April 28 (UPI) — The White House Coronavirus Task Force presented additional guidelines for states to reopen their economies and conduct increased testing on Monday.
White House coronavirus response coordinator Deborah Birx and Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary Brett Giroir introduced the eight-part plan at a briefing on Monday and said the parts are grouped into three phases of which the United States has completed two.
“The blueprint lays out the roles and responsibilities to enhance our partnership between the private sector and the public sector, bringing together state and local governments with the federal government to ensure that we can accomplish and achieve our core principles and objectives,” said Birx.
The first phase of the plan focused primarily on testing, including unlocking each state’s full testing capacity as well as increasing the number of platforms for testing, the ability to collect samples and testing and laboratory supplies.
It also included plans to implement an active monitoring program to diagnose the symptomatic and work with individuals at higher risk.
“We’ve worked with states to look at where the outbreaks have occurred when they’re not in the large metros and we’ve seen that it occurs very often in places of closed settings among our Native Americans and among our long-term care facilities,” said Birx.
Vice President Mike Pence said the United States has conducted more than 5 million tests.
Finally, the first phase requires the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to work with state and local governments to ensure that they can quickly track and trace every symptomatic and asymptomatic case in order to control and predict outbreaks before they expand.
The second phase included expanding the scale of the public- and private-sector testing infrastructure and strengthening the testing supply chain.
Ultimately phase three would involve the federal government working with governors to support testing plans and rapid-response programs to allow states to reopen businesses, schools and other services.
The governors of Colorado and Nevada on Monday agreed to join a pact of Pacific states including California, Oregon and Washington to coordinate the reopening of their states.
President Donald Trump said during the briefing he would advise states to open as quickly and safely as possible.
“We want them to do it, we recommend that they do it as quickly as possible but safely, we want everyone to be safe,” said Trump.