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Why social distancing is still just as important during North Carolina's reopening phases

Don't relax just because things are reopening. Cone Health experts say we still need to be on our guard.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — North Carolina is in the middle of reopening. The state's coronavirus task force has created a three-phase reopening plan and we're expected to move from phase 1 to phase 2 soon. 

In spite of that, experts warn that without social distancing, we may soon be taking several steps backward instead of forward. 

We spoke with Dr. Bruce swords, the Chief Physician Executive of Cone Health about it.   

First, he emphasized that we have to remember that COVID-19 is still in our communities. 

What we don't want to see is an unmanageable increase in cases in our communities. That can only be prevented with proper social distancing, even as the shelter in place rules start to relax. 

So what happens if we don't social distance? Dr. Swords said it's pretty simple, "The disease will increase. People will transmit this disease just like they have for the past several months. And the only reason that there are fewer cases in the country than there were previously is because of social distancing."

What can you do to help control the disease other than social distancing? Stay home unless you have to go out. I know you're tired of wearing the mask, but it's still a very important way to prevent passing the virus if you're asymptomatic. Dr. Swords says they're especially important if you're anywhere with a high density of people. Keep staying six feet apart from people that you do not live with. Continue washing your hands for at least 20 seconds and don't touch your face. 

One of the other things you can do? Donate blood! "Donating blood is safe, it's important for patients that have COVID because they frequently require blood and it would be a direct ask from your hospitals and your physicians to please donate blood because it helps patients who have COVID-19," said Dr. Swords. He added that "There is no risk of donating blood, period."

If you're interested in donating, click here to schedule a time to donate with OneBlood, Cone Health's blood supplier.

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