After closing down the state of Pennsylvania for about one month due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Governor Wolf is looking to reopen the state to select regions. For areas that have seen a relatively low number of confirmed cases, Governor Wolf believes they may be able to reopen “in a fairly robust” way on May 8. He stated that Pennsylvania has made progress in fighting the virus and the gradual reopening of some areas may be able to begin in early May.
Speaking of the matter, Governor Wolf stated, “There is not a one size that fits all. We can start to reopen the state in, I think, some areas in a fairly robust way, in other areas less so.” It is important to understand that the opening of the state is dependent upon the availability of widespread diagnostic testing and the capacity of the healthcare system. Governors are able to reopen their states in accordance with the guidelines set forth by President Trump and the Coronavirus task force.
What Does This Mean For Schools?
The guidelines that are set in order to reopen the country are broken up into phases. Each phase may be reached depending upon each state’s circumstances. As Governor Wolf looks to begin the process of reopening, this has left many people wondering what the guidelines mean for the reopening of schools in Pennsylvania. Schools and organized youth activities, such as daycare and camp, can reopen in Phase Two of the government’s guidelines. While this is true, it is important to know that certain criteria must be met first before that stage can be reached. In order for a state or regions to enter Phase One, the following gating criteria must be met:
- Symptoms: A downward trajectory of influenza-like illnesses reported within a 14-day period and a downward trajectory of Covid-like syndromic cases reported within a 14-day period
- Cases: A downward trajectory of documented cases within a 14-day period or a downward trajectory of positive tests as a percent of total tests within a 14-day period (flat or increasing volume of tests)
- Hospitals: Treatment of all patients without crisis care and a robust testing program in place for at-risk healthcare workers, including emerging antibody testing
It is important to know that for states and regions to move into Phase Two, there must be no evidence of a rebound and the gating criteria is required to be satisfied not just once, but a second time.
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Anderson, Converse & Fennick is an experienced law firm in York County, Pennsylvania focusing on Education Law, Family Law, Estate Planning, and Civil Litigation matters. If you need a knowledgeable attorney that will effectively represent your interests, contact Anderson, Converse & Fennick today.