Daily Management Review

Trump Details 3-Phased Plan For Opening Up US Economy From Coronavirus Restrictions


United States president Donald Trump unveiled new plans and guidelines to open up the economy by gradually lifting coronavirus-related restrictions on citizens and businesses for states and localities in an effort to turn  the focus of America towards rejuvenating the economy that has been battered by covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
The guidelines for the states and localities for opening up economic activities, called “Opening Up America Again”, however did not have any specific time frames for doing so. “Governors will be empowered to tailor an approach that meets the diverse circumstances of their own state,” Trump said during a press conference on Thursday evening.
Trump also stated six metrics that states should “satisfy before preceding to a phased opening.”
The suggestions include ascertaining a drop in the incidents of influenza-like illnesses that are reported within a 14-day period as well as a decline in the trajectory of covid-like cases that are reported in the same period. It also includes ensuring a drop in the number of documented cases of Covid-19 in a two week period or a drop in the percentage of positive tests for coronavirus in the same period provided that the volume of tests either increases or remains flat. The suggestions also included ensuring that hospitals within a jurisdiction have the capacity to attend to all patients without “crisis care” and there should be a “robust testing program in place for at-risk health care workers” including tests for COVID-19 immunity.
The guidelines suggest that if these criteria are met by the states or localities, the economic activities can be opened up through a three phased approach.
The first phase of opening up of the economy involves the reopening of some businesses such as gyms and restaurants, movie theaters and places of worship “if they adhere to strict physical distancing and sanitation protocols.” According to the guidelines, schools will remain closed while workers should be encouraged by employers to telework whenever and as much as  possible thereby minimizing non-essential travelling.
States and regions will then be advised to shift to phase two of the reopening if they are able to exhibit that there had not been a rebound in coronavirus cases over for a period of another 14 days. During this phase, there can be resumption of schools and youth activities while large venues will be allowed to operate under “moderate physical distancing protocols.” Hospitals can also resume conducting inpatient elective surgeries.
The guidelines however clearly suggest that the elderly and individuals with serious underlying health conditions must continue to remain at home during both phases one and two.
According to the plan, the Trump administration will relax restrictions significantly in phase three provided the there are no new coronavirus infection cases reported during a third 14-day period. If this condition is met, authorities can allow visits to senior care facilities while resumption of normal work at hospitals can also be allowed. At this stage, reopening of  restaurants, bars, movie theaters, sporting venues and places of worship will also be allowed under “limited physical distancing protocols.”