Gov. Vázquez extends Covid-19 Executive Order for a week
SAN JUAN – Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced announced late Friday that Executive Order 2020-060, which was to last until Saturday, Aug. 15, will be extended an additional week, until Friday, Aug. 21, as requested by Health Secretary Lorenzo González Feliciano, according to a press release issued by her office.
Forty-eight of the at least 317 people lost to Covid-19 on the island died this week as the number of cases rose by 4,500, or 18 percent of the 25,000 registered since March.
“We have accepted the request of the Secretary of Health to extend the validity of the current executive order and thus give room to the advisory councils of the medical and economic sector to present their final recommendations. This Monday, we will be meeting with both groups to be able to make the correct determinations and address the situation regarding the rise in virus infections,” said the governor, while announcing that she will informing the public on Wednesday about a new executive order that is slated to come into effect Saturday, Aug. 22.
“My priority is the life and health of my people, always. We are working hard to be able to take effective measures that have as a priority minimizing the risk of spread and protecting the lives of all our citizens,” the governor added.
Executive Order 2020-060 maintains the restrictions in previous executive orders 2020-054 and 2020-057, including the 10 p.m.-to-5 a.m. curfew, the weekday ban on the sale of alcoholic beverages after 7 p.m., and the Sunday dry law and closing of nonessential businesses. It mandates the closure of bars, pubs and similar alcohol-only establishments.
Hardware stores are allowed to open Sundays, along with restaurants, supermarkets, pharmacies and gasoline stations. However, beaches are closed on Sundays.
Restaurants opening on Sundays are not allowed to admit patrons and are only allowed to operate take-out, drive-in or delivery services, while occupancy in these establishments is limited to 50 percent the rest of the week. In cases in which occupancy does not allow the minimum six-feet distance between people, the restaurant must reduce occupancy until achieving the requirement.
Entertainment establishments such as discos, concert halls, gaming centers, theaters, casinos, entertainment parks, and gyms must remain closed, according to the executive order.
Employers, including business owners, must “immediately” report any suspected or confirmed case of Covid-19 among employees to the Puerto Rico Health Department, according to the executive order, which “recommends” the “periodic” cleaning of air conditioners at commercial establishments and offices to avoid airborne transmission of the potentially deadly virus.
—Reporter José Alvarado contributed.