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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Health chief urges prevention, vaccination as COVID cases surge

Health Secretary Carlos Mellado López

By The Star Staff

Following a surge of COVID-19 cases, Health Secretary Carlos Mellado López urged citizens on Thursday to maintain preventive actions and to get vaccinated to prevent the spread of the illness.

“COVID-19 persists, and we cannot lower our guard,” Mellado López said. “We have recently seen a trend of increasing cases. Therefore, isolation measures are essential to minimize the transmission of the virus. People with a positive result must be in isolation for five days. Those who do not have a fever on the 5th day can return to their tasks using masks until the 10th day after their positive result.”

He noted that testing negative for COVID-19 is not necessary to return to work.

The physician urged citizens to “keep their vaccination updated with the bivalent vaccine.”

“The vaccine reduces the possibility of infection and helps stop the spread of the virus,” the Health chief said. “However, prevention measures remain just as important.”

The Department of Health, meanwhile, operates an antiviral evaluation and treatment center at Ramón Ruíz Arnau University Hospital (HURRA) in Bayamón. Likewise, there are treatment centers around the island. The directory is available at:

The centers for early detection remain open in most municipalities, Mellado López said. Every week, more than 90 events with certified antigen tests are carried out, in addition to the detection center in front of the Department of Health, where molecular tests are conducted.

The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) recently updated the population group to which the administration of the bivalent vaccine corresponds. Anyone over six who has not received a dose of COVID-19 is eligible to receive a single dose of the bivalent vaccine. Whereas any person over six years of age who has received any of the previous vaccinations or has completed their vaccination schedule is eligible to receive the updated dose of the bivalent vaccine.

Immunocompromised patients who have received an updated COVID-19 vaccine may receive a single additional dose at least two months after an updated COVID-19 vaccine. Extra doses may be administered at the health care provider’s discretion and at intervals determined by the provider. Similarly, pregnant or lactating women should get vaccinated with the bivalent dose.

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