CDC Updates Coronavirus Guidelines as America Continues to Open Up

CDC Updates Coronavirus Guidelines as America Continues to Open Up
A foodserver at the Parkshore Grill restaurant wears a protective face mask as he waits on customers Monday, May 4, 2020, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Several restaurants are reopening with a 25% capacity as part of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' plan to stop the spread of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Chris …
Chris O’Meara/AP Photo

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a document only dated “May:” new guidelines for reopening the American economy in the wake of the coronavirus.

CNBC reported that the federal agency has not held a coronavirus briefing for more than two months. 

The CDC guidance suggests using a three-phase re-opening strategy.

“This document briefly summarizes CDC’s initiatives, activities, and tools in support of the Whole-of-Government response to COVID-19,” the 60-page document stated:

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” indicator to assess when to move through from one mitigation phase to another.

Those “gating” indicators include decreases in new coronavirus cases, decreases in emergency department visits for coronavirus or COVID-like illnesses, decreases in emergency room influenza-like illnesses; decrease in percentage of SARs-CoV-2 positive tests, “treat all patients without crisis care,” and a “robust testing program.”

Under the “Guidance on Infection Control and Contact” heading the CDC names “focus areas” as long-term care facilities, assisted living facilities, dialysis facilities, dental facilities, ambulatory care facilities, pharmacies, emergency medical services, food processing facilities, and correctional facilities and businesses, including links to the specific guidance for each.

It also provides links to CDC guidance on protecting “critical infrastructure workers.”

The guidance includes specific instructions for reopening day care centers, schools, and day camps, “employers with workers at high risk,” restaurants and bars, and mass transit administrators.

Here is a sampling of the CDC guidance:

  • Stage 1 for day care centers calls for only allowing children of “essential workers,” with Stage 2 open to all children with “enhanced social distancing measures.” In all three stages, staff should wear cloth face coverings. It also calls or “limited sharing” for children.
  • For schools and camps, the CDC suggests for stages 1 and 2 the cancellation of of all field trips and extracurricular activities, space desks at least six feet apart and “turn desks to face in the same direction (rather than facing each other) or have students sit on only one side of tables, spaced apart.”
  • For restaurants and bars, even Stage 3 guidance includes severe restrictions, including “consider options for dine-in customers to order ahead of time to limit the amount of time spent in the establishment.”

President Donald Trump released a 18-page “Opening Up America Again” document last month.

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