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  • The San Juan Daily Star

Governor says COVID infection rate to fall in 2 weeks

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi

By John McPhaul

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia said on Sunday that he believes the COVID-19 positivity rate will drop in the next two weeks.

“What we hope is that although the rise will continue for a while longer, both in the level of positive cases and in hospitalizations, the time will come [for infections to drop off],” the governor said at a press conference. “I hope that before the next two weeks are over, we will then see a sustainable, consistent low. This has been the case in all the jurisdictions that have faced the onslaught of the omicron variant and it should not be different in Puerto Rico.”

Pierluisi said the hospitalization time required by some COVID-19 patients has been less than in previous surges.

“I know that although these are challenging times and we are vigilant, our hospitals are not on the verge of a collapse and no one should be thinking that,” the governor said. “We are going to be well aware in these [next] two weeks; we anticipated an increase in hospitalizations. We anticipated the number and it may continue to rise. We are going to take all the measures that we have to take to avoid a collapse in the hospitals or that they become compromised. Until today they have not been and we have not had any collapse and I do not anticipate that this will be the case.”

The governor emphasized the importance of “citizen responsibility on all fronts.”

“I am going to continue expanding the mandates that apply to the population,” he said. “But the one who has not been vaccinated, let him be vaccinated, the one who lacks the booster, let him get the booster. We must avoid crowds and use masks, keep our distance and disinfect ourselves.”

The Department of Health on Sunday reported 1,899 confirmed positive cases, 4,744 probable cases and 12 deaths.

The positivity rate went up to 40.4 percent.

A total of 650 adults were hospitalized and of them, 83 were in intensive care. Meanwhile, 82 minors were hospitalized and five were in intensive care. Fifty-three adults and one minor are on ventilators.

Health Secretary Carlos Mellado López said late last week that booster doses for minors between 12 and 15 years of age are ready to be administered ahead of the start of in-person classes Jan. 24.

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