SAN JUAN – The president of the Association of Mayors of Puerto Rico, Luis Javier Hernández Ortiz, announced on Friday, that after a cybernetic meeting between the 41 associate mayors, where the changes to the Executive Order of La Fortaleza in relation to the management of the Covid-19, they unanimously determined to apply their own Uniform Order, which provides additional forces to handle the pandemic.
“Although we appreciate that the Governor has accepted some of the recommendations that the Association of Mayors of Puerto Rico issued yesterday, we understand that there should be greater restrictions on airports, beaches, rivers, spas, reinforce the control of the Executive Order, and expand the schedules and performance of both vaccines and Covid-19 tests, ”Hernández Ortiz explained in a written communication.
He added that “it should also be noted that it is essential that citizens do their part, with the use of a mask, to avoid family gatherings and crowds. The instructions have been clearly communicated since the beginning of the pandemic, “he said.
In addition, being vaccinated is not a justified reason to lower your guard. “We can still carry the virus and infect people around us,” he said.
Hernández insisted that the increase in infections, hospitalizations, positivity, new variants and the fact that people have lowered their guard with Covid-19 “forces us to reinforce the battle. We mayors have and listen to the people and the country rises from the municipalities ”.
The details of the Executive Order of the 41 municipalities, read as follows:
TO MODIFY THE GUIDELINES FOR THE PROTECTION OF PUBLIC HEALTH AND SAFETY TO ADDRESS THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC.
WHEREAS: It has been more than a year since the World Health Organization decreed that the virus known as COVID-19 has reached the category of a pandemic.
WHEREAS: COVID-19 continues to be classified as a pandemic and, as of the date this document is written, over 105,020 confirmed cases of contagion have been detected in Puerto Rico and it has cost the lives of more than 2,182 people.
WHEREAS: Both the Government of the United States, the Government of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and our Municipal Administration have used their respective powers to decree states of emergency and implement urgent and drastic measures to protect public health.
WHEREAS: In the past few days we have seen a rebound in COVID-19 cases in the country. Experts from the medical and scientific community agree that Puerto Rico has not yet reached the most critical stage of the spread of COVID-19, after a rebound.
WHEREAS: It is the general consensus of the scientific community and the norm that has been proven in practice that social isolation constitutes the best strategy to control the spread of COVID-19.
WHEREAS: The official information on the Department of Health website indicates that 1,290,459 have been vaccinated in Puerto Rico.
WHEREAS: There is an uncertainty in the amount of vaccines administered in Puerto Rico by municipalities.
WHEREAS: On April 7, 2021, the Governor of Puerto Rico announced to the country that he would be amending Executive Order 2021-026 where the curfew period is reduced to 10:00 pm. This was the only amendment that was made despite the fact that the scientific and medical community recommended taking more severe measures against the behavior seen through the media.
WHEREAS: To the extent that the emergency has not ended and that the lack of an adequate regimen of diagnostic tests and infections is increasing, we understand that it is in the best interests of the Municipality____ that we use the authority of the municipal government to take measures aimed at safeguarding the lives of the constituents and that they understand that they should no longer be away from their residences and, therefore, incur in social contact that can facilitate the spread of COVID-19.
THEREFORE: BE IT ENACTED BY THE MUNICIPALITY OF_____ HON_____ALCALDE OF THE MUNICIPALITY OF____.
FIRST: This executive order is issued pursuant to the authority conferred on the Mayor by Article 1.018 (u) of the Municipal Code of Puerto Rico, Law Number 107 of August 14, 2020, as amended, to promulgate states of emergency and establish measures to address the same and Article 1.008 of Powers of the Municipalities establishes in subsection (aa) The municipalities will have any other inherent power for the protection of health, safety and well-being within their territorial jurisdiction. (emphasis ours).
SECOND: The following guidelines and recommendations are established in our municipality:
- Municipal employees and government offices must move to virtual mode in non-essential tasks. As for municipal employees, guidelines will be submitted to determine, according to our municipality, which will be the essential and non-essential in the municipal service. Those non-essential, and who cannot work remotely, will proceed with enjoyment of the accumulation of compensatory time, as the first instance, or accumulated vacation leave. The Human Resources Office must submit the employee guidelines and study by April 19, 2021.
- Promote that restaurants limit the use of closed rooms and promote the use of rooms and outdoor spaces and with distance. Groups no more than four people, and crowds are not allowed in any space. Reduce the number of people in commercial establishments from 50% to 30%. Those places that must remain open must have controls to maintain their distance, use of a mask, hand washing and take temperature at the entrances.
- Increase the educational campaign in the communities so that they reduce mobility and exposure to people who are not from their family nucleus.
- Retail stores and shopping centers should promote collection and delivery systems.
- The mask must be on at all times when leaving the home. Promote individual exercises outdoors.
- Do not give waivers or permits for any type of social activity.
- Strengthen and increase the resources for compliance monitoring and those businesses that fail to comply with this order will be closed for one month.
- Avoid participating or organizing family gatherings or parties, and limit yourself to sharing with your family nucleus.
- Cancellation of all municipal activity and the use of public and communal spaces, which tend to gather people, such as festivals, carnivals, tournaments, retreats, among others.
- Closing of beaches, spas, keys and islets.
- Require the state government to start a massive vaccination campaign without time limits (24/7). Guaranteeing an equitable distribution in each municipality.
- Require the state government to regulate the entry of travelers to the country conditional on a negative molecular test.
- Coordinate a nationwide testing campaign with the state government. Guaranteeing an equitable distribution in each municipality.
THIRD: The Municipal Police Corps is ordered to ensure faithful compliance with the provisions herein.
FOURTH: This order refers to the Municipal Legislature to discharge its responsibility in accordance with the Municipal Code of Puerto Rico and in accordance with the provisions of Article 1.019 in the Obligations of the Mayor regarding the Municipal Legislature.
FIFTH: This order will be in force from today until – May 2021 at midnight, unless it is renewed by a subsequent executive decree.
In_____ Puerto Rico, today___ April 2021.