Responsible Reopening: A Lesson From NYU Shanghai

Daily Life In Shanghai After China Declared Epidemic Contained

SHANGHAI, CHINA – MAY 02: People gather along the waterfront of the Bund during International Workers’ Day holiday on May 02, 2020 in Shanghai, China. Health authorities of China said the country has passed the peak of the COVID-19 epidemic on March 12. As of today, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 230,000 lives and infecting over 3.3 million people. The upcoming International Workers’ Day holidays will take place 01 to 05 May. (Photo by Yves Dean/Getty Images)


This news clip is a glimpse of what reopening looks like for a small university in a country and city that has met the requirements for reopening, according to the Centers for Disease Control guidelines and US public health officials:

  1. The number of new COVID-19 cases is small to none.
  2. Rapid testing is easily available for those with symptoms.
  3. Vigorous contact tracing exists. In this case, personal phone apps track location and certify local public health status: green means ok to enter public space, yellow means you have been exposed and isolation is required, red means infected.
  4. Mandatory isolation in a supervised facility for all those exposed. To date this essential requirement is not part of US recommendations to contain the outbreak. Our emphasis is on voluntary self-isolation which has yet to be proven effective elsewhere.
  5. Temperature reading required to enter all public spaces, including shops, restaurants, malls, and public transportation.

Once the country and a city meet these requirements, a generally safe environment allows individual organizations to begin the slow and careful process of reopening. It’s a “try it and see” approach. If infection rates rise again, they are prepared to quickly implement harsher measures to reduce infections once again.


Read full article on Forbes

Originally published on Forbes (May 4, 2020)

© William A. Haseltine, PhD. All Rights Reserved.