CORONAVIRUS UPDATE – MARCH 24, 2020
OUR COVID-19 PAGE: http://beachareanews.com/?page_id=422
We hope this Newsletter finds you well, staying safely in your home, and managing your life through this current “new normal”. This issue of Beach Area News will provide updated information to the expat community who are living here to help them stay informed during the coming weeks. All information we provide has come directly from local or state government sources, or individuals who have translated information from these sources. In between issues of this Newsletter, we will post new information on our Website.
On the evening of March 23, Julian Zazarias Curi, the Mayor of Progreso, gave a long speech on Facebook about the current situation. We hope to post a full translation of his speech on our website soon, but here are the important messages for the community, both expats and locals:
- The next two weeks will be critical to slowing the spread of the virus here in our communities. There are currently no reported cases of COVID-19 in Progreso or the surrounding beach communities, but the Mayor is certain that there will be soon. Everyone is urged to stay home as much as possible. The beaches are closed, schools are closed, bars and discos are closed. Many restaurants are now also closed, and those that are open must close at 10 pm.
- The City has been working to sanitize as many public spaces as possible – the banks, the mercados, the buses, and the combis.
- He reminded everyone that the city itself is not closed – people from Merida work here and people from Progreso work in Merida, so there will be traffic back and forth. They are discouraging people from coming here to vacation. He did not explicitly address the issue of Semana Santa except to say that there will be many Semana Santas in the future. We suspect that this issue will be addressed as we get closer to the official two-week holiday (April 4 thru April 19), based on what is happening here in the community.
- He encouraged the business community to take care of their workers during this incredibly difficult time. He also is waiting for additional resources from the federal government that will pass through the state to the city to help displaced workers and their families.
If you think you have symptoms of COVID-19, there is a state-wide number to call 800-YUCATAN (800-982-2826) to be screened for testing. Help is available in English – just press 9 when you start hearing the Spanish recording. The first operator you get may not be English-speaking – if that is the case, please just say “ayuda en ingles, por favor”. Do not go to your local doctor or hospital if you think you have symptoms! The state will send someone to your house if testing is warranted.
There are daily updates from the Yucatan State Department of Health that are translated every morning from Stephanie Carmon on her Mid City Beat Facebook page. Her updates include information on the current number of cases in the state (19 confirmed cases as of March 23, all of them mild and under control) as well as other good information. We suggest you check her Facebook page regularly.
More links to credible information from the state and federal government are located on the Coronavirus section of our website. We are also going to be adding information on bilingual medical personnel who are available for questions about the virus or other health issues, as well as information on how the expat community can help our local neighbors through donations of food, cash or other services. Now, more than ever, we will need to give back to the local community that provides us with such a wonderful place to call home.
That’s it for now – stay safe, stay home, and be kind to your friends and neighbors – we are all in this together!
The Beach Area News Team – Bob Rentz, Speranza Avram, Karen Cloutier, Dave Bloch and David Nevers