President Donald Trump declared that he wants Americans to start their lives again during his press briefing on April 16. He gave governors a road map for recovering from the economic pain of the pandemic and he laid out a phase and deliberate approach for restoring the normal activity in America.
Trump plans to open US in phases
The new guidelines were aimed at easing the restrictions in areas with low transmission of the coronavirus, but it will still hold the line in areas that were hit hard. The administration made it clear that the return to normalcy will be a longer process than what President Trump envisioned, as federal officials warned that some social distancing measures may need to remain in place through the end of 2020 in order to prevent the 2nd wave of the coronavirus outbreak.
The administration added that the plans are already reinforced by the governors. Trump stated that the governors are going to call their own shots and that the Trump administration will be standing alongside them. The audio recording of the call was obtained by The Associated Press.
The states with declining infections and strong testing are the places that would begin a three-phase gradual reopening of schools and businesses.
In phase one, the guideline recommends strict social distancing for all people in public. Gatherings larger than 10 people are not allowed and nonessential travel will be discouraged.
In phase two, people are encouraged to practice social distancing and gatherings of more than 50 people will be limited. Travel could resume but precautionary measures will be taken.
In phase three, the return to normalcy for most Americans is envisioned, with a focus on identification and isolation of any new infections.
President Trump stated that the recent trends in some states were positive, which means that they can immediately being taking the steps laid out in phase one if they wish to do so. The guidelines recommend that each state need to pass checkpoints that review new cases, undergo testing and submit surveillance data for 2 weeks before advancing to the next phase.
Partial reopening of businesses
The guidelines given by the Trump administration also include general recommendations to businesses as they plan for reopenings. Temperature-takings should still be done and rapid COVID-19 testing will still be held. Widespread disinfection efforts in workplaces will continue.
Those who are considered as high risk are advised to still self-isolate until the state that they are in enters the final phase. Even after phase three, people are still encouraged to take precautions to avoid any close contact with other people.
As for the governors of each state, they have been moving ahead with their own plans for how safely they can move to normal activities in their respective areas. Seven governors from the Midwest announced on April 16 that they will coordinate on reopening their economies. Similar pacts were announced earlier in the week in the Northeast and the West.
According to a Pew Research Center survey, two in three Americans are concern that the restrictions meant to slow the spread of the virus would be eased too quickly. More than 30,000 people in America have died from the virus.
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