CLOSE A 44-year-old Texas woman spent 10 days on a ventilator at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center and was met with a standing ovation as she finally headed home. USA TODAYWASHINGTON – In a first, small step toward reopening the country, the Trump administration issued new guidelines to make it easier for essential workers who have been exposed to COVID-19 to get back to work if they do not have symptoms of the coronavirus.Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, announced Wednesday at the White House that essential employees, such as health care and food supply workers, who have been within 6 feet of a confirmed or suspected case of the virus can return to work under certain circumstances if they are not experiencing symptoms.The new guidelines are being issued as the nation mourns about 15,000 deaths from the virus and grapples with a devastated economy and medical crises from coast to coast. Health experts continue to caution Americans to practice social distancing and to avoid returning to their normal activities. At the same time, though, they are planning for a time when the most serious threat from COVID-19 will be in the country’s rear-view mirror.Layoffs show no letup:


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