Health Care & Wellness
What are States’ Policy Options to Slow the Spread of COVID-19?
July 7, 2020 | Bill Kramer
After shutting down businesses and ordering residents to stay-at-home in March to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, states began phased reopenings in May as the case numbers stabilized. However, more recently, certain pockets of the country have seen an alarming increase in COVID-19 cases (even as the numbers in originally hard hit areas like New York are decreasing). Since states remain the primary government authority stepping up to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, what policy options do states have to rein in the virus? The most obvious option is to require certain businesses to close again and order people back into their homes. Although several states have paused their reopening process and even made minor moves to reverse reopenings (most notably closing bars again), we’re unlikely to see states move all the way to full shutdowns like we experienced in March. Fortunately, public health experts know more about the virus now and see a path to containing the spread of the virus without shutting down our entire economy. Those options include mask mandates and travel restrictions.