(ABC News) – President Donald Trump’s plan to re-open the American economy after a near-total shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic consists of three graduated phases, according to a copy of the proposed actions obtained by ABC News.
Trump unveiled the plan in a video conference call with the nation’s governors on Thursday afternoon.
The state leaders were instructed that they could move through the guidelines at their own pace and that the guidelines are not formal orders from the federal government, according to a person familiar with the call.
“Phase one” calls on employers to telework where possible, return to work in phases, minimize non-essential travel and make accommodations for the vulnerable populations within the workforce. It calls on all vulnerable individuals to “shelter in place,” and when in public, all individuals should continue social distancing.
However, a critical piece to this is the “gating criteria” that all states and regions should achieve before they can move on to phase one. This includes a “downward trajectory” of reported “influenza-like illnesses,” “covid-like syndromic cases” and “documented cases” or “positive tests as a percent of total tests” within a 14-day period, as well as the ability for hospitals to “treat all patients without crisis care” and have a “robust testing program in place for at-risk healthcare workers, including emerging antibody testing.”
In “phase two,” non-essential travel for employers can resume. Schools and organized youth activity can reopen. Bars, gyms and large venues can reopen with proper social distancing measures in places. Churches can open with social distancing. Elective surgeries can resume.
The third phase says bars, gyms and large venues can reopen with limited social distancing and proper sanitation.
The president described the guidelines “as a bit of a negotiation,” a source said.