UPDATED 11:50 AM PT — Wednesday, May 20, 2020
For the first time in months, all 50 states are relaxing social distancing restrictions and they now have CDC guidelines to aid in the transition.
Over the weekend, the CDC posted a 60 page report addressing a range of topics from testing and contact tracing to high risk employees returning to work.
The CDC believes strict testing policies will be the key to avoiding a resurgence of the virus in the fall.
“Rapid, extensive and widely available timely testing is essential to reopening America,” said CDC Director Robert Redfield. “CDC’s role in testing continues to support diagnosis and contact tracing surveillance and outbreak.”
The CDC is also working to improve current data gathering and reporting to allow labs across the country to combine their efforts and share their findings more efficiently. Through several “surveillance operational plans,” the CDC aims to monitor “disease trends” such as asymptomatic cases, anti-bodies and outbreaks in workplace environments.
Moving forward, the report outlines a three phased system that analyzes six “gating” factors to help an area determine if it is safe to reopen. The factors include a jurisdiction’s number of visits to emergency rooms for flu-like symptoms, ability to treat patients without “crisis care” and the amount of usable personal protection equipment on hand.
The White House rejected an earlier draft of the reopening plan with reports indicating administration officials felt it was too “prescriptive” and limited states that had already begun to ease restrictions.
The report notably does not address concerns from religious facilities that have arisen during the lockdown and White House officials said it will likely be up to individual congregations to decide what is best.
So far, no governor has said whether the CDC report will impact their current reopening plans.