The White House released guidelines April 16 for reopening the national economy.

The Opening Up America Again guidelines were issued as recommendations for state governors to follow on a state-by-state or county-by-county basis, with states having broad discretion based on respective public health assessments.

The guidance calls for a three phase plan for employers.

Phase 1: For States and Regions that Satisfy Initial Gating Criteria 

  • Continue to encourage telework, whenever possible and feasible with business operations.
  • If possible, return to work in phases.
  • Close common areas where personnel are likely to congregate and interact, or enforce strict social distancing protocols.
  • Minimize non-essential travel and adhere to CDC guidelines regarding isolation following travel.
  • Strongly consider special accommodations for personnel who are members of a vulnerable population.

Phase 2: For States and Regions with No Signs of Rebound and Satisfy Gating Criteria for Second Time

  • Continue to encourage telework, whenever possible and feasible with business operations.
  • Close common areas where personnel are likely to congregate and interact, or enforce moderate social distancing protocols.
  • Employers non-essential travel can resume.
  • Strongly consider special accommodations for personnel who are members of a vulnerable population.

Phase 3: For States and Regions with No Evidence of rebound and Satisfy Gating Criteria for Third Time

  • Resume unrestricted staffing of worksites.

The new guidance also calls for a three-phase plan for individuals to transition back to everyday life.

Phase 1: For States and Regions that Satisfy Initial Gating Criteria 

  • All vulnerable individuals should continue to shelter in place. members of households with vulnerable residents should be aware that by returning to work or other environments where distancing is not practical, they could carry the virus back home. precautions should be taken to isolate from vulnerable residents.
  • All individuals, when in public (e.g., parks, outdoor recreation areas, shopping areas), should maximize physical distance from others. social settings of more than 10 people, where appropriate distancing may not be practical, should be avoided unless precautionary measures are observed.
  • Avoid socializing in groups of more than 10 people in circumstances that do not readily allow for appropriate physical distancing (e.g., receptions, trade shows).
  • Minimize non-essential travel and adhere to CDC guidelines regarding isolation following travel.

Phase 2: For States and Regions with No Signs of Rebound and Satisfy Gating Criteria for Second Time

  • All vulnerable individuals should continue to shelter in place. members of households with vulnerable residents should be aware that by returning to work or other environments where distancing is not practical, they could carry the virus back home. precautions should be taken to isolate from vulnerable residents.
  • All individuals, when in public (e.g., parks, outdoor recreation areas, shopping areas), should maximize physical distance from others. social settings of more than 50 people, where appropriate distancing may not be practical, should be avoided unless precautionary measures are observed.
  • Non-essential travel can resume.

Phase 3: For States and Regions with No Evidence of rebound and Satisfy Gating Criteria for Third Time

  • Vulnerable individuals can resume public interactions, but should practice physical distancing, minimizing exposure to social settings where distancing may not be practical, unless precautionary measures are observed.
  • Low-risk populations should consider minimizing time spent in crowded environments.
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