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DENVER (KDVR) — Health officials in Colorado and across the country are asking people to practice social distancing. 

The tactic has proven effective in helping slow and stop the transmission of illnesses like the coronavirus. 

“One person can infect so many people,” said Dr. Jason Persoff. “If you’re congregating in areas where a lot of other people congregate, you are very likely to get sick.”

Persoff is the assistant director of emergency preparedness at the UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital. 

He says social distancing essentially involves reducing one’s social footprint. 

“Some patients are going to spread the disease without any symptoms whatsoever, for a period usually no longer than five days,” he said.

But does that mean we should avoid going out at all? What about to bars and restaurants? 

“My recommendation is to avoid bars. I would not go out and dine,” he said. “I do want to support local businesses through this, of course, so it’s hard for me to make a blanket statement. But if it’s a tightly packed restaurant, tightly packed bar, you probably need to consider social distancing.”

Persoff says that’s especially important for those with compromised immune systems and those over the age of 65.

“Those people should be in complete and strict isolation for now,” he said. “This may seem extreme, but to be 100% honest, if we can prevent one person from getting COVID, it has a downstream effect that’s very dramatic.”

Persoff says he was shocked to see large gatherings like Thursday’s Post Malone concert continue at the Pepsi Center.

“The most important thing is that people should not congregate in large groups, that’s No. 1,” he said. “Being further away from people who may be coughing or sneezing is the best way to avoid getting sick.”