Trump Virus Reopening Guidelines Call for ‘Downward Trajectory’

Federal guidelines the Trump administration issued to states on Thursday recommend that they document a “downward trajectory” in cases of coronavirus and flu-like illnesses before relaxing stay-at-home orders.

States could then proceed into a three-phase reopening process, according to the guidelines, which Bloomberg News obtained. The guidelines recommend that employers develop and implement social distancing practices, temperature checks at workplaces, testing for the virus and increased sanitation and use of disinfection.

The guidelines also recommend employers ask “symptomatic” workers to be cleared to return to work by their doctors.

President Donald Trump told U.S. governors on a conference call Thursday that some states would be able to reopen businesses and schools before May 1, when federal social distancing guidelines are set to expire.

He said some governors may want to take more time, conceding that some states are in rough shape, two people familiar with the call said. But he told the governors that the country is heading in the right direction.

The president said he’ll announce federal guidelines for states to lift stay-at-home orders and relax social distancing practices during his daily news conference at 6 p.m. He told the governors that they’ll receive booklets with the guidelines.

Vice President Mike Pence told the governors that 24% of U.S. counties have no reported cases of the disease. He said that the federal guidelines are intended to assist governors with decisions to reopen. They should determine the trajectory of the outbreak in their states before changing stay-at-home orders, he said, and assess hospital capacity and the risk of a resurgence in infections.

Trump told the governors that the bottom line is if their states are ready and have low numbers of cases, then they should get back to normal safely but also fast.

He knocked China, saying that a country he didn’t explicitly name should have told the U.S. more about the disease, and that he isn’t happy about it. The U.S. shouldn’t be in the position it’s in, he said.

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