Governor could lift COVID-19 executive order soon

By Pedro Correa Henry

Twitter: @pete_r_correa

Special to The STAR

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia said Monday that he is considering rescinding the executive order to stop the spread of the coronavirus in Puerto Rico as early as this week.

During a press conference at La Fortaleza, Pierluisi said that among the “several options” available, one of them contemplates lifting the executive decree that is in effect until July 4 and “delegates to the … Health Secretary the establishment of guidelines and recommendations for the population, as well as employers in Puerto Rico, both public and private.”

“That is one option,” the governor said in response to questions from the press. “Another option would be to continue to relax the provisions of the current executive order. There may be a third option; everything is on the table.”

Pierluisi said meanwhile that he continues to evaluate the public health emergency and the data on the COVID-19 dashboard as the island continues to see a low percentage of coronavirus cases.

“I see that the level of positivity has been at a low of 1.5 percent, less than 2 percent for weeks now,” the governor said. “The experts in the field say that when it drops below 2 percent you can have a total opening.”

“I see that hospitalizations are under 100 hospital rooms a day,” he added. “The latest figure is around 62. That is another thing that weighs on my decision, but whatever it is, if I have to reverse it, I will do it for the good of Puerto Rico.”

The current executive order includes greater flexibility for fully vaccinated people and allows more openings of specific establishments.

Among the restrictions that were lifted on June 8, fully vaccinated residents can run errands outside without the use of face masks.

However, masks are still required at private businesses where customers are waited on indoors.

In the case of non-vaccinated people, the current order recommends using face masks in outdoor spaces. The order also urges residents to get vaccinated against the coronavirus and continue exercising caution.

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