COVID-19

Too soon to open, say public health experts

As some states begin to loosen social distancing rules, public health experts are warning of potentially grave consequences.

Michigan’s stay-at-home order will continue through the end of the month, but other rules are being loosened. Restrictions on construction work and manufacturing are already being removed.

However, other states are moving to reopen sooner and more aggressively. Indiana is allowing mass gatherings to resume at churches. Texas is reopening salons. And Georgia has been mostly open for two weeks now.

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That’s giving public health experts cause for concern, according to an article on NPR.

“We’ve done a pretty good job in controlling that exponential growth that we saw early on,” said Bob Bednarczyk, assistant professor of global health and epidemiology at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University in Atlanta. “But the way that it looks to many of us is that we really haven’t reached that peak and we’re not coming down the backside of the peak yet.”

Guidelines for Reopening

Caitlin Rivers, a leading scholar at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security told a U.S. House Appropriations subcommittee that there are criteria to be met before a state starts reopening.

That criteria includes:

  • a 14-day decline in cases
  • the ability to contact trace
  • enough protective gear for health care workers
  • adequate amounts of rapid diagnostic testing

No state has met that criteria as of now. Some states are far from it.

You can read the full story here.