Caguas appoints COVID-19 compliance monitor

By John McPhaul

The Caguas municipal government has reinforced its “Apoyo Positivo Criollo” program with a monitor to ensure compliance with COVID-19 prevention measures in the town, the municipality south of San Juan announced Tuesday.

The position will be filled by retired Police Col. Miguel de Jesús, who will be responsible for ensuring compliance with the measures established by commonwealth executive orders and ordinances established by the municipal assembly to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

In addition, de Jesús will serve as a link with the security component of the Caguas municipal administration to make referrals and intervene when necessary. As part of his functions, the monitor will guide, visit and investigate compliance with the protocols established against COVID-19 in organizations and businesses in Caguas.

“Our [mission] is to stop the advance of the coronavirus in the city and our initiatives have gone from orientation and education, distribution of materials for hygiene, disinfection of the city to the establishment of a municipal ordinance to guarantee compliance with health protocols,” Caguas Mayor William Miranda Torres said in a written statement. “Now, with the compliance monitor, we redouble our efforts to ensure that citizens and businesses are in tune with what the correct protocols must be to prevent the spread of this virus.”

In addition to monitoring compliance, the Ayudo Positivo Criollo program is strengthening its services with an intense orientation and education campaign during the Christmas period. For example, a campaign will be developed along with Los Pleneros Apoyo Positivo to disseminate services among different establishments and to deliver protection material and an educational message through music.

Also, recognized figures from sports, arts and music will be part of an educational campaign to specify prevention and control measures against COVID-19. The motivator and communicator Lily García has also joined the direct services team to carry a hopeful and optimistic message at Christmas.

Meanwhile, the program’s services will be promoted in clinical spaces and laboratories, and health-related events will be held that add value to both the prevention and direct service areas.

At the beginning of the pandemic, the Apoyo Positivo Criollo program was established at the municipal level to serve citizens. The confidential telephone line for the program’s COVID-19 Infection Tracking and Control Center is 787-296-9292.

The services available under the municipal initiative include a case investigation and contact tracing system, educational intervention and delivery of protective materials in the community, psychological services, nutrition, delivery of supplies to prevent people from leaving their home, referrals for telemedicine and for COVID-19 tests, health education with the collaboration of the SANOS Corp., and general psychological and grief counseling services.

The phone line is available Monday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The email is also available.

The requirements for obtaining services from the Apoyo Positivo Criollo program are: being a resident of Caguas, having been at risk of contracting the COVID-19 (coronavirus) infection, and having evidence of a clinical diagnosis of COVID-19 for the food delivery service.

“We have been creative in carrying the prevention message this Christmas. These are atypical times and [we have been for] many months in a constant fight against COVID-19. We can’t let our guard down on the holidays,” the Caguas mayor said. “We have to be more responsible than ever and prevent infections from continuing to increase and we will ensure that this is the case.”