CDC's COVID-19 reopening guidelines released
States forging ahead with reopening plans can now use a 60-page guidance document published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) originally deemed too prescriptive by the White House.
The guidance follows a three-step or phased approach to reopening schools, child-care facilities, restaurants, and mass transit. the primary "gating" criteria—or when to maneuver to subsequent step—for each sector may be a decrease in newly identified cases, followed by a decrease in emergency department or outpatient visits for COVID-19 or influenza-like illnesses. the ultimate gating criteria may be a robust testing program, with 14 days of 20% or less of tests arising positive for the novel coronavirus.
"Decisions and methods about the way to operate are implemented at the state, tribal, local, and territorial levels because every locale is different, and individual jurisdictions have the authority and native awareness needed to guard their communities," the CDC said in an emailed media statement.
"CDC is constant to figure with state, tribal, local, and territorial leaders to supply technical assistance, and resources which will help support decisions about how Americans begin to re-engage in civic life while adhering to mitigation strategies like social distancing, hand-washing and wearing face coverings."
For schools and day camps, which for the foremost part haven't started reopening altogether states, the CDC recommends enhanced hygiene, physical distancing of desks, and keeping children with an equivalent group when possible. If a student or staffer tests positive for COVID-19, the CDC recommends a 2- to 5-day closing for cleaning.
For restaurants, which are still closed some states or open just for curbside pickup or delivery, the CDC suggests employees in danger for serious complications from COVID-19 infections be placed in roles that limit customer interaction. The CDC also recommended social-distancing seating.
Churches overlooked of guidelines
The guidelines don't address religious services or faith communities, a neighborhood that has become a political football in recent weeks. Yesterday the Department of Justice warned during a letter to California Governor Gavin Newsom that the state must act faster in allowing places of worship to reopen, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
The letter referenced Attorney General William Barr’s Apr 14 letter, which stated, "Even in times of emergency ... government might not impose special restrictions on religious activity that don't apply to similar nonreligious activity," and followed Newsom's announcement earlier in the week that it might be weeks before church services are open in California, well after schools, restaurants, factories, offices, and shopping malls reopen.
The Chronicle reports that some churches plan on defying Newsom's order and decide to reopen by May 31.
In related news, the Associated Press reported today that Republican operatives are recruiting pro-Trump doctors to seem on television and promote the fast reopening of states. The AP received a transcript of a May 11 call with high-level political operatives who produced an inventory of 27 doctors who would publicly appear in favor of reopening states.
Source: CDC muzzled by White House
Today CNN published an interview with six anonymous sources from the CDC who said the agency has been muzzled in recent weeks and pushed out of key decisions. Tensions between the CDC and White House started in February, when the CDC had early testing failures.
The sources said they urged the White House to shut visit and from Europe a minimum of 1 week before Trump announced a 30-day travel ban on Mar 12. Doing so would have prevented quite 60,000 European travelers from entering the country.
In related news, a top data scientist for Florida said she was ousted for refusing to control information on case counts in favor of reopening the state. Rebekah Jones, PhD, developed Florida's COVID-19 tracker, and said upon her firing the dashboard might not be as reliable.
The Georgia Department of Health has also been criticized for manipulating bar graphs on their website to point out cases having a downward trajectory. But cases haven't been entered in correct chronological order.
According to the ny Times tracker, the country now has 1,547,300 cases and 92,600 fatalities. The CDC has projected the state will see 100,000 deaths from COVID-19 by Jun 1.
Vaccine shows promise in rodents
Today Inovio said its DNA-based vaccine for COVID-19 produced antibodies in animal models, including mice and guinea pigs.
"These positive preclinical results from our COVID-19 DNA vaccine (INO-4800) not only highlight the potency of our DNA medicines platform, but also repose on our previously reported positive Phase 1/2a data from our vaccine against the coronavirus that causes MERS," said Inovio's Senior vice chairman of R&D, Kate Broderick, PhD, during a press statement.
Vaxart, a biotechnology company, said it's selected its lead oral vaccine candidate. Vaxart will contract with two other companies to develop the vaccine for clinical trials.
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CDC's COVID-19 reopening guidelines released
4/ 5Oleh Salim Salem