Wednesday, President Trump that data indicates the US is “past the peak” of the COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic. He said the numbers have “put us in a very strong position to finalize guidelines for states on reopening the country.”
“Based on the latest data, our team of experts believes we can begin the next front in our War, which we are calling opening up America again – and that’s what we’re doing,” President Trump told reporters during the White House coronavirus task force daily briefing Thursday. “We are opening up our country, and we have to do that.
“America wants to be open and Americans want to be open. As I have said for some time now, a national shutdown is not a sustainable long-term solution. To preserve the health of our citizens, we must also preserve the health and functioning of our economy. Over the long haul, you can’t do one without the other, it cannot be done.”
The Opening Up guidelines are aimed at clearing the path for an easing of restrictions in areas with low transmission of the coronavirus, while keeping them in place in harder-hit places.
Below is a breakdown of the criteria to move through the opening up 3 Phases, as follows:
Places with declining infections and strong testing would begin a 3-phased gradual reopening of businesses and schools, which each phase lasting at least 14 days, meant to ensure that the virus outbreak does not accelerate again.
Those most susceptible to the disease will be advised to remain sheltered in place until the final phase.
- 14-day downward trend of cases / downward trend of positive COVID-19 test with at least flat or increasing testing.
- Testing and contract tracing, including “sentinel surveillance” sites in vulnerable communities (nursing homes, urban areas) to trace asymptomatic positives.
- Keep following safety guidelines, especially staying home if you are sick. Washing hands and social distancing is always recommended.
- Employers should enact safety protocols for temperature checks, and social distancing.
Here are the milestones in each phase:
- Vulnerable shelter in place.
- No large gatherings of more than 10 people.
- No non-essential travel.
- Return to work in phases, while working from home wherever possible.
- Schools remain closed.
- No senior venue visitors.
- Physical distancing protocols.
- Vulnerable shelter in place.
- No large gatherings 50 people.
- Resumption of non-essential travel.
- School, daycare, camps reopen.
- Large venues open with social distancing.
Phase 3: The New Normal
- Vulnerable can go out in public.
The recommendations will make clear that the return to normalcy will be a longer process than envisioned, with federal officials warning that some social distancing measures may need to remain in place through the end of the year to prevent a new outbreak.
“It is not going to immediately be a situation where we have stadiums full of people,” said Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson on Thursday. “We’re Americans. We will adapt,” he added.
Economist Stephen Moore encouraged President Trump to act swiftly, warning of “a mini Great Depression if we keep the economy shut down.”
Have a healthy day, Keep the Faith!