Social DistancingFlorida’s statewide stay-at-home order is due to lift on April 30th, but even with the mandate expiring in a few days, expect a slow roll of business openings in the coming weeks. Opening up America again, is going to be a drawn-out and steady process. Though there has been a decline in new cases around the world, there is currently no official cure for COVID-19. As of April 20th, there have been 26,660 cases of COVID-19 cases in Florida and 2,435,876 worldwide. The United States alone has reported over 786,795 reported cases and 42,012 deaths. Re-opening the country is going to be a feat. To help our states with our new normal, the White House has unveiled Guidelines for Opening Up America Again, based on the advice of public health experts. These steps will help state and local officials mitigate the risk of a resurgence when re-opening their economies.

Here are the three-phased guidelines for Opening Up America Again:

  • Criteria: a 14-day downward trajectory of reported symptoms, cases, and treatment of patients without crisis care.
  • Phase One: all vulnerable individuals should continue sheltering in place (visits to senior facilities prohibited), gyms, and large venues can re-open. Telework is encouraged. Slow return to work in phases and if possible.
  • Phase Two: schools can re-open, bars with limited seating can re-open, elective surgeries can resume. Telework is still encouraged. All vulnerable individuals should continue sheltering in place (visits to senior facilities prohibited).
  • Phase Three: VULNERABLE INDIVIDUALS should practice physical distancing but can resume public interactions. Everyone can return to work, and visits to senior care facilities can resume.

The Opening Up America Again approach focuses on protecting the most vulnerable, getting people back to work while continuing to protect the lives of Americans. These guidelines are recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and can apply to each state or county based on their governor’s discretion. Remember, if the re-opening of states is done hastily, there could be another outbreak of the virus. By being methodical and careful, we can prepare for the worst and hope for the best, either way, we are all in this together.

Readers, if you have a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, call your nearest medical facility and seek care right away. If you have an underlying condition like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or respiratory conditions, shelter in place and stay away from others or crowded areas, for the most up-to-date information about the Coronavirus, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

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