A Stateside Story: Opening America–Trump’s Three Phases

NewssliderUSA & Other Regions

Public health experts have warned that reopening the country too soon could
prompt a second wave  of coronavirus cases, overwhelming the health-care
system. Trump said that some states were in “good shape” to open
quickly, before  May 1st, if they wanted to, though other states
may need to take longer.

 

By Mary Foran

Formally called “Opening Up America Again”, Trump has released new guidelines for Governors to follow in deciding when and if to restart the economies in their states, according to pandemic statistics.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the three-phased guidelines don’t suggest specific reopening dates but say that states should move to the first phase of reopening after exhibiting a downward trend of documented cases of the coronavirus or positive tests over a two-week period.

States could move on to other stages after showing cases aren’t surging. “We are not opening all at once, but one careful step at a time,” said Trump. “America wants to be open and Americans want to be open,” adding “We must have a working economy and we want to get it back very, very quickly.”

Under the first phase, movie theaters, restaurants, sports venues, places of worship, gyms and other venues could open with strict social-distancing guidelines. Bars would stay closed as would schools and day-care centers. The recommendation is that vulnerable people stay home during the first phase, prohibiting visits to nursing homes and hospitals, with some people returning to work. Telework is still encouraged under the plan.

In the second phase, nonessential travel could resume and bars could open with some restrictions. Schools and youth activities could resume. Vulnerable people would still be protected. Telework would continue to be encouraged.

In phase three, workplace restrictions would be lifted as would restrictions on social interactions, but the vulnerable should continue practicing social distancing. Visiting hospitals and nursing homes would be allowed.

The President told governors during a videoconference that they will make the final decision on opening their states. “We’ll be standing right alongside of you and we’re going to get our country open,” said Trump. Some 22 million people have filed for unemployment insurance since the outbreak of the pandemic.

Dr. Deborah Birx, White House Coronavirus Task Force Response Coordinator, delivers remarks at a coronaviirus update briefing in April 2020, the White House.

Public health experts have warned that reopening the country too soon could prompt a second wave of coronavirus cases and undercut mitigation efforts, overwhelming the health-care system. Trump said that some states were in “good shape” to open quickly, before May 1st, if they wanted to, though other states may need to take longer.

In any case, “Patience is a virtue” during this out-of-the-ordinary situation we are all in.

 

 

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Images
Featured image(NORMS restaurant)/Eric Pierce, CC BY2.0
Broadway/Dan Gaken, CC BY2.0
Dr. Birx/Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead, PD