In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Governors Association (NGA) and Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) has released a roadmap to help support governors developing plans for a phased reopening of economic activities that protects the public’s health while laying a strong foundation for long-term economic recovery.
Working closely with public health officials in their states and territories, governors have been leading the bipartisan response to COVID-19, implementing measures to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, and building a framework for a recovery that prioritizes public health.
The NGA and ASTHO roadmap, developed with contributions from public health experts at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the University of Maryland Baltimore County, outlines key steps and operational considerations for governors as they work to scale testing, monitoring and contact-tracing capacity, while identifying when to begin a gradual relaxation of community-wide social distancing policies. As states develop the public health infrastructure to rapidly identify and stop the spread of COVID-19, the roadmap provides additional considerations for governors as they create and execute plans for reopening their states.
Steps outlined in the NGA-ASTHO report include:
- Building public health infrastructure.
- Expand testing capacity and make testing broadly available.
- Strengthen public health surveillance to understand the spread of the disease and rapidly detect outbreaks.
- Dramatically scale capacity for isolation, contact tracing and quarantine.
- Ensure the healthcare system can respond to potential surges.
- Protect essential workers and vulnerable populations.
- Creating and executing a plan to gradually reopen the economy.
- Develop a strong communication and public engagement effort.
- Create a framework for reopening.
- Set the criteria and define the stages of reopening.
- Support implementation of the plan across the public and private sectors.
- Prepare to reassess and improve the plan frequently.
NGA is the bipartisan organization of the nation’s 55 governors. Through NGA, governors share best practices, address issues of national and state interest, and share solutions that improve state government and support the principles of federalism.
ASTHO is a national nonprofit organization that represents the public health agencies of the United States, the U.S. territories and freely associated states, and the District of Columbia, as well as the more than 100,000 public health professionals these agencies employ. ASTHO members, the chief health officials of these jurisdictions, formulate and influence sound public health policy and to ensuring excellence in public health practices.
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