The Infectious Diseases Society of Puerto Rico asked Governor Wanda Vázquez to increase the mandatory use of facemasks on the island to law, given the rise in cases and hospitalizations due to coronavirus (Covid-19).  "The medical literature and the experience in various countries have shown that the mandatory and universal use of the naso-oral covering or masks by the population can help to reduce the contagion," the infectious disease clinical council explained in written statements.
Although the executive orders signed by the governor to respond to the emergency provide for the mandatory use of face masks, the group noted that not all citizens have complied with this order and some have even become violent when they are required to use them to enter some establishment.
In addition, they argued that non-compliance with the provision has not led to sanctions on citizens who have violated the order.
"Different medical societies and scientific groups have come to the consensus that more forceful actions must be implemented that affect greater adherence with the requirement of the correct and consistent use of the covering for the mouth and nose or mask in public places," pointed out the Council.
In addition to elevating the use of facemasks to law, the Infectious Diseases Society recommended that the Secretary of the Department of Health be empowered to take concrete action on the mandatory use of facemasks.
The facemask would be Mandatory for all citizens over 2 years of age in public places or places where people gather. The group asked explicitly to exclude the use of masks with exhaust valves.
On the other hand, the group recommended that mechanisms be established to educate the community, to describe the appropriate use of masks or naso-oral covers and to promote their correct use.
The medical 'task force' has repeatedly asked the governor to elevate the mandatory use of masks to law, but the first executive has not spoken about this request.