Clinical Distancing and Mitigation of Coronavirus Disease 2019
Wolters Kluwer Health -- Critical Care Explorations
DOI 10.1097/CCE.0000000000000117
  1. clinical distancing
  2. coronavirus disease 2019
  3. social distancing
  4. telemedicine

Social distancing as a technique to limit transmission of infectious disease has come into common parlance following the arrival and rapid spread of a novel coronavirus disease around the world in 2019 and 2020. But in the face of an emerging pandemic threat, it is crucial that we start to apply these principles to the clinic, the emergency department, and the hospital ward. We propose that this dynamic situation calls for a parallel “Clinical Distancing” in which we as a medical culture go against many of our fundamental instincts and, at least in the short term, begin to reduce unnecessary patient-care contacts for the benefit of our patients and our ability to continue to provide care to those who need it most. In this commentary, we provide specific recommendations for the rapid implementation of clinical distancing techniques.