For weeks, health officials across the country have been urging Canadians to practise social distancing and avoid public gatherings in an attempt to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The disease caused by the virus — COVID-19 — has infected more than 201,000 people worldwide and killed over 8,000.

In Canada, as of 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, 569 people had been infected with COVID-19 and eight people had died.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday echoed the advice of health authorities, urging Canadians to practise social distancing, saying the window to control the spread of the disease was closing.

“As much as possible, stay home,” he said. “Don’t go out unless you absolutely have to.”

But how long can Canadians expect to be practising social distancing and is it effective?

Here’s what experts say.

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