Re-Opening after COVID-19: A State Level Policy Discussion

Updated: May 26, 2020

There have been over 1.6 million cases of COVID-19 reported in the USA with positive cases in all 50 states. On the bright side, there have been high recovery rates and some states are taking steps to lift stay at home orders and re-open their economies.

How is each state handling re-opening?

Virginia – Virginia’s current policy maintains a stay at home order until June 10th,2020 under the Governorship of Dr. Ralph Northam, who is an Internal Medicine Physician by training. Their policy is shaped by guidelines provided by the CDC/WHO and public health officials. The governor chose the shortest medium-term closure of 8 weeks to control the spread of the virus. Virginia is home to several elected officials and diplomats so that could be a factor in remaining closed.

Georgia- Georgia’s Governor Brian Kemp has a background in business and has allowed restaurants and personal care services to re-open as of April 20th, 2020 citing preparedness and increasing access to testing. He gave some recommendations about how to practice social distancing while minimally re-opening. Other considerations include the high number of employment claims that had been paid the prior weeks before.

Texas – Texas Governor Greg Abbott (a former Attorney and Judge) put together a Task Force composed of state officials and various business owners to focus on the incremental re-opening of the state. No local officials were included, and certain businesses could re-open at 25% occupancy while others were not until the 2nd phase.

It is expected that slowly but surely, more states will start initiating systematic re-opening while monitoring the status of the virus infection rates, the efficacy of preventative measures as well as compliance of the population but there is no one size fits all approach to this.

For more details, check out the Podcast Episode here:

Dr. Jessica Edwards


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