header with face masks, one with the text mask on, the other with the text mask off

BBM Allows Voluntary Wearing Of Face Masks In Outdoor Settings Amid COVID-19 Spike

The slow uptick in cases comes as the President issues Executive Order 3.

The pandemic is not yet over, contrary to what some (including President BBM) unfortunately think! This is particularly evident in the recent findings of OCTA Research, an independent pandemic monitor. They have recently seen both the productivity rate and reproduction number go up. It has become a cause for some concern. The positivity rate is the number of tests with positive COVID-19 results conducted over a certain period. Reproduction number refers to the number of people a person with COVID-19 could infect.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), virus transmission is well under control if the positivity rate is consistently under 5% for two weeks.


Slow Uptick

Guido David, OCTA’s research fellow, says that the rise is not a complete surprise. Since the population now has more mobility, more cases are expected. On his Twitter account, David shared that Metro Manila’s positivity rate for COVID-19 in a week had gone from 12.1% on September 2 to 13.3% on September 9.

On the other hand, the reproduction number jumped to 1.11 on September 7 from 0.93 on August 31. Infections are going up since the reproduction number has surpassed one.


Executive Order No. 3: Masks Optional Outdoors

Last September 12, Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles informed the public that President Ferdinand “BongBong” Marcos Jr. signed Executive Order (EO) No. 3. In it, the wearing of face masks outdoors voluntarily has been approved. 

“The voluntary wearing of face masks in open spaces and non-crowded outdoor areas with good ventilation is hereby allowed,” Angeles says, “provided that not fully vaccinated individuals, senior citizens, and immunocompromised individuals are highly encouraged to wear their masks. Physical distancing will be observed at all times.”

RELATED: US CDC’S New COVID Guidelines: Say Goodbye To Social Distancing and Quarantine

That said, face masks should still be used for “indoor, private or public establishments, including in public transportation by land, air or sea” and in cases outdoors when physical distancing is challenging or downright impossible to maintain.

Featured Image: Daniella Sison

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