On Thursday, May 14, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released guidance on reopening businesses, communities, schools, camps, daycares and mass transit. Previous guidelines were withheld by the Trump administration because they were deemed “too prescriptive” and restricted states that desired to reopen. The unreleased document was created by the nation’s top disease investigators with step-by-step advice to local authorities on how and when to reopen public places during the coronavirus outbreak. This report, titled Guidance for Implementing the Opening Up America Again Framework, was researched and written to help faith leaders, business owners, educators and state and local officials as they begin to reopen. This report was not released by the administration but was obtained by the Associated Press.
The new CDC released report provides a series of one page checklists which are designed to provide guidance to communities as they reopen. These checklists do not provide specific advice on when to reopen, rather they present a series of questions for employers to ask before they reopen. The checklists encourage social distancing, cleaning, monitoring of employee symptoms, flexible sick leave policies, the use of masks, as well as other suggestions. The guidance defers to state timelines on reopening. The more relaxed CDC guidelines were released amidst Dr. Anthony Fauci’s warnings that reopening the country too early could yield “really serious” consequences if states don’t have the capacity to respond to new infections.