President Reveals Guidelines to Reopen Economy

Three phases of criteria for states to follow.

The “Opening Up America Again” Guidelines were presented by President Trump together with Vice President Pence and Dr. Deborah Birx on Thursday afternoon. The guidelines are to be data-driven and not date-driven. Dr. Robert Redfield of the CDC, Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx of the White House Coronavirus Task Force have all assented to the new guidelines. Dr. Birx was instrumental in developing the guidelines.

The plan is a phased approach:

  • Based on up-to-date data and readiness
  • Mitigating risk of resurgence
  • Protecting the most vulnerable
  • Implementable statewide or county-by-county at governors’ discretion

The guidelines permit action in three phases. They are a roadmap for the nation’s governors as they find their states are ready to get their people back to work. The governors will act responsibly and deliberately as they approach the reopening of America’s economy.

The Gating Criteria must be satisfied before phased comeback may commence. These criterian for states or regions includes the downward trajectory of illness, documented cases or positive testing, and hospitals ability to handle all patients with adequate testing in place.

Guidelines for all phases for individuals reflect the hygiene practices that have already been in place as well as stay-at-home instruction for those who feel at all sick.

Guidelines for all phases for employers include use of protective equipment, social distancing, temperature checks, sanitation and disinfecting, and business travel as well as the development of policies for monitoring the workforce and procedures for dealing with those who test positive for the virus.

Phase One includes guidelines for individuals includes continued social distancing, with vulnerable individuals continuing to shelter in place, and avoiding socializing in groups of more than 10 people.

For employers, Phase One continues to encourage telework, returning to the workplace in phases, closing common areas where employees are likely to congregate, avoid non-essential travel, and make special accommodations for those within the vulnerable population.

Specific employers have certain guidelines to follow under Phase One. Large venue employers, such as sit-down restaurants, theaters, sporting venues, places of worship, may reopen under strict physical distancing protocols. Elective surgeries may resume on an outpatient at adherent facilities. Gyms may reopen if adherent to physical distancing and sanitation protocols. Bars, schools, and daycares are to remain closed. Visits to senior living facilities and hospitals are prohibited.

Phase Two is for states and regions with no evidence of a rebound and that satisfy the criteria a second time, and again separates them for individuals, employees and specific employers.

Individuals should maximize physical distance in public and avoid social settings of more than 50 people. Vulnerable individuals should continue to shelter in place and people living with those of the vulnerable population should take precautions.

For employers under Phase Two telework is recommended as much as possible or feasible. Common areas should remain closed and accommodations should be made for employees in the vulnerable population.

In Phase Two, schools and organized youth activities may resume. Large social venues may operate under moderate physical distancing, while bars may reopen with diminished standing room occupancy. Elective surgeries may resume on in-patient as well as out-patient basis. All other guidelines are as under Phase One.

Phase Three is for states and regions with no evidence of a rebound that satisfy the criteria a third time.

Individuals in the vulnerable population may resume public interaction but minimize exposure to setting where social distancing is impractical. Those at low-risk should minimize time spent in crowded environments.

Employers may resume unrestricted staffing in the workplace under Phase Three

Senior care facilities and hospitals may be visited with diligent considerations of hygiene. Large venues may operate under limited physical distancing. Gyms should adhere to standard sanitation protocols. Bars may operate with increased standing room.

An appendix to the document sets out who the guidelines consider to be vulnerable individuals including the elderly and those with underlying serious health conditions.

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For the reopening guidelines to benefit the states and the nation. 
  • For wisdom for state governors as they evaluate data and meet the criteria.
  • For the president and task force to continue to be able offer solutions and assistance to the states with the most need.



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