New UT Extension Publication Outlines the Differences

Picture of crowded bus
Instead of crowding your neighbors, social distancing recommendations include keeping at least 6 feet, or two arms' lengths, from those outside your immediate family. Imge courtesy Unsplash. 

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.


The short, easy-to-read publication is free and available to read or for download online at the UT Extension website: To obtain a copy, interested readers can click on the “publications” link along the top menu bar then enter “coronavirus” in the search engine


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 ( or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (


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Lisa Washburn, associate professor, Family and Consumers Sciences, ​