White House Issues Guidelines for Opening Up America Again

n an effort to revive America’s battered economy, The White House has released Guidelines for Opening Up America Again. The plan entails a three-phased approach with recommendations for state and regional officials, employers, and individuals, and is implementable on a statewide or county-by-county basis at each state’s Governor’s discretion. Prior to proceeding to Phased Comeback, each state or region should have a downward trajectory of new illnesses and sufficient availability of testing. This is a relief to many small businesses who have been struggling to stay alive during these unprecedented times.

Despite concern from some top officials and medical advisors, many states are pushing to relax stay-at-home restrictions and reopen non-essential businesses. Some states, such as Georgia, have already begun to reopen with an aggressive approach, while others plan to reopen more gradually with tentative dates and benchmarks in place. States and local officials are also releasing information specific to their jurisdiction.

While it is too soon to know whether reopening will lead to another surge in cases, everyone should continue to practice healthy habits and wear a mask in when public. When preparing to reopen, businesses should have a plan in place for keeping their workforce and customers safe. Consult the CDC’s “Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to COVID-19” and OSHA’s “Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19” for ideas and best practices.