CDC Draft Guidelines For Reopening U.S. Being Reviewed by White House

FRIDAY, May 1, 2020 (HealthDay News) —
Spaced-out seating in schools, virtual or outdoor religious services, and disposable menus, plates and utensils at restaurants are among U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention draft guidelines for reopening certain aspects of daily life during the coronavirus pandemic.

Six categories are included in the document– child care programs; schools and day camps; communities of faith; employers with vulnerable workers; restaurants and bars; mass transit administrators — and reopening in phases is recommended for each category, CNN reported.

The recommendations are being reviewed by the Trump administration and could change, according to a federal health official.

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump suggested he may be unlikely to approve guidelines that recommend a return to an altered way of life, CNN reported.

“I see the new normal being what it was three months ago. I think we want to go back to where it was,” Trump said at a meeting with representatives from the restaurant and hospitality industries.

“I want to go back to where it was, that’s where we’re going to be,” Trump said.

But Trump may face opposition on that from the American people: Despite the pain that battling the new coronavirus has exacted on the economy, an AP poll found Americans are overwhelmingly in favor of stay-at-home orders and other efforts to slow the virus’ spread.

The survey, released by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, also finds a majority of Americans against lifting those measures anytime soon.

Along with schools spacing seating and bedding 6 feet apart if possible, the CDC document suggests keeping the same groups of children together each day, avoiding mixing between groups, having students eat in classrooms instead of cafeterias, and avoiding “non-essential” assemblies and field trips, CNN reported.

If it’s considered necessary, child care programs should be closed, but may be allowed to remain open to provide care for children of healthcare providers and other essential workers.

Along with conducting virtual or outdoor services where possible, religious groups should limit large gatherings, use a stationary collection box and encourage the use of face coverings at all gatherings, CNN reported.

Employers should protect workers who may be at higher risk for severe COVID-19 illness — such as those with underlying health conditions and older adults — by allowing and helping them work at home or remotely.

Restaurants and bars consider should reopen with limited capacity that enables social distancing, use disposable menus, plates and utensils and single-use condiments, install sneeze guards at cash registers, and not provide salad bars, buffets and self-serve drink stations, CNN reported.

Employees should wear a cloth face mask or covering when near other workers and customers, according to the CDC.

Transit systems should restrict routes between areas with different levels of coronavirus transmission and intensify cleaning, disinfection and ventilation.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on the new coronavirus.