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Indoor Mask Mandate Returns in Baguio: A Proactive Health Move

The Indoor Mask Mandate has been reinstated in Baguio, marking a proactive move towards enhancing public health measures. Mayor Benjamin Magalong announced this decision, emphasizing the city’s continuous commitment to public safety.

The Reinstated Mask Mandate

As per Executive Order No. 63-2023 issued on May 17, the mandate revives the need for wearing face masks in indoor spaces. This includes workplaces, classrooms, event venues, banquet halls, and conference rooms. There are exceptions, such as during eating or drinking, undergoing medical or personal care procedures, and performing physical fitness activities.

Vaccination and Ventilation

The order also promotes vaccination, advocating that eligible individuals be fully vaccinated or have received at least one booster dose. It further necessitates the implementation of engineering controls to enhance ventilation in indoor spaces.

Economic Activities Amidst COVID-19 Cases

Although a gradual increase and then a decrease in COVID-19 cases were observed over the past few days, Mayor Magalong reiterated Baguio’s stance against taking chances, especially since economic activities have resumed in full swing.

“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,” he stated.

Public Health Measures and the New Variant

Mayor Magalong urged adherence to minimum public health standards, such as avoiding crowds, practicing hand hygiene, regular disinfection, and updating vaccinations. He attributed the increase in cases to the new COVID-19 variant, XBB.1.16 or Arcturus, deemed to be more infectious than the previously dominant Omicron. However, he noted that the symptoms of current cases have been mild, keeping the hospital utilization rate low.

For further information on the indoor mask mandate in Baguio and related health measures, you can visit the official Facebook page of Baguio City Public Information Office. Stay updated with the latest health and safety protocols to protect yourself and the community.

Featured Image by: Kurt Linus

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