On Wednesday, Dr. Katherine Dallow joined Boston Public Radio to clear up some misconceptions about the coronavirus, and respond to questions from listeners.

Speaking over the phone, Dallow emphasized the continued need for Americans to practice social distancing — or “physical distancing,” as she prefers to call it. One of the main reasons, she explained, is the sizable percentage of people who contract the virus and never experience symptoms.

"There’s actually some data from China suggesting that 20 to 40 percent of people that are actually passing on this virus to others are completely asymptomatic,” she said.

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And while she admitted that wearing a face mask can "make some difference out in the general public" when it comes to limiting infections, she stressed that it’s most effective to avoid the general public altogether.

"If you don’t have to be going out, don’t be going out at all,” she said. "In some of the national press conferences even, people have said ‘if we do things perfectly,’ meaning everybody does what they need to do… there still could be upwards of a couple hundred thousand infections and possibly fatalities from this.”

Dallow is the Vice President of Clinical Programs and Strategy at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts.