CDC releases guidelines for reopening schools and businesses that stopped their operations to comply with the social distancing measures imposed by the government. These measures aim to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
CDC, or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has been a subject of controversy that surrounds their authority in making decisions about the country’s safe reopening.
The guidance is considered the most comprehensive guidance the agency has released so far.
The 60-page document from CDC highlights guidelines for reopening schools and businesses, including child care centers, restaurants, and public transit.
It also presents more detailed advice for mass transit. To observe social distancing, vehicles must add floor decals or colored tape to keep people six feet apart.
The document also contains a comprehensive blueprint for curbing the spread of COVID-19 at federal and state levels. The recommended measures are contact tracing and monitoring for outbreaks, activities that many parts of the country are not implementing.
Compliance with basic criteria
Many states still have to work to pass the basic criteria for reopening originally laid out by the White House. The criteria include a 14-day decline in coronavirus cases with an improved implementation of testing.
Some places aim to implement the type of contact tracing network that the CDC labeled as “a core disease control measure” in its guidance.
State and federal officials reportedly had difficulties gathering consistent data on the spread of the virus. This complicates efforts to maintain a nationwide response.
Even if testing improved in general, several states have yet to meet their targets.
“Extensive, rapid, and widely available COVID-19 testing is essential,” the CDC guidance said.
The US government pushed for a swift reopening of the US due to the economic fallout caused by lockdown measures. .
Reports say the CDC guidance was delayed for weeks due to concerns that it was “too prescriptive.”
The Trump administration previously told CDC to alter an earlier version of the reopening guidelines because it was deemed “too prescriptive.”
CDC vs. the White House
The tension between CDC and the White House stirred concerns within the public health community about whether the government was not acknowledging its health experts.
In the first week of May, a CDC official revealed that the White House’s reopening plan will not adhere to the initial recommendation from CDC.
The 38-page guidance document published by CDC last week was deemed less comprehensive from previously leaked versions. That version was tweak, a CDC spokesperson revealed to POLITICO. Meanwhile, the current, complete guidance was released on Sunday, and the agency did not accompany it with a press release.
However, the document does not cover reopening recommendations for faith-based sectors like churches that were considered in the first leaked drafts. Trump administration officials did not agree to including faith-based rules over religious discrimination issues.