Federal health officials have laid out coronavirus benchmarks, known as “gating criteria,” that individual states should accomplish before people can return to work and school.
Dr. Susmita Pati is the chief medical advisor at the Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University. She is also chief of Stony Brook Medicine's Division of Primary Pediatrics.
She says the “gating criteria” has two parts: hospital preparedness and infections.
“Do the hospitals have, number one, a really robust program to test at-risk health care workers? And that’s using testing not just for coronavirus active illness, but also immunity”, she said.
Hospitals also need adequate supplies of personal protective equipment to handle a surge in COVID19 patients.
States must also be able to document 14 days of fewer COVID-19 cases, and fewer people with symptoms.
Dr. Pati says these guidelines are a common strategy used to manage public health crises. They protect against a surge in patients that could overwhelm the hospital system.