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

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.