A return to normalcy is slowly but steadily occurring. After a national steady decrease in new cases, White House executive and other COVID-19 commitee members have now presented a phasal plan to reopen the country for gatherings and life the current restrictions. According to a document from NPR, the guideline for all phases is to continue to practice good hygiene, and for all employers to remain stern in the temperature checks, testing, isolating, and contact tracing, sanitation, use of disinfection of common and high-traffic areas, and business travel.
As presented by Dr. Deborah Birx, Phase One includes all vulnerable individuals continuing to shelter in place, as well as continuing to practice social distancing from others. Telework is also encouraged during this phase. Large venues are to operate “under strict physical distancing protocols.” Phase Two maintains the guidelines for vulnerable individuals, but social settings of 50 or less will be allowed and non-essential travel can resume. Phase Three includes vulnerable individuals resuming public interactions, low-risk populations going back to crowded environments (with consideration of minimizing the time spent in crowded areas), large venues resume operating under physical distancing protocols, and gyms resuming operations.
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Posted by NPR on Thursday, April 16, 2020
President Trump was asked about large venues opening back up, and here is what he had to say:
“I heard from a number of governors who said they’re in very good shape… I think you’ll have some very good things to report over the next few days about states opening up… Depending on the area, depending on where we’re talking about, you’re gonna have large areas of our country where this has not been or has been totally eradicated, you’ll be able to have those full arenas.
“Now, with everything being said, a lot of great work has been done on vaccines, but, you have a testing process, therapeutics, likewise, we have a lot of great things happening therapeutically. That will be a step further. But in terms of sports, we’ll probably start off – as you know, I spoke to the commissioners yesterday, almost, I guess, of every sport and many of them are gonna be starting – without the fans. So it’ll be made for television. The good ol’ days, made for television, and it’ll go that way, and then fans will start coming in. Maybe they’ll be separated by two seats, and then ultimately, we wanna have packed arenas. When the virus is gone, we’re gonna have packed arenas, and we’re gonna be back to enjoying sports the way they’re supposed to be… So, at a certain point in time, when the virus is gone, we’re gonna be back to normal.”
While a specific timeline was not given, large venues are good to resume public events at phase two under fifty people, and this increases at phase three. The gating criteria for states included three categories — Symptoms, Cases, and Hospitals.
For symptoms a downward trajectory of influenza-like illnesses reported within a 14-day period, AND a downward trajectory of covid-like syndromic cases reported within a 14-day period must be satisfied. For cases, downward trajectory of documented cases within a 14-day period OR downward trajectory of positive tests as a percent of total tests within a 14-day period (flat or increasing volume of tests) must be satisfied. For hospitals, treating all patients without crisis care AND a robust testing program in place for at-risk healthcare workers, including emerging antibody testing must be satisfied.
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