ALABASTER, Ala. (WIAT) — Thursday evening, President Donald Trump announced new guidelines for reopening the United States.

He has made May 1 a target date. The president’s new guidelines offer a three-phase approach to help states and local leaders determine when they should reopen. The announcement entirely backtracks statements the president made Monday, claiming he, not governors, had total authority over states’ reopening.

In the new recommendations, if states have seen a decrease in COVID-19 cases over a 14-day period and hospitals have returned to pre-pandemic capacities, the reopening of businesses can begin.

“Governors will be empowered to tailor an approach that meets the diverse circumstances of their own states. Every state is very different. They’re all beautiful, we love them all but they’re very, very different. If they need to remain closed we will allow them to do that,” President Trump said. “And if they believe it is time to re-open we will provide them the freedom and guidance to accomplish that task.”

Local leaders are already operating on their own timelines, beyond what the Trump administration has advised. Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato said his decision will be based on local recommendations and data.

“What we have done is follow the guidelines of our state and local health officers. And that’s what we’ll do in terms of bringing our city back online,” Mayor Brocato said.

Alabaster Mayor Marty Handlon said the steps residents have taken in her city to stop the spread are working.

“We’ve been hearing from our people locally that we are flattening the curve. That says to me, that we are seeing a decrease. I think that would be a pretty good measure,” Mayor Handlon said.

As each city determines the approach best fit for them, local leaders acknowledge when we re-open, it won’t be the “normal” we once knew.

“I do believe it will be a new normal. Probably still some distancing, protective measures for people’s own safety,” Mayor Handlon said.


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