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Monday, July 15th, 2024

Nuclear Threat Initiative provides new metrics on safely reopening the US amidst COVID-19 pandemic

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Through its COVID-Local site, the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) has released a guide of new metrics meant to guide local leaders and state officials in safely reopening the United States.

The site now includes interactive graphics and downloadable PDFs, meant to aid assessment of existing response efforts, target areas for action, and move toward the next phase of reopening — a gradual process. There are four in all, based on whether rates and new cases are increasing or decreasing. These range from maximizing social distancing to the initial reopening, focusing on economic recovery and establishment of a new normal.

Phase 1 was where the country was throughout much of the last few months, but phase 4 is the end goal, wherein community transmission is well monitored and flare-ups contained, and most critical functions can resume thanks to less than 3 percent of tests returning positive results and population estimates down to less than one case of COVID-19 per 100,000 people per week.

“As local leaders, our ongoing public health response to COVID-19 and reopening our economy are inextricably linked,” Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said. “COVID-Local’s step-by-step framework and metrics for phased reopening help local leaders make effective, strategic, and informed decisions to slow the spread of COVID-19 and begin to reopen businesses to a new normal.”

Four nonprofit organizations created COVID-Local: NTI, the Center for Global Development, and the Georgetown University Center for Global Health Science and Security, in collaboration with Talus Analytics. They have built their resources from existing guidance provided by U.S. and global authorities, public health research findings and lessons observed from countries that have been battling COVID-19 since January 2020.