UPDATED: This Map Shows Where and Who Coronavirus Has Hit the Hardest This Week in PR


Graphic via Desirée Tapia for The Americano

By Mivette Vega

August 14, 2020

Gov. Wanda Vázquez will announce new safety measures and restrictions this Friday or Saturday to address the increase in COVID-19 cases.

SAN JUAN—Gov. Wanda Vázquez will soon announce new COVID-19 safety restrictions that will go into effect on Monday in Puerto Rico. The current restrictions will apply until tomorrow.

The governor said Friday, at a news conference in Aguas Buenas, that she met this week with experts from the local Medical Task Force and Economic Task Force to decide how to address the increasing numbers of positive coronavirus cases on the island. Vázquez is also taking into consideration small and medium-sized businesses impacted by the pandemic.

RELATED: Living With COVID-19 in Puerto Rico Is No Joke. Here’s What It’s Like.

“Most important to me are the life and health of Puerto Ricans. I will not be giving in to the concerns of large corporations. More restrictions will come. When? We’ll set them at the time the executive order is issued,” Vázquez said.

As of Friday, the local Health Department reported 10,730 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 14,398 possible cases. The death toll for the island is 317 and 428 people have been hospitalized. Of those deaths, 192 are confirmed coronavirus deaths and 125 are from symptoms similar to a COVID infection. One of the fatalities was of a 24-year-old man from Arecibo.

Vázquez said that the new restrictions will not be as severe as the ones implemented in March when the emergency started.

The governor, who said she’s prioritizing the health of the people over the economy, is in the midst of a political campaign after the failed primaries of August 9. Voting will conclude next Sunday.

READ MORE: AOC Has 60 Seconds to Deliver Her DNC Speech. These Top 5 Speeches Prove She’ll Nail It.

“I already told the Economic Task Force what I think. I am giving them the opportunity to make recommendations on how to handle the situation. I am very aware and concerned about what this represents for small and medium-sized businesses in economic terms. I want to hear their alternatives, but my determination for the executive order is that the health of Puerto Ricans will take priority,” Vázquez said during the press conference.

Lorenzo González, Puerto Rico Health Department secretary, said Thursday that people have to be more disciplined in handling the pandemic because the island is experiencing community contagion. The doctor clarified the spread at the moment is not from people coming from other states—it’s among locals.

“This is not the responsibility of the government or businesses; it is everyone’s. We need to be more disciplined. People under 50 are being irresponsible. If you go out without masks, you are going to get infected. If you visit an elderly person, you are going to kill them,” said González after a meeting in La Fortaleza, the governor’s mansion.

This week two doctors died of COVID-19 in Puerto Rico. Both were in intensive care using ventilators, according to Dr. Víctor Ramos, president of the Puerto Rico College of Physicians and Surgeons.

They are Dr. Abelardo Vargas and Dr. Raúl Rubio, a beloved ER doctor from the Metropolitan Hospital in San Juan. Ramos said five doctors have died of COVID-19 on the island.

Mapping Out the 10,730 Confirmed Cases as of August 14




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