note: [Reading TAPinto Westfield is safe, too.]

Tell me more about this COVID-19?

The CDC advises of the following:

  • There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
  • The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
  • The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
  • These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

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