My state is re-opening. Yay! Also, yikes! Are we…ready??


A: Short answer: Probably not.

Longer answer:

The White House published “gating criteria” in their Reopening America Again guidelines. These are data-driven criteria that each state or region should satisfy before reopening. They include things like having a 14-day downward trajectory or new cases, hospital capacity to treat all patients without crisis, and a “robust” testing program in place.

The criteria did not come with actual quantitative targets, however. So, the non-partisan COVID Exit Strategy initiative has translated the gating criteria into specific metrics. They are compiling the needed underlying data for each metric and determining a “traffic light” designation for each state:

🆖 Red: Gating criteria not met
⚠️ Yellow: Making progress on measures
🆗 Green: Cleared gating criteria.

As of this morning (Monday, May 18), Michigan and New Jersey are green. Yay!

Helpfully, the COVID Exit Strategy also shows the actual reopening status of each state, regardless of gating criteria being met. As of this morning, 13 “criteria not met” (red) states are listed as reopening, and another 6 “criteria not met” states are listed as partial reopening or reopening soon. So, there’s some yikes for you.

Click this link to see how your state is doing and familiarize yourself with the six metrics used to track gating criteria.

Editorial note: This Nerdy Girl noticed the absence of contact tracing capability as a gating criterion or metric. This is unfortunate! Reopening is much more likely to be safe and successful if state and local health departments can do contact tracing for any new cases.

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