Social distancing is the second pillar of virus protection and keeping the Mines campus open for business. Sure, it can take a little getting used to, but the goal is crucial: limiting your exposure to the viral particles that a sick person who coughs or sneezes (or sings) expels into the air.
For more on where Mines is seeing person-to-person viral transmission (cough cough pub parties) and where it is not (classrooms), check out the Spring 2021 information page.
Social Distancing in a Nutshell
- Stay at least six feet away from anyone who is not a member of your immediate household.
- Avoid large gatherings of people.
How far apart is six feet?
I know we’re all scientists and engineers here, but sometimes it can be hard to visualize distances. Six feet is roughly the length of a twin-size mattress or two golden retrievers, standing nose to tail, according to the fun illustrations in this CNN article.
Who counts as a member of your household?
- Roommates in your on-campus or off-campus housing
- Family members you live with
If I am wearing a face mask, do I still have to social distance?
Absolutely. It’s mask + social distancing, not mask or social distancing, particularly when you are indoors. Just ask the governor of Colorado.
We lower the risk of COVID-19 transmission when both people are wearing masks AND staying at least six feet apart.
Consider this: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not consider face masks to be a mitigating factor in its definition of “close contact,” AKA the people who need to self-quarantine for up to 14 days after being exposed to someone who tests positive for COVID-19.
So, in other words, if you’re within six feet of someone for at least 15 minutes and that someone tests positive for COVID-19, it is likely that you will be asked to quarantine for up to 14 days, even if you both were wearing masks. Quarantining helps prevent the spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick.