UTIA Family, please refer to utk.edu/coronavirus for the latest updates and student information. For UTIA-specific resources, including event information and county office status, please visit utia.tennessee.edu/coronavirus .

Just What Is Social Distancing? And How Does It Differ from Self-isolation?

New UT Extension Publication Outlines the Differences

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Events have been cancelled. Schools are shut down. Restaurants are switching to take out. Even churches have gone online. But people are confused about how they can help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 and also protect their families and themselves.

One way to help yourself and others is to practice social distancing. A new University of Tennessee Extension publication can help you understand social distancing and how it differs from self-isolation and quarantines. What You Need to Know About Social Distancing, Self-quarantine and Self-isolation (UT Extension publication D 77), says social distancing means avoiding close contact with others (keeping a distance of 6 feet or more), avoiding crowds, and suspending social practices, like shaking hands. The publication’s author, Lisa Washburn, an associate professor and community health specialist in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, say the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends social distancing to limit the spread of coronavirus.

Washburn recommends that those interested in more details or who wish to follow the latest information about COVID-19 visit the websites for the Tennessee Department of Health (tn.gov/health) or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov).

Through its land-grant mission of research, teaching and extension, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions. utia.tennessee.edu​.

Media Contact

Lisa Washburn

Department of Family and Consumer Sciences