The COVID-19 Pandemic caught the entire nation by surprise in March. On March 13th, President Trump declared a state of emergency and by March 16th every state declared a state of emergency. The Pandemic and the state of emergency caused shutting down activities, schools, work, stores, offices and travel. Initially, many individuals hoped the shutdown would only last for 2-3 weeks. Instead, the COVID-19 Pandemic impact was a few months and there is uncertainty how long the COVID-19 Pandemic will negatively impact the normal operation of a Pediatric Practice.
After the first month of the COVID-19 shutdown, the Whitehouse staff developed guidelines for phased opening and provided this information to state governors and the public. The state governors had the decision authority on when to start opening the activities in the state by using the phased opening guidelines document as well as actual data within their states. The phases are phase I, II and III based on data related to symptoms, cases and hospitals. The states with the highest impact stayed in the early phase until June while a number of states were only in the first phase until early May. Each phase allows for additional interaction and activities to occur in an area. While the states open the economy via moving to each phase, the guidelines do recommend that people wear masks and social distance through each phase.
The phases are meant to provide guidance and caution to the operation in each state. Ideally, all areas would move through each phase as planned but this will probably not be the case since many individuals are not following the guidelines to keep the country moving forward. The good news is that as areas move to open, parents are more confident in taking their children to see their local Pediatrician to catch up on well visits.