The White House released guidelines based on expertise and advisement from public health officials to open America back up. The guidelines detail three phases highlighting the protocols employers and individuals should follow. Included in the guidelines are gating criteria, preparedness responsibilities, and proposed phase approach. Before a state can progress to the next phase, there is a 14-day interval where states must evaluate their reported flu-like illnesses, COVID-19 cases, and positive tests.
While still practicing social distancing protocols, the first phase involves opening gyms and large venues, including restaurants, movie theaters, and churches. Additionally, patients can resume elective surgeries. For individuals, the guidelines recommend continuing the practice of physical distancing and avoiding groups larger than ten people. Lastly, it encourages employers to continue teleworking, and if necessary, returning to work in phases, minimizing non-essential travel and closing of common areas.
When the state meets the criteria and conditions within a 14-day interval, phase two can commence. This involves opening schools and bars, and social settings are encouraged to stay under 50 people. Employers are recommended to continue teleworking and keeping common areas closed in the workplace. Individuals can resume with non-essential travel.
Once states start indicating downward trajectories in COVID-19 cases, and after following phase two guidelines, phase three can begin. By this time, retail stores, bars, gyms, schools, and large venues must adhere to sanitation protocols, and can remain open. Individuals are encouraged to minimize and observe time spent in crowded environments.
This phased plan is to act as a roadmap, in which it guides states and local governments in preparing to reopen, ramping up testing kit and personal protective equipment manufacturing, and increasing emergency funding starting May 1st. To see which states are reopening soon, click here.