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CDC releases framework on how to reopen the economy safely

As Georgia becomes one of the first states to start lifting restrictions, the CDC put in writing the steps that need to happen for residents to stay safe.

ATLANTA — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Federal Emergency Management Agency developed a detailed framework on how to reopen the economy. The document, first obtained by the Washington Post last week, breaks it down in three phases.

Phase 1: Prepare the Nation

Phase 2: Innovation

Phase 3: Staged Re-Opening

► Read the full CDC document at the bottom of this story

While the first two stages largely outline the importance of communication and increased testing, phase three provides a detailed look into opening up communities based on the virus’ severity.

It’s a recommendation that isn’t exactly what Governor Brian Kemp issued in his order on Monday. Not all businesses will open at the same time, but the rules for which businesses will open apply statewide. Kemp issued safety procedures businesses will be required to follow, like checking customers’ temperatures.

RELATED: City leaders blindsided by Gov. Kemp's announcement of plan to reopen Georgia businesses

The CDC and FEMA’s framework recommends re-opening businesses based on the virus’ impact in specific communities, like Albany, Georgia, with one of the worst COVID-19 outbreaks in the state.

Right now, Albany businesses are scheduled to open using the same state guidelines as storefront in a communities with minimal COVID-19 cases.

Some public health experts, like Dr. Harry Heiman from Georgia State University, believes that’s a mistake because Georgia doesn’t have adequate testing data to make that decision. 

“To develop critical health strategies and plans based on things that are not operational is, I think, is dangerous,” said Heiman.

The document also recommends the creation of something call an “Infection Prevention Healthy Workplace Certification” program. It would provide business owners with safety training.

Owners would then be allowed to advertise their participation, similar to inspection results posted in restaurants.

The CDC did not respond to our request for an interview. 11Alive also reached out to the governor’s office, but has not received a response.

READ | Full CDC framework for states to reopen 

11Alive is focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the virus. We want to keep you informed about the latest developments while ensuring that we deliver confirmed, factual information. 

We will track the most important coronavirus elements relating to Georgia on this page. Refresh often for new information. 

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