Puerto Rico reported yesterday (September 16) its highest single-day death count—19 people—since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Another record set is the total number of deaths in one week: 70 people. Altogether, the island has reached 588 deaths among its confirmed 38,284 positive novel coronavirus cases so far.
Yet last week, Governor Wanda Vazquez loosened COVID-19 restrictions. The executive order, which went into effect Sept. 12, legally clears casinos, gyms, and theaters to reopen at a capacity of 25 percent. Hotel pools can also reopen at the same capacity, and restaurants, already permitted to operate, can increase indoor volume to 50 percent.
Some rules remained in place; specifically, a 10 p.m. curfew.
Vazquez pointed to family get-togethers as a primary source of COVID-19 spread. She stressed that the government can only do so much—that, essentially, preventing the spread is a responsibility of the people: they should wear masks and protect themselves.