Public Health Principles for a Phased Reopening During COVID-19: Guidance for Governors

Publication Date

April 17, 2020

Page Number


Link to Report




As chains of transmission begin to decline, along with new COVID-19 cases, decisions are needed at the state level on how to transition out of strict physical distancing.  Decision-makers must make choices based on individual situations in their states, risk levels, and resource assessments.  This report offers a framework for considering risks of likely transmission, and assessing nonessential businesses, schools and childcare facilities, outdoor spaces, community gathering spaces, transportation, etc.  It is essential to move from strict physical distancing to a staged reopening phase, and to communicate that rational clearly.  “Reopening will increase the risk of COVID-19 spread…there is no way to completely guard against that.”  An Appendix lists leadership considerations in “Planning to Restore Community Vitality.”

Also see: JHU/CHS COVID-19 Dashboard for a daily update of total confirmed cases and deaths by country and region.