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New Report: Public Health Principles for a Phased Reopening During COVID-19: Guidance for Governors

Center News


April 17, 2020 – The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security has released a new report to provide public health principles to governors for a phased economic reopening: “Public Health Principles for a Phased Reopening During COVID-19: Guidance for Governors.” This report builds on the epidemic phases described in the “National Coronavirus Response: A Road Map to Reopening,” published last month.

The new report provides an assessment of the risk of disease transmission in a variety of organizations and settings (e.g., businesses, schools, playgrounds, bars, restaurants) in order to identify candidates for reopening. The authors outline steps to reduce potential transmission during the reopening of these organizations and settings.

The authors emphasize that governors should make informed decisions and communicate their rationale for moving to a phased reopening. Governors should set appropriate expectations around the risks involved in reopening businesses and other sectors.

The report notes that reopening will increase the risk of COVID-19 spread. Therefore, it is important for leaders to know that getting things open again will increase the risks of individuals contracting COVID-19, and there is no way to completely guard against that.

The authors conclude: Decisions should be made carefully and thoughtfully to limit the risk of disease resurgence. Reopening of businesses is only one step among many that will need to be considered on the path to recovering from this pandemic.

The report is available here.