Mayor says return of face mask rule indoors a proactive move to safeguard health


Mayor Benjamin Magalong said the move to reinstate the wearing of face masks in indoor settings is part of the city’s proactive stance to constantly safeguard the health of the populace.
The mayor issued Executive Order No. 63-2023 on May 17 reviving the mandatory use of face masks in indoor spaces like work places, classrooms, events venues, banquet halls, conference rooms and the like.
Face masks in said places will be required except when drinking or eating, undergoing medical, dental or personal care procedures and during conduct of physical fitness activities.
The order also sought to ensuring that eligible individuals are fuly vaccinated or have received at least one booster dose and that engineering controls that maximize ventilation are implemented.
In a statement last May 16, The mayor said while the increase in COVID-19 cases had been gradual and in fact had even gone down in the last three days, the city cannot take chances especially since economic activities have been in full gear and there are no plans to restrict people’s movement.
“There is no need to control movement or to limit gatherings and events. We will just take extra precautions in protecting not only our residents but also residents of neighboring places as well as visitors from other localities by wearing masks in indoor places and by avoiding handshakes and doing fist bumps instead,” the mayor said.
He also encouraged observing minimum public health standards like avoiding crowds, washing hands, doing regular disinfection and such other measures that were religiously practiced before. He again encouraged people to update their vaccination.
“This may sound cliche but as always, prevention is better than cure,” he said.
The mayor said the increase in cases may be attributed to the new variant XBB.1.16 named Arcturus, said to be more infectious than the dominant Omicron.
He said symptoms of current cases however have so far been generally mild and hospital utilization rate low. **Aileen P. Refuerzo


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