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US: 25 States Release Formal Reopening Plan Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Announcing the state-by-state formal plan at a press conference US President Trump said, "America wants to be open and Americans want to be open."

US

At least 25 out of the 50 states in the US have announced the formal “re-opening plans” as President Donald Trump announced new guidelines to lift restrictions as of May 1. A team of government officials — led by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) — created a public health strategy for the country to resume businesses and reopen the economy. 

In a three-phased approach, to mitigate the risk of a resurgence, the White House issued a state-wide implementable approach at the governor’s discretion for Opening Up America Again, as the formal 18-pages document has been titled. Trump laid out a vision at the round table to pivot from the pandemic to restore pre-coronavirus normalcy — “with or without” a vaccine, as he said.

Announcing the state-by-state formal plan at a press conference streamed online, President Trump said, "America wants to be open and Americans want to be open. A national shutdown is not a sustainable long-term solution." Further, he added, “healthy citizens would be able to return to work as conditions allow" while speaking at the round table. “I don’t want people to get used to this,” Trump told US reporters. “I see the new normal being what it was three months ago.” 

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The formal plan

In phase one, venues such as restaurants, places of worship, and sports venues "can operate under strict physical distancing protocols", as per the guidelines. While phase two of the formal plan allows non-essential travel to resume, including bars, with “diminished standing-room occupancy.” Under phase three, the federal government “allows public interactions and unrestricted staffing of worksites” and normal day-to-day social interactions post a month-long evaluation period, the document mentioned. 

More than 97 per cent US population was issued the stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders amid the wrath of the malignant pandemic. As many as 61,669 lives have succumbed to the COVID-19 disease—death toll that surpassed the 1968 Vietnam war, over two decades ago. However, the 43 states and DC have formed the pacts with the federal government to “reopen and revive” the US economy that shrank at a 4.8% annual rate in the annual first quarter, according to reports. 

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