“Even if you think you are healthy, spending time in groups or in public could spread the virus to people you are close with. Young people, older people and everyone in between needs to follow the recommended steps for social distancing.”

As emergency physicians risk their lives each day as they battle the worldwide pandemic COVID-19, they have a request of the American people: stay home and save lives.

“Emergency physicians are working tirelessly to protect as many people as possible. You too can do your part: stay home and save lives,” said Dr. William Jacquis, president of ACEP. “This is the only way to slow the virus and the best strategy to prevent our health system from becoming overwhelmed.”

People of all ages can contract COVID-19. Some may have mild symptoms and could be contagious before they know they are sick—inadvertently spreading the virus and putting others at risk. The “silent transmission” of COVID-19 is one factor contributing to the spread. Younger adults are not immune from risk. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that nearly 40 percent of patients sick enough to be hospitalized were 20- to 54-years old.

“Even if you think you are healthy, spending time in groups or in public could spread the virus to people you are close with,” said Jaquis. “Young people, older people and everyone in between needs to follow the recommended steps for social distancing.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends putting distance (about six feet) between yourself and others. Guidelines to shelter in place, or stay at home, vary based on location. Conditions where you live are likely changing rapidly. Make sure you are getting health information from reliable sources such as your doctor, public health department or local leaders.

According to the World Health Organization, it took 67 days from the first reported COVID-19 cases to reach 100,000 cases, 11 days for the second 100,000, and just four days for the third 100,000.

“We have to do everything we can to stop the virus from spreading. For most people, that means hunkering down and doing your best to stay home as much as possible. We have a narrow window to take meaningful action, and that time is now.”