President Donald J. Trump announced his proposed plan for reopening US state economies amidst the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, with steps outlined in a 3-phase approach.
President Donald J. Trump announced his proposed plan for reopening US state economies amidst the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, with steps outlined in a 3-phase approach.1
Although the steps are geared toward reopening through these 3 phases, state and local officials may need to tailor the application of the guidance to local circumstances, especially in areas that have been especially hit hard by the pandemic.
According to the guidance document, the proposal is designed to mitigate risk of resurgence and protect vulnerable individuals, and are to be implemented on a statewide or county-by-county basis at the governors’ discretion.
Before they can proceed with reopening, states must be able to satisfy certain gating criteria. For instance, there must be a reported downward trajectories of influenza-like illnesses, COVID-like syndromic cases, documented cases, and positive tests as a percent of total tests within a 14-day period. In addition, hospitals must be able to treat all patients without crisis care and have a robust testing program in place for at-risk health care works.
The plan is contingent upon a number of factors, including the ability to enable efficient screening and testing, as well as the ability to supply sufficient Personal Protective Equipment and critical medical equipment, and surge intensive care unit capacity.
However, the guidance designates the decision on when to move through each of the phases to the governors, with a minimum of 2 weeks for each phase.
The United States currently has more than 670,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 11,477 deaths related to COVID-19 in New York City, New York alone, according to Johns Hopkins University’s COVID-19 Dashboard.2
1. Opening Up America Again. Whitehouse.gov. Published April 16, 2020. Accessed April 17, 2020. https://www.whitehouse.gov/openingamerica/.
2. COVID-19 Dashboard by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. Johns Hopkins University. Updated April 17, 2020. Accessed April 17, 2020. https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html.