UPDATE July 6, 2020: Due to the increase in infections in Puerto Vallarta, public parks, plazas and sports fields, sites that the governor announced could reopen starting Monday, June 29, were reclosed and cordoned off on Sunday, July 5, and will remain closed until further notice.
UPDATE July 1, 2020: This afternoon, after determining that it is not feasible to continue with the opening of closed spaces that attract crowds, the Expanded Health Board, formed by representatives of the Government of Jalisco, the University of Guadalajara, and national experts such as doctors José Narro and Salomón Chertorivski, made the decision to postpone the opening of entertainment venues that represent a risk to the population, such as cinemas, theaters and museums among other cultural attractions. More info.
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - Jalisco is among the 18 states that moved from maximum risk (red) to high risk (orange) on the federal government's color-coded "stoplight" map last week, which means that as of June 29, more coronavirus restrictions were eased with the gradual reopening of certain businesses and public spaces.
In the 18 orange states, churches, shops, parks, swimming pools, sports activity centers and gyms are permitted to operate at 50% of their capacity, as are hotels, restaurants and cafés. Theaters, museums and cultural attractions may reopen at 25% capacity.
Aguascalientes, Baja California Sur, Campeche, Coahuila, Chiapas, Chihuahua, Mexico City, Durango, Guanajuato, Jalisco, Michoacán, Querétaro, Quintana Roo, San Luis Potosí, Tamaulipas, Veracruz, Yucatán and Zacatecas have all been designated orange states.
The federal government considers four factors when determining the risk level and corresponding stoplight color for each state: case number trends (whether new infections are increasing, decreasing or stable), hospital admission trends for coronavirus patients, hospital occupancy levels and positivity rates (the percentage of people tested who are confirmed to have Covid-19).
As for the state indicators, at the end of the day on June 27 Jalisco maintained a similar scenario to that of the two previous weeks: the death rate (7.37%), growth rate of positive cases (25.4%) and occupation of destined beds COVID-19 (25.9%) are in the green or low risk category; the percentage of people going out to public spaces is in the green-yellow limit (69%), and only the active cases are in red (1,851).
Given the gradual opening of the public spaces that were authorized as of June 29, the Jalisco Health Secretariat (SSJ), encourages the population to act responsibly, to go out individually and not in groups, to stay as short a time as possible and take self-care measures in the face of the pandemic that remains active throughout the country.
Keeping a distance of 1.5 meters, the use of face masks, and frequent hand washing with soap and water are the best self-care measures to move around in public spaces; along with the use of antibacterial gel, masks (face shields) and sanitation by those responsible for each site are among the SSJ's recommendations to avoid the spread of COVID-19.
The people of Puerto Vallarta welcomed the decision of the Government of Jalisco to allow the opening of more businesses, because it will provide the community with much-needed economic support.
Since the gradual reopening of more public spaces means there will be more people on the streets, at a time when many have already relaxed preventive measures, the Puerto Vallarta Municipal Government issued a series of recommendations and safety protocols to avoid further infections.
Though public beaches have been open since June 15, the municipality has now implemented safety protocols that include limiting the number of people occupying the beach at the same time in order to maintain a distance of 5 meters between groups of sunbathers, who are asked not to stay for more than four hours per visit.
A flag system is being used to indicate the availability of space on local beaches: when the allotted amount of 'safe' space is occupied, a red flag will indicate that the beach is closed to additional people. A green flag indicates that there is plenty of room to safely enjoy the beach.
Elements of the Civil Protection and Municipal Police Departments will monitor the beaches to ensure that the coronavirus prevention measures are respected. The city government warns that the beaches will be closed if large crowds are observed.
The gradual reopening of more public spaces does not mean that you can interact as usual. An orange light denotes a high risk of coronavirus infection, so the federal, state and local governments are still recommending that people stay at home unless it's absolutely necessary to go out.
The pressure to reopen comes from economic need, as tourism accounts for about 10 percent of Mexico's economy, directly. And that's just the tip of the iceberg in a country where the informal economy dominates at about 60 percent of the workforce.
When you do go out, consider supporting Mexican-owned businesses to help offset the drop in tourism that was brought on by the pandemic. And please help curb the spread of COVID in our community by practicing social distancing and other preventive measures while in public spaces.
Sources: jalisco.gob.mx • Milenio