How Officials Determined the Reopening Guidance

The Road to Recovery orders were created with ultimate regard for maintaining life and reducing morbidity while balancing the vital need to restart the economy. Regional considerations and impacts must be made throughout reopening. If things go well and people maintain social distancing and other required safety precautions, officials are confident they can continue the reopening while preventing an overwhelming outbreak.

The Health Department launched an online dashboard that allows the public to view regional data related to COVID-19. As our community moves toward recovery, it is important that we know how the disease is moving through our population. This dashboard informs community leaders and the public on the important metrics that will inform decision-making going forward. 

This dashboard covers five areas, including: 

  • detailed case information, including total and daily cases based on a person’s onset of symptoms and active, deceased and resolved cases.
  • hospital capability, which is based on hospital staffing, supplies and space available to respond to COVID-19.
  • public health capability, which is based on the capability to conduct epidemiological interviews and contact tracing, and risk pertaining to unmitigated community exposure for COVID-19.
  • testing capability, which measures the estimated community testing capability for COVID-19. The index is based on the available testing and result turnaround time.
  • regional data information, which measures the estimated public health capability and testing capability for surrounding counties.

The dashboard provides decision mmakers with information about how and when to transition out of each phase of reopening. The dashboard has metrics built into the dials. If we turn yellow on one of those dials, we need to start paying attention, and if we turn red we need to either pause at a step or consider going back a step.

In addition, local leaders will utilize Public Health Principles for a Phased Reopening during COVID-19, published by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health for its assessment of virus transmission during the reopening of organizations and settings. This guidance provides science-based risk assessments that can be integrated into decisions around reopening phases.

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