Reuters consulted an initial version of the guidelines. Here are the main points to remember:
1. States should have a “downward trajectory” of COVID-19 cases for a period of 14 days before reopening, or a downward trajectory of positive tests for the same period, given stable or increasing test levels.
Track infections and deaths by state here here
2. American states have the primary responsibility for testing and locating citizens. A list of “main state responsibilities for preparedness” includes “the ability to quickly establish safe and effective screening and testing sites” and to ensure that “surveillance sites screen for asymptomatic cases” and COVID-19 positive people are found.
American testing to date has been delayed here and chaotic, thanks to roadblocks and federal government failures. Alphabet (GOOGL.O) Google and Apple Inc (AAPL.O) are working together on software to facilitate contact tracking, but it won’t be available here until mid-May.
3. Phase 1 of the reopening recommends that schools and daycares remain closed and that people maintain social distance in public. Businesses should continue to encourage teleworking and meetings of more than 10 people should be discouraged.
Event spaces such as movie theaters can reopen, with “strict” social distancing measures in place. Elective surgeries can resume on an outpatient basis.
Non-essential trips and visits to seniors’ residences should be suspended. Gyms can reopen, with adequate sanitation and distances, but bars cannot.
4. Phase 2 of the plan, which states should move on to after a further 14-day drop in positive cases, includes lifting the ban on non-essential travel. He recommends that businesses continue to encourage telecommuting and close down common areas where people congregate.
Employers should consider special accommodations for staff who are members of a “vulnerable population”, which is defined as the elderly or those with underlying conditions such as obesity, asthma and lung conditions chronicles.
Schools and activities for young people can resume and bars can reopen with a minimum of standing space. Large halls, such as sports arenas and places of worship, can operate at a “moderate” physical distance. Elective surgeries in a hospitalized business can resume.
5. Phase 3 of the plan, which States can begin after a new 14-day period of declining cases, allows companies to resume “unrestricted endowment” of sites and to resume visits to residences for the elderly.
Large rooms can operate with limited physical distance guidelines, and bars can increase areas for singles.
Report by Jeff Mason; Written by Heather Timmons; Editing by Leslie Adler
Our standards:Principles of the Thomson Reuters Trust.