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Social Distancing: Public Health Expert Explains Why It’s Crucial

In a video series, Montclair State’s Stephanie Silvera discusses how following guidelines will slow the growth of the coronavirus

Posted in: Faculty Voices, Graduate School, Homepage News, University

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Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, Montclair State Public Health Professor Stephanie Silvera has provided expert insight into the spread of COVID-19 for a number of journalists throughout the country.

Here, in a series of videos produced by Montclair State University, Silvera, an epidemiologist, answers pressing concerns about the urgency of social distancing, including why it is necessary and how long it will last.

The idea, Silvera explains, is to slow down the spread of the coronavirus.

“We need to protect the most vulnerable in our society,” Silvera says. “If that means we need to maintain social distancing so that our health-care system can provide the care that is needed to those who are most vulnerable, then I don’t think that that’s too much for us to ask.”

Public health faculty, alumni and graduate students at Montclair State find themselves in the center of the response, working to control the coronavirus pandemic. Distancing is disruptive and demands sacrifice, they say, but it’s crucial to protecting health-care providers and the health-care system.

“We’re not really talking about being socially distant, so much as we’re talking about being physically distant,” Silvera explains. “The idea is you want to maintain at least six feet between you and another person in order to reduce your risk of coming in contact with the disease.”

Health equity is a core concept of the University’s public health program. “We want to make sure that everybody who needs help can get it when they’re sick. We don’t want to overwhelm our health-care system,” Silvera says.

“If that means that we all have to stay home a little bit longer, those of us who can, should.”

Why is Social Distancing Important?

What is safe social distancing?

How long do we need to be social distancing?