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Sinclair Cares: What you can do to protect yourself from COVID-19

A couple practicing social distancing. (Sinclair Broadcast Group)
A couple practicing social distancing. (Sinclair Broadcast Group)
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As the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak intensifies people are asking what else they can do to protect their families.

These days washing your hands and self-quarantining are the norm. But Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton says social distancing is up there as well. "It really is about us limiting our exposure to other people," she said.

Schools, restaurants, movie theaters and stores have closed or cut hours. Sporting events and religious services have been canceled.

Ohio Health infectious disease specialist Dr. Joseph Gastaldo says leave at least six feet between you and another person. "When they cough and sneeze, if they have coronavirus, or any other virus, what they're coughing and sneezing is full of microscopic viruses. So if you're in that 5 or 6 foot zone, where somebody is sneezing, they're going to expose you," he said.

RELATED: Tips and tricks for working from home during the COVID-19 crisis

Dr. Anup Kanodia with the Ohio State University says a positive attitude can work wonders. "Stress lowers the immune system. So fear, overwhelmed, not sleeping enough -- all those things when you have a low immune system, you have a higher rate of getting infections and worse outcomes," he said.

He says getting enough exercise and nutrition are also important. "We know that sugar lowers the immune system. Alcohol lowers the immune system. Smoking does," Dr. Kanodia said. "We know that fruit, vegetables, whole grains are helpful for the immune system. Eat healthy."

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He says all of these can help produce our "healthiest" selves in order to combat this growing crisis as best we can.

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