Governor John Carney today said new White House guidelines on reopening the country likely mean Delaware students won’t be back in session this school year.
In an interview on CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, Carney acknowledged the state was weeks away from beginning the first phases of recovery from the shut-down regional states have endured as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The interview followed a conference call with governors where President Trump outlined a three-phase approach to reopening the US economy.
Each phase is heavily dependent on widespread testing. State and federal officials have been unable to quantify when the country will have plentiful testing available. Schools, university instruction, summer camps, travel, nonprofit programming, Broadway shows, major concerts — every facet of life is impacted by the availability of near-universal testing availability.
When asked by Blitzer if it was likely Delaware schools would remain closed for this school year, Carney said he was still considering his decisions, but it was a “likely” outcome.
“Well, we haven’t made that decision yet,” said Carney. “Looking at these guidelines it looks like that’s where we will end up.”
Trump guidelines show “phased approach” to re-opening economy
The Trump guidelines (https://www.whitehouse.gov/openingamerica/#criteria) require a two-week downward trend in coronavirus symptoms and documented cases before the first phase can begin.
In phase one of the guidelines, restaurants, movie theaters, sporting venues, places of worship and gyms can reopen if they observe strict social distancing. Elective surgeries can resume when appropriate on an outpatient basis.
Schools would remain shut down and visits to senior living facilities and hospitals would be prohibited. Bars would stay closed and high-risk individuals would be encouraged to stay home.
Phase 2: Signs of life would resume
Phase two says schools and organized youth activities like camps can reopen.
Nonessential travel can resume, and people can start circulating in parks, outdoor recreational areas and shopping centers while avoiding gatherings of more than 50 individuals unless unspecified precautionary measures are taken. Restaurants, movie theaters and other large venues can operate under moderate social distancing rules.
Vulnerable individuals should continue to shelter in place, and employers should continue to encourage telework whenever possible. Common areas where people congregate in close quarters should be closed. Bars can operate with diminished standing-room occupancy.
Phase 3: Still social distancing still in place
Phase three would allow individuals to resume public interactions but practice social distancing. Employers can resume unrestricted staffing of workplaces.
Large public venues can operate under limited social distancing rules. Visits to senior care facilities and hospitals can resume.