The White House has released guidelines for reopening the U.S. economy amid the coronavirus pandemic, unveiling a phased plan for states and counties that leaves ultimate decision-making to governors.
During a phone call with governors ahead of the plan's release, President Donald Trump told them, "You're going to call your own shots," The Washington Post reported.
What are the details?
The plan, titled "Opening Up America Again," recommends a number of criteria be met before proceeding to a three-phase gradual reopening of areas, suggesting a downward trajectory of either documented coronavirus cases or positive tests with a 14-day time period.
The guidance also recommends that hospitals are able to "treat all patients without crisis care" and have in a place a "robust testing program" for health care workers.
The Hill offered a breakdown of the three phases, reporting:
The first phase largely urges existing measures to remain in place while allowing certain businesses, such as gyms, to reopen if social distancing is possible.
The second phase makes recommendations for states and regions with no evidence of a rebound of COVID-19 that have twice satisfied the initial criteria on cases, hospitals and testing. It urges all vulnerable individuals to shelter in place and encourages others to exercise social distancing in public. In this phase, officials also say that non-essential travel can resume, schools can reopen, and large venues, gyms and bars can operate with social distancing steps in place.
The third phase, which is recommended only for states that have shown no signs of spike in cases after restrictions are lifted and have satisfied the initial criteria a third time, allows public interactions and visits to nursing homes to resume and lets bars and restaurants expand their capacity. The third phase still encourages individuals to socially distance when possible and limit their time in large gatherings.
President Trump discussed the plan during his daily coronavirus press briefing on Thursday, saying during its introduction, "To preserve the health of our citizens, we must also preserve the health and functioning of our economy."
President Trump: "To preserve the health of our citizens, we must also preserve the health and functioning of our eâ�¦ https://t.co/KNw64ToPCg— The Hill (@The Hill) 1587075608.0