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Quarantine vs. social distancing: What's the difference?

Augusta-Aiken WRDW-TV logo Augusta-Aiken WRDW-TV 3/17/2020 Nick Proto
a man riding a horse: Health officials are encouraging those who can't quarantine, to social distance themselves six feet away from others. (Source: WRDW) © Provided by Augusta-Aiken WRDW-TV Health officials are encouraging those who can't quarantine, to social distance themselves six feet away from others. (Source: WRDW)

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

News 12 at 6 O’Clock/NBC at 7

AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- Health experts say social distancing is the best thing we can do right now to keep ourselves safe from the virus, but a lot of people may get that confused with quarantining.

So what’s the difference?

“Self-quarantine or quarantine is when somebody either has been showing or presumed to be positive for COVID-19 or has come back from a country where there are a lot of cases,” Dr. Rodger MacArthur, an infectious disease expert with Augusta University, said.

MacArthur says if you aren't positive for coronavirus or have any symptoms, you shouldn't be quarantined. Instead, you should be practicing social distance.

“Social distancing is, in effect, continue to carry on, use common sense, and just put more distance between you and anyone else,” MacArthur said.

What does that look like?

It means playing video games, working out, going for a run, calling your mother, spring cleaning, and even walking the dogs.

THE LATEST: Coverage of the coronavirus on WRDW.com.

[RELATED: FACTS, NOT FEAR: What you need to know about the coronavirus in GA, SC]

[CLOSINGS: View a list of closings across the CSRA.]

[INTERACTIVE MAP: View a map of all COVID-19 cases and deaths around the world.]

We even kept a distance during this interview.

MacArthur says this virus isn’t deadly to everyone, but everyone needs to help out in order to slow it down.

“Everybody needs to do a little bit,” MacArthur said. “If we all work together and each do our part, we will get this under control.”

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