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CMS Recommendations to Re-Open Areas With Low Incidence of COVID-19

Today, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued new recommendations that are targeted specifically to communities that are in Phase 1 of the Guidelines for President Trump’s Opening Up America Again with low and stable incidence of COVID-19 cases. These guidelines recommend a gradual transition and encourage health care providers to coordinate with local and state public health officials, as well as reviewing the availability of personal protective equipment (PPE), workforce availability, facility readiness, and testing capability to factor into the decision making process to re-start or increase in-person care.

These recommendations update earlier guidance that was issued by CMS on limiting non-essential surgeries and medical procedures. Health care facilities and providers that are in areas still seeing higher numbers of COVID-19 cases are encouraged to continue following the recommendations made by CMS last month. These were issued to expand capacity to care for patients with COVID-19, to reduce the risks of transmission and exposure to patients, and to conserve adequate supplies (especially PPE) and manpower, during the public health emergency.