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Dos and don'ts of social distancing from a Seattle expert

Dr. Steve Pergam, Medical Director Infection Prevention for Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, explains the importance of social distancing

The health safety measures we’re taking now will only become more important when businesses eventually re-open. Dr. Steve Pergam from the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance provides some insight on the best way to keep yourself and others healthy. 

KING 5 asked Pergram for his opinion on the dos and don't of social distancing.

Grocery stores: Try to give people space to protect others and yourself. Come back at a different time if it's too crowded, Pergram said.

Wearing gloves in public: It's much more important to keep washing your hands or, if you aren't around a sink, to use hand sanitizer. "I think gloves are probably not as critical the way that we go out in our daily activities," Pergram said.

Masks: Whenever you're out in public spaces, a mask is valuable when you can't maintain six feet of distance from others. Masks are not for the wearer's protection, he said. "It's to prevent yourself if you have asymptomatic infection, or presymptomatic infection, from transmitting it to others." 

For a brief outing of a few minutes, a mask can probably be reused. But if you are out extensively, it's good to wash the mask once a day and have extra to rotate if possible.

Shoes: The chances of getting coronavirus from the ground are incredibly low. However, it's easy to have slippers by the door and remove your shoes when you come into the house.

Using sick time at work: This could change how companies approach calling in sick. "It's really important that everybody take sick days and that there shouldn't be as many restrictions for that because that's how we protect our community, is by allowing people to take time away when they really are ill," Pergram said.

Segment Producer Margaret Larson. Watch New Day Northwest 11 AM weekdays on KING 5 and streaming live on KING5.comContact New Day.