Negros Occidental greenlights optional mask wearing
Department of Health officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said that the proposal only covers low-risk individuals and will apply to low-risk settings
BACOLOD CITY — The provincial government of Negros Occidental has permitted the optional wearing of masks in outdoor spaces across the province as a continuing prevention and control measure to limit the spread of Covid-19.
According to Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, he has issued Executive Order 22-45 stating that the “wearing of mask in outdoor and open spaces shall be optional for all persons within the territory of Negros Occidental.”
The EO was signed on 9 September and released on Sunday.
The order also said that wearing of masks in indoor spaces as well as in hospitals and other medical facilities remains mandatory.
Non-compliance with the provisions of EO 22-45 and the established government health and safety protocols will result in appropriate administrative/and or criminal sanctions under existing laws and regulations.
As of 10 September, Negros Occidental still has 168 active Covid-19 cases.
To recall, the Inter-Agency Task Force has recommended the voluntary use of masks outdoors but it is still under scrutiny by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
Meantime, Department of Health officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said that the proposal only covers low-risk individuals and will apply to low-risk settings and voluntary use will be done in phases to ensure the population’s protection against Covid-19.
Vergeire insists on the wearing of masks as it provides 70 to 80 percent protection against Covid-19 while Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said the DoH would still have the “major say” on the fate of the mask policy.
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