Plan Outlines Reopening in Stages

Areas hit hard by COVID-19 would have to wait
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 16, 2020 7:14 PM CDT
Trump Outlines Gradual Reopening
President Trump listens during a briefing Thursday, April 16, 2020, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

President Trump presented a road map Thursday for recovering from the economic pain of the coronavirus pandemic, laying out "a phased and deliberate approach" to restoring normal activity in places that have strong testing and are seeing a decrease in COVID-19 cases. "We're starting our life again," Trump said, per the AP. They make clear that the return to normal will be a far longer process than Trump initially envisioned, with federal officials warning that some social distancing measures may need to remain in place through the end of the year. And they largely reinforce the plans under development by governors, who have the primary responsibility for public health in their states. Trump reinforced that earlier in the day. Trump's three phases:

  • Phase 1 recommends that strict social distancing for all people in public remain in effect. Gatherings larger than 10 people should be avoided, and nonessential travel is discouraged.
  • Phase 2 would have people still be encouraged to maximize social distancing and limit gatherings to no more than 50 people unless precautions are taken. Travel could resume.
  • Phase 3 envisions a return to normal for most Americans, with a focus on identifying and isolating new infections.

Dr. Deborah Birx and Dr. Anthony Fauci said at the briefing that it will be a "new normal." But Trump pushed back, suggesting that people want to go to football games and fill restaurants again. "That's going to happen, and it's going to be relatively quickly," he predicted.

(Read more coronavirus stories.)

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