CDC Releases Guidelines To Assist States To Open
The CDC has released new guidelines to assists states as they reopen schools, businesses, and other public spaces.
The 60-page document suggests a three-step or phased approach to reopening schools, child-care facilities, restaurants, and mass transit.
The plan for reopening America outlines a three-phased approach for reducing community mitigation measures while protecting vulnerable populations. The phased approach can be implemented statewide or community-by-community at governors’ discretion. The guidelines propose the use of six “gating” indicators to assess when to move through from one mitigation phase to another.
The first gating criteria for each sector is a decrease in newly identified cases, followed by a decrease in emergency department or outpatient visits for COVID-19 or influenza-like illnesses. The final gating criteria is a robust testing program, with 14 days of 20% or less of tests turning out positive for the novel coronavirus.
For schools and day camps, the CDC recommends healthy hygiene practices, promoting social distancing by spacing desks, keeping children with the same group when possible, canceling field trips and inter-group events, and closing communal use spaces such as dining halls and playgrounds if possible. If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, the CDC recommends a 2- to 5-day closing for cleaning.
For restaurants, which are still closed in some states or open only for curbside pickup or delivery, the CDC suggests employees at risk for serious complications from COVID-19 infections be placed in roles that limit customer interaction. The CDC also recommended social-distancing seating.
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