President Donald Trump has given governors a road map for recovering from the economic pain of the coronavirus pandemic, laying out “a phased and deliberate approach” to restoring normal activity in places that have strong testing and are seeing a decrease in COVID-19 cases. “We’re starting our life again,” Trump said during his daily press briefing. “We’re starting rejuvenation of our economy again.”
PHASE ONE OF THE OPENING UP AMERICA AGAIN GUIDELINES
When a state enters phase one, according to the guidelines, individuals should continue to social distance when in public, and social settings of more than 10 people should be avoided. Individuals should minimize non-essential travel, and follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines regarding self-isolating following travel.
Vulnerable individuals should continue to stay at home and members of their households should be aware that returning to work where distancing isn’t practical risks passing on the coronavirus to the vulnerable person.
The guidelines define vulnerable people as “elderly individuals, individuals with serious underlying health conditions, including high blood pressure, chronic lung disease, diabetes, obesity, asthma, and those whose immune system is compromised such as by chemotherapy for cancer and other conditions requiring such therapy.”
Employers should continue to encourage their employees to work remotely, when possible, and return to work in phases. Additionally, employers should close common areas, minimize non-essential travel, and consider special accommodations for vulnerable employees.
During phase one, schools, daycare centers, and camps should remain closed, and visits to senior living homes and hospitals should be prohibited. Large venues, like dine-in restaurants, movie theaters, sports venues can reopen under strict physical distancing protocols. Gyms can reopen if they adhere to strict physical distancing and sanitation protocols, but bars should remain closed. Additionally, elective surgeries can resume on an outpatient basis at facilities that adhere to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) guidelines.
PHASE TWO OF THE OPENING UP AMERICA AGAIN GUIDELINES
During phase two, vulnerable individuals should continue to stay at home. Individuals should continue to social distance, but social settings of more than 50 should be avoided. Non-essential travel can resume. Employers should continue to encourage their employees to work remotely, should keep common areas closed, and should continue to consider special accommodations for the vulnerable population. In phase two, schools, daycare centers, and camps can reopen, and bars can open with reduced standing-room occupancy.
PHASE THREE OF THE OPENING UP AMERICA AGAIN GUIDELINES
Vulnerable individuals no longer have to stay at home but should practice social distancing and minimize their exposure to social settings where distancing may not be practical. Low-risk populations should minimize their time spent in crowded environments. Employers can allow their workers to return to work in phase three.
Visits to senior care facilities and hospitals can resume, but those who interact with residents and patients must maintain high standards of hygiene. Large venues, like movie theaters and sports venues, can operate under limited physical distancing protocols. Bars can operate with increased standing room occupancy.