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Coronavirus tracking expert believes US should loosen restrictions by June

22 million Americans have filed for employment

The University of Washington’s model has quickly become the national standard for predicting the future of the coronavirus in the U.S, now it’s developing a new model to figure out when the country can begin to reopen.

Dr. Ali Mokdad is with the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, which has provided COVID-19 predictions state-by-state.

“It’s time to consider how we open our businesses, no doubt in my mind, but we have to do it carefully because all the sacrifices we have made we don’t want to waste,” Dr. Mokdad said.

He believes communities could start loosening their guidelines by June 1, but he said testing is the key to containment.

Central Florida counties have tested roughly one percent of the population.

"We don't have to test every American," he said.

If you look at 22 million right now in the United States who have filed for employment, and you want them to go back, you look at these 22 million and look at what they are doing, Dr. Mokdad said.

“If they’re doing a position where they can not practice safe social distancing within their position, these people need to be tested,” Dr. Mokdad said.

Dr. Mokdad says reopening should be done in phases, starting with businesses where employees can maintain their social distance.

He says any business where employees can not maintain six feet apart, all employees should be tested before reopening.

"We don't want an opportunity for the virus to come back and we will have another wave which will hurt our economy even more."

Florida is now at 839 deaths. Dr. Mokdad’s projections expect the number to hit 1,400 by August.


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