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Why aren't we asking only the most vulnerable in our communities to self-isolate instead of the entire population?

While the elderly and those with certain underlying health conditions are most at risk for severe COVID-19, many young, healthy people are also becoming very ill and requiring hospitalization, or even dying.

Scientists have built models to predict the outcome of different isolation strategies. Based on these models, only isolating those most at risk is not sufficient to slow the outbreak and prevent our healthcare systems from being overwhelmed. In order to keep the outbreak manageable for healthcare systems, social distancing (staying physically far away from one another, at least 6 feet) of the entire population, wearing masks when in public, avoiding crowds, and improving indoor ventilation, among other measures, are necessary.

Updated 3 December 2020

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