States Start to Outline Plan for Reopening by Forming Regional Pacts

Editors Note: This story was updated with Governor's Newsom six-point plan released this afternoon.

Governors across the country are starting to outline plans for how they are going to go about reopening their local economies. A positive sign as we look to remerge from the shuttered economy. We’ll ignore the political soundbites that are arising between executive powers and the states’ leaders as the country was shut down state by state and we predict the same plan of action will happen in loosening stay-at-home mandates.

Furthermore, Dr. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN’s Jake Tapper this will be a “rolling reentry” and “will be dependent on where a business is in the country, the nature of the outbreak they have already experienced and the threat of an outbreak. New York will be very different than Arkansas… This will not be one-size-fits-all.”

This is very true as the same approach for New York that has lost 10,056 people to coronavirus already, is going to have a very different approach compared to Wyoming that only has a single death attributed so far according to the NY Times.

Governors from New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut have announced a pact on the east coast while governors from Washington, Oregon, and California announced similar plans.

What Are Their Plans

So far, this news is more of an announcement and specific measures have yet to be outlined. No dates have been set or indications of which businesses and activities may be allowed to reopen first. Despite the lack of specifics, it is encouraging to see governors working together as many pointed out shortfalls of businesses being shut down in one state that could encourage travel to nearby states which goes against the fabric of stay-at-home orders. The closure of liquor stores in Pennsylvania being a clear example that has led many to cross-state travel.

Governor Jay Inslee of Washington state shared on his Twitter account that any reopening will require ‘a robust system for testing, tracking, and isolating.’

New York Governor Cuomo also says that tracking and testing are key, especially the antibody test to see who has already had COVID-19 and may be immune moving forward. In his daily press briefing today, the New York Governor reiterated that opening too fast could lead to unintended consequences and pointed out other countries who have tried to reopen and saw the number of cases spike again. This comprehensive plan among the seven states working together is to ensure states are not contradicting each other and countering efforts of their neighboring states.

Update: Governor Newsom has outlined a six-point indicator roadmap for what they will be tracking and requiring in order to reopen. There was not a specific timeline mentioned but it does give insight into how businesses will be affected. The fifth point states 'The ability for businesses, schools, and child care facilities to support physical distancing' could directly affect on-premise dining even with stay-at-home measures relaxed. New York City reduced venue seating to 50% of their capacity and it will be interesting to see how California enforces bars and restaurants to support physical distancing.

State leaders are toeing the line between lives and livelihoods with the former appropriately weighing much heavier on the scale. The numbers of cases, daily deaths, and ICU resources continue to decline in certain areas, but any reopening of any state will require a smart balance of caution. These states working together should help ensure spikes are mitigated as best as possible.