CDC releases guidelines for reopening schools, restaurants and the rest of America

The 60-page document from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains how the US can reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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Statue of Liberty wearing a face mask to protect from Coronavirus

Like other countries, the US is trying to figure out how to restart its economy without causing COVID cases to spike.

James Martin/CNET

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidelines on Wednesday for how to reopen the US amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The 60-page document lays out a multiphase approach, including guidance on how restaurants, bars, schools and the like can reopen while tracking and controlling the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. The plan also covers topics like contact tracing, testing and monitoring.

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The document says that "widespread community mitigation combined with ongoing containment activities" can limit the spread of COVID-19 while addressing a "serious threat to the economic well-being of the country and the world."

The CDC describes three phases for reopening, each with criteria to be met before moving on to the next phase. The criteria include a drop in new cases, decreases in emergency department or outpatient visits for "COVID-like illness" and "robust" testing ability.

Interim guidelines for schools, for example, include having teachers wear masks, and as well as students (where feasible). Desks should be 6 feet apart, and all field trips and extracurriculars canceled. 

Restaurants should use disposable menus and even avoid using the buzzers used to let you know when your table is ready, according to the CDC.

COVID-19 has rapidly spread across the globe. There are now about 5 million confirmed cases globally, with over 1.5 million cases in the US, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. 

Watch this: Vaccines, antibody tests, treatments: The science of ending the pandemic

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