CDC Issues Detailed Reopening Guidance After Initial Rejection

May 21, 2020by Emma Court, Bloomberg News (TNS)

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a 60-page document that provides detailed suggestions for different phases of reopening workplaces, schools and restaurants, after an earlier draft was rejected by the White House for being too prescriptive.

The document, which expands on several tools the agency released last week to guide specific types of organizations, was posted on the CDC website over the weekend without fanfare. The guidelines are similar to ones included in the draft, though they pertain to fewer types of businesses and are less restrictive.

The release comes as most states have begun reopening. The White House coronavirus task force issued broad guidelines for reopening the country on April 16 but largely left the specifics to states on how to restart economic and social activities.

Much of the new guidance provides an overview of public health measures like testing aimed at tracking the virus’s spread and guiding the government’s response. The final 20 pages lay out stages of reopening for child care programs; schools and day camps; companies with high-risk workers; restaurants and bars; and mass transit. The document gives detailed suggestions for social distancing, hygienic practices and symptom-checking.

The charts released last week outlined steps that workplaces could take to reopen. The expanded guidelines are intended as a supplement by setting forth “a menu of safety measures, from which establishments may choose those that make sense for them in the context of their operations and local community, as well as state and local regulations and directives.”

The new guidelines made some modifications to the draft, including eliminating recommendations for religious communities, parks, recreational facilities and gyms. The prior draft included rules for different sizes of social gatherings in various stages of reopening. The tone of the new document is also less rigid, often saying that businesses and organizations “may” follow the practices it describes.

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©2020 Bloomberg News

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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