Through innovation, perseverance, and sacrifice, the United States will bring the coronavirus under control. Comparatively we do, what milestones need to be met as businesses and families return to normal?
The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) has created a three-phase road map to reopening the parts of society that have been closed.
Phase One (We are here.)
Slow the spread of the virus in each state until the transmission has slowed, and health infrastructure can manage care for the sick. When the following criteria are met, a state should consider moving to phase two:
- A state reports a sustained reduction in cases for at least 14 days
- Local hospitals are safely able to treat all patients requiring hospitalization without resorting to crisis standards of care
- The state has the ability to test all people with COVID-19 symptoms
- State capacity to conduct active monitoring of all confirmed cases and their contacts
Each state should relax restrictions gradually with the goal of reopening without reverting back to phase one. Steps to take during phase two:
- Lift strict physical distancing measures carefully
- Allow the vast majority of businesses and schools to open
- Continue to control virus transmission
A vaccine has been developed and receives FDA approval.
AEI does not give timeline estimates. While the report is intended to guide each individual state, the authors acknowledge that “states may move forward at a county or regional level if these conditions vary within the state and that coordination on reopening among states that share metropolitan regions will be necessary.”
A roadmap like this is just a recommendation, but it does mention the use of surveillance data several times. When using our smartphones, we have all agreed to disclaimers given by the manufacturer or apps installed on the phone.
However useful tracking data proves to be, the government should take steps to protect our privacy.