The Trump administration has issued the long-awaited protocol for states, individuals, and employers to gradually resurrect economic activity and relax social distancing guidelines.
These measures will take place where coronavirus cases are on the decline.
We are on the way toward “Opening Up America Again” as millions of citizens have lost their jobs, putting lives in danger beyond the pandemic hysteria.
Here is an outline of the plan, of which there is no set timeline.
BEFORE PHASE ONE
What states or regions must do before moving on to a step by step re-opening of their economies:
- A downward trajectory of documented COVID-19 cases within the last 14-day period.
- A strong and substantial testing program set for at-risk health care workers.
- A downward trajectory of influenza-like illnesses within the last 14-day period.
- Enough protective gear for workers at hospitals.
- Enough beds, ventilators, and other needed supplies for patients.
It is not a one-size-fits all plan here.
- Schools and organized youth activities that are currently closed should remain closed.
- While bars should stay closed, locations such as movie theaters, churches, ballparks, and arenas can operate, but under strict distancing guidelines.
- Notably at-risk individuals such as the elderly and those with potentially compromising health conditions should continue to quarantine.
- Persons who decide to leave home should avoid socializing in groups of more than 10 people. Trade shows and receptions were cited as examples.
- Recommended minimization of nonessential travel.
- Notably at-risk individuals as defined in Phase 1 should continue to shelter in place.
- Nonessential travel may resume.
- The number of people associated with group activity increases from 10 to 50.
- Employers are to encourage telework when appropriate.
- Employers are to close common areas where employees are likely to assemble; an alternative is that they enforce “moderate social distancing protocols.”
- Schools and organized youth activities may reopen.
- Bars may open, but with limitations such as the amount of space given for people to stand around, where possible.
- At-risk individuals can resume a public life, but should practice smart and safe physical distancing.
- Visits to senior care institutions may resume, with guidelines, such as good hygiene practices.
- Low-risk individuals should still minimize time spent in crowded places.
- Employers may resume staffing of worksites, unrestricted.
Writer Jeff LeJeune has an M.A. in English, is a high school and college instructor, and is a former college athlete. In addition to his writing work for The Hayride, he is a ghostwriter, editor, and novelist. His website is www.jefflejeune.net.
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