Feds Consider Small Step Toward Reopening Country

Rules may be loosened for some who have already been exposed to virus
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 8, 2020 3:43 PM CDT
Feds Poised to Ease COVID-19 Guidelines
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Tuesday, April 7, 2020, as Vice President Mike Pence listens.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

In a first, small step toward reopening the country, the Trump administration could relax coronavirus guidelines as early as Wednesday to make it easier for Americans who have been exposed but have no symptoms to return to work, particularly those in essential jobs. The proposed new guidelines are in the works even as the nation mourns more than 14,000 deaths from the virus and grapples with a devastated economy and medical crises from coast to coast. Under the expected new guidance from the CDC, people who have been exposed to someone who was infected would be allowed back to work if they are asymptomatic, take their temperature twice a day, and wear a face mask, a person familiar with the proposal under consideration tells the AP.

The guidelines would not be a foolproof guard against spreading infection. Recent studies have suggested that somewhere around 10% of new infections might be sparked by contact with individuals who are infected but do not yet exhibit symptoms. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, has said if social-distancing guidelines through April are successful in curbing the virus, more relaxed recommendations could be in order. President Trump is itching to get people back to work and businesses reopened. "Once we OPEN UP OUR GREAT COUNTRY, and it will be sooner rather than later, the horror of the Invisible Enemy, except for those that sadly lost a family member or friend, must be quickly forgotten," he tweeted Wednesday. "Our Economy will BOOM, perhaps like never before!!!"

(Read more coronavirus stories.)

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