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Social distancing and wearing a mask can help stop the spread of COVID-19. Getty Images
  • While a vaccine may be crucial to fully stopping the virus, a new study finds simple steps may drastically help reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2.
  • Handwashing, physical distancing, and wearing a mask may drastically help reduce or stop the spread of the virus.
  • For these steps to work, at least 50 percent of the population needs to adopt them.

All data and statistics are based on publicly available data at the time of publication. Some information may be out of date.

As COVID-19 cases continue to surge across the United States, state and local officials are pushing people to take steps that may help slow the spread of the virus.

2020欧洲杯体育足球比分网While a vaccine may be crucial to fully stopping the virus, a new study finds simple steps may drastically help reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2.

2020欧洲杯体育足球比分网The published in the journal PLOS Medicine found that three steps may help stop or slow the COVID-19 outbreak without having a vaccine.

2020欧洲杯体育足球比分网The three steps are simple: handwashing, physical distancing, and wearing a mask.

, physical distancing (aka social distancing) can provide crucial time to increase healthcare capacity.

2020欧洲杯体育足球比分网The CDC used a mathematical model to investigate the effectiveness of physical distancing. The results showed that distancing interventions that began earlier in the epidemic do, in fact, flatten the epidemic curve.

The CDC that washing hands can keep people healthy and prevent the spread of respiratory infections.

Germs spread from other people or surfaces when you touch your face with unwashed hands, touch contaminated surfaces, or blow your nose, cough, or sneeze into your hands and then make contact with other people or objects.

Similarly, confirms that face masks help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The virus is transmitted via respiratory droplets that are produced when a person coughs, sneezes, or talks. Masks, whether surgical or cloth, trap droplets and help stop the spread of transmission.

An from April 2020 shows that universal masking is emerging as one of the key non-pharmaceutical interventions for containing or slowing the spread of the virus.

The study showed universal masking (with at least 80 percent of the population participating) has a significant impact in slowing the spread, and is most effective when universal masking is adopted early on.

“This is something we’ve all been saying, and we’ve heard from public health experts from the beginning of the pandemic,” said , a hospitalist and internist based in Tucson.

2020欧洲杯体育足球比分网“In states like Arizona, Texas, and Florida — all the states that are spiraling with rampant community spread — [these three measures] have to be enforced. It has to be something that is mandated,” he said. “No one should be going anywhere right now. That’s what we need to do for at least a month to get things under control.”

, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Three days after the WHO declared a public health emergency, New Zealand began implementing prevention measures.

In contrast, the United States recently surpassed in a single day, which comes in the wake of the country’s more densely populated states continuing to reopen and the refusal of large portions of the population to wear masks.

2020欧洲杯体育足球比分网, a clinical associate professor of infectious diseases at NYU Langone Health in New York City, explained that taking small steps like wearing a mask and avoiding contact with people outside your household can have a huge impact.

2020欧洲杯体育足球比分网“The highest risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission is with prolonged close contact, particularly indoors,” said Weisenberg. “People who do not yet have symptoms can spread the virus to others.”

“Social distancing, universal mask wearing when around others, and handwashing in combination are the most effective ways to reduce the risk of getting infected for an individual, and to control the spread of the virus for a community,” he said.

Heinz pointed out that these measures may be difficult to adopt but that they are temporary.

“No one likes a lockdown,” he said. “It’s frustrating for everyone, but we have to do this, otherwise there is no hope or prayer of kids going back to school until January at this point. But if we work hard there’s a slight chance we can do it on a delayed basis. [These measures] can’t be optional. There must be statewide rules.”