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Taking Advantage of the 15-Day Pause to Slow the Spread of COVID-19

2020-03-21
Considerations for state and local community leaders

What is the 15-day pause?
While every community is unique and experiencing varying levels of community transmission, the 15-day pause recommended by the White House presents the entire country with an opportunity to assess how prepared we are and take steps to implement actions designed to slow and limit the spread of COVID-19.  We understand that the pause may last longer than 15 days.

Thinking ahead
At some point, the recommended actions will change. Community leaders must come together to facilitate services and businesses re-opening in an orderly way. The resumption of activities needs planning so that it does not negatively affect ongoing mitigation efforts in local areas or the country as a whole.

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Steps every sector can take during the 15-day pause to plan as One Community
Identify leaders from every sector who can join a task force to jointly plan for and implement a coordinated effort

Communicate with the public to share considerations and decisions about when to start reopening – prepare them that 15 days may not be long enough and will depend on a variety of factors, which look different from community to community.
Identify organizations serving at risk and underserved populations and help them prepare
Access critical gaps in resources and supply chain
Medical equipment
Food supply
Cleaning and disinfection products
Identify childcare for critical infrastructure workforce
Healthcare workers
First responders
Teachers and school administrators
Utility company staff
Mental health professionals
Begin planning for an orderly return to daily life
Identify leaders from every sector who can join a task force to jointly plan for a coordinated effort
Work with public health authorities to determine which interventions should continue and identify local factors that might assist determining when and how to resume services.
Local factors to examine
Local spread
Strain on critical infrastructure
Supply chain relief
Public mood, tolerance and community resilience
For those interventions that should remain in place, consider how to lessen the adverse effects of them
Prepare public communication materials to explain what people can do to alleviate the negative effects of interventions that remain in place.
Prepare the public that this may be a slow, staged progression back to normalcy
Restrictions will be lifted as soon as it is safe to do so
Communities need to stick together to help one another through these challenging times
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Coordinate a community-wide strategy
Communities are interconnected systems. Actions taken in one sector may have a domino effect. It is critical that community plans account for this interconnection when the country begins a staged return to normal activity. Additional guidance is under development to help communities think through this process.

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