WebMD News Brief

CDC Posts Guidance on Reopening of US

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May 21, 2020 - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has posted a 60-page document to its website providing guidance on how to reopen the US from restrictions imposed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The document is titled “CDC Activities and Initiatives Supporting the COVID-19 Response and the President’s Plan for Opening America Up Again.” Much of the document concerns how testing and “surveillance” should be conducted. Guidance is offered for the three-phase, gradual reopening of child-care facilities, schools and day camps, employers with high-risk workers, restaurants and bars, and mass transit agencies.

Restrictions could be relaxed as a state meets benchmarks that show a reduction in coronavirus cases.

Schools, for example, should place desks at least 6 feet apart and desks should face in the same direction. Communal gathering areas, like auditoriums, should be closed and lunch should be served in classrooms instead of cafeterias. Staggered starting times should be considered. All staff and most children should wear face masks.

Restaurants would only offer take-out in phase one. In phase two, they could open dining rooms with limited seating that preserves social distancing. In phase three, they “may operate while maintaining social distancing.”

The document was posted quietly on the CDC website. It’s shorter and less detailed than the 68-page document that the CDC originally prepared and the Trump administration rejected because it was too specific, CNN reported.

WebMD Health News Brief Reviewed by Arefa Cassoobhoy, MD, MPH on May 21, 2020

Sources

CDC website. “CDC Activities and Initiatives Supporting the COVID-19 Response and the President’s Plan for Opening America Up Again”

CNN.com. “CDC releases detailed guidance on reopening that had previously been shelved by White House”

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