With all the focus on COVID-19 lately, you may have completely forgotten that 2020 was a Leap Year. However, I was reminded today when somebody said, “What a unique Leap Year. February had 29 days, March had 300 days, and April had five years!”.
There’s no question that with stay at home restrictions, mass telework, and social distancing, it could certainly feel like the longest Leap Year. However, as areas begin to stabilize, restrictions will be lifted, and organizations will transition into a “new normal”. Working in the National Capital Region (NCR), this could be more complicated than most places since there are restrictions and recovery plans from the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia to track, along with guidance from the federal government.
Within the past week, the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia each released initial plans for reopening. All three plans call for a gradual, phased reopening process that is based on data and science. Practices that will be continued include social distancing, use of face coverings, and teleworking. All use the same public health metrics for moving toward reopening and are consistent with the most recent White House guidance. You can expect employers to keep the health and safety of employees a high priority also, using similar, science-based approaches to transitioning employees back to the office.
According to a recent survey by PwC (https://www.pwc.com/us/en/library/covid-19/pwc-covid-19-cfo-pulse-survey.html ) of “305 US finance leaders during the week of April 20," a majority of companies will be doing things such as:
Implementing new safety measures and requirements (77%).
Promoting physical distancing by changing workspaces (65%).
Changing shifts or alternating crews to reduce exposure (52%).
Some of these changes might be permanent. For example, almost half of companies surveyed (49%) indicated that telework would be a permanent option for roles that allow it.
These are very complicated times and the journey back to a “new normal” is likely to take several months with states, localities, and health officials setting reopening parameters. Below you will find a general description of all three reopening plans in the NCR, including similarities, differences, and the most recent estimated reopening dates. Of course, this a very fluid situation and things will likely change – just remember data, not dates! That said, this is a good summary as of May 4, 2020 and we hope you find it helpful. The source links for the below chart include the following:
American Enterprise Institute (AEI): National Coronavirus Response A Road Map to Reopening
Johns Hopkins University (JHU): Public Health Principles for a Phased Reopening During COVID-19
National Governors Association (NGA): Roadmap to Recovery: A Public Health Guide for Governors
White House Guidelines: Opening Up America Again