Trump teases new coronavirus distancing guidelines based on county risk

It’s uncertain how effective such labels might be in containing the virus, however, because asymptomatic carriers could move from region to region undetected. Just this week, the administration urged anyone who’d recently been in New York City, the new epicenter of the U.S. outbreak, to self-quarantine after health experts raised questions about whether people fleeing the city were transmitting the virus to other locales.

And before more governors began to order the closure of “nonessential” businesses like bars and restaurants in the name of social distancing, some state leaders complained that a patchwork of different guidelines in neighboring states undermined their more stringent restrictions.

Trump’s letter did not set a date for publishing or implementing the county-by-county guidelines. But he made no mention of the Easter deadline he spoke of Tuesday, when he said he’d like to have the country “opened up and raring to go” by the holiday.

The omission might indicate he’s heeding the advice of medical experts, who’ve warned it’s still premature to lift the current nationwide guidelines.

Trump’s latest proposal is also a sign of rising confidence in the testing rollout among members of the president’s coronavirus task force — and of the administration’s hopes to use that testing data in a more strategic manner.

“With each passing day, our increasingly extensive testing capabilities are giving us a better understanding of the virus and its path,” the president wrote Thursday, adding that the new information “will drive the next phase in our war against this invisible enemy.”