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Article ID:0000207570Updated on:2021年2月8日更新印刷ページ表示

Third Round of Intensive COVID-19 Infection Prevention Measures (Excerpt) (as of 2/4/2021)

Since late November 2020, there has been a sharp rise in the number of new COVID cases mainly within Hiroshima City. As the trend of rising cases spread throughout the entire prefecture, we implemented our Intensive COVID-19 Infection Prevention Measures in select areas (Hiroshima City and surrounding cities and towns) and businesses (restaurants, bars) beginning December 12, 2020, putting the brakes on the rapid spread of infection and bringing it under control.

Beginning January 18, 2021, we implemented the second round of Intensive COVID-19 Infection Prevention Measures. In Hiroshima City, these measures (which were in accordance with those for state of emergency) were mainly directed towards dining establishments, and in areas other than Hiroshima City as well, we called for stricter measures such as reducing outings by 50% and reducing the number of employees commuting to work by 70%. In addition, we actively promoted getting tested (PCR tests, etc) and strengthening cluster prevention measures to effectively reduce the number of new COVID patients.

As for the present state of infections in the prefecture: based on the number of newly reported COVID cases (per 100,000 people for the past week), our comprehensive judgement is that we have improved our status from Level 2 in the prefecture, and the equivalent of Level 4 in Hiroshima City, to the equivalent of Level 2 (Hiroshima Prefecture 5.5 per 100,000; Hiroshima City: 6.5 per 100,000 as of 2/3/2021).

Analysis of infections show that the numbers of new cases are on the decline; however, there are still high percentages of infections in the workplace and at home, and we are seeing frequent cluster infections at facilities such as medical institutions and elderly care facilities. It is the opinion of our experts that instead of relaxing the intensive prevention measures all at once, it would be better to gradually ease measures in stages while maintaining them for a defined period. It is also their opinion that we must steadily and continuously promote reducing person-to-person contact, as well as work on developing a system for virus mutations, which are an issue of concern as to the impact they may have on the infection rate going forward.

With the declaration of state of emergency on January 7, 2021, emergency measures mainly aimed at dining establishments are still currently in effect for metropolitan area prefectures, and infections continue to remain high. Conversely, Hiroshima Prefecture implemented measures aimed at specific targets, such as dining establishments and drinking establishments, in the very early stages, and through the active cooperation of both our citizens and our businesses, the infection rate has shown improvement.

To achieve prompt socioeconomic recovery for our citizens, we must aim for Level 1, in which all indicators are below the warning threshold, throughout the entire prefecture. Looking at examples from other local governments, there are cases in which when shortened business hour restrictions were lifted from dining establishments before indicators could fully improve, the state of infections took another rapid turn for the worst. As such, we have decided to continue our intensive prevention measures.

Moving forward, we are planning to gradually ease restrictions depending on the state of infection; however, should infections spread once more, we will swiftly strengthen the necessary measures.

Period of Intensive Infection Prevention Measures

February 8 (Mon) to February 21, 2021 (Sun)

However, these measures will be implemented with the understanding that we may have to implement stronger measures and reconsider their duration period in consideration of the day-to-day infection situation.

Basic Policy

Preventing Another Wave of Infections

As the state of infection for Hiroshima City is also under control to the point where it has reached the equivalent of Level 2, we will gradually ease measures in place while working to prevent another wave of infections, so that we may steadily transition to Level 1. However, should infections spread once more, we will once again swiftly implement stronger measures.

Effectively Reducing the Number of New Patients

We must reduce person-to-person contact. This means keeping the number of times you take off your mask to the bare minimum in conjunction with reducing contact or conversation with others as much as possible during times when you have to remove your mask. In addition to taking infection prevention measures at work and at home, it is also necessary for the prefectural government to further the following measures, which are noted as measures to be strengthened in the Novel Coronavirus Infection Prevention Measures for Hiroshima Prefecture (partially amended as of November 30, 2020; henceforth known as prevention measures):

  • Break the chain of infection by isolating new cases early and cutting off individual infections which lead to clusters.
  • Create a system where citizens can be tested at local medical institutions.
  • Prepare for cluster outbreaks in facilities such as medical institutions and elderly care facilities by creating a support system for health centers that deal with clusters.

As such, together with making requests to citizens and businesses regarding outings, travel to other areas, and holding events according to the Levels set out in our prevention measures, we will improve our PCR testing systems and strengthen response measures for cluster outbreaks.

Formal Requests to the Citizens and Business Owners of Hiroshima City

Reduce Person-to-Person Contact

In order to achieve an 80% reduction in person-to-person contact through a 50% reduction in outings, we formally request the following during the intensive prevention measures period in addition to strict adherence to infection prevention measures:

Reduce Outings

Reducing outings by 50%, including shopping necessary for everyday life; make your outings as short as possible. In particular, reduce outings after 9:00 pm even further. Please note that this does not apply to school commutes or visits to medical institutions. When you are on necessary outings, always wear a mask and be diligent in avoiding contact with others as much as possible.

Commutes to Work (Etc)

Reduce contact during commutes by promoting staggered working hours and commuting on foot/bicycle (etc); aim to reduce the number of workers in office by 50% through utilizing online meetings and working from home. In addition, for offices that cannot use work from home intitatives as a solution, split up offices to aim to reduce the number of workers in the office by 50%. As we have requested citizens reduce outings even further after 9:00 pm, we ask that offices curb working after 9:00 pm (excluding when necessary). However, this does not apply to essential workers.

Shortened Hours of Operation, Event Limits

Restrictions for Facility Usage

In an effort to reduce maskless person-to-person contact as much as possible, we formally request that restaurants (where there is a high risk of maskless contact) shorten their hours of operation.

Stricter Conditions for Holding Events

Conditions for holding events during the intensive prevention measures period will be as follows:

  • Participant numbers will be limited to 5,000.
  • Venue capacity conditions will be 50% or less for events where cheering (etc) or using loud voices is expected; 100% or less for events where cheering (etc) or using loud voices is not expected.
  • We formally request that hours of operation be shortened to 9:00 pm.
  • We ask that those planning to hold events expecting participants traveling from around the country OR those with over 1,000 participants continue to consult with the prefecture in advance.

Formal Requests Regarding Going to Dining Establishments

We formally request that citizens continue to comply with the following when dining out or visiting dining/drinking establishments.

Visiting Dining/Drinking Establishments

Avoid dining out or drinking with anyone other than those you live with. Note that when dining out at restaurants (etc) with physical measures in place to prevent infection-via-droplets (acrylic panels, etc), this restriction does not apply. However, when gathering to dine, be sure to wear your mask and avoid having maskless conversations. When dining in groups, choose Hiroshima Active Guard Partner<外部リンク> or COVID-19 Infection Prevention Measures Partner<外部リンク> restaurants that have physical infection prevention measures in place. As well as choosing restaurants with the Hiroshima Active Guard QR Code<外部リンク> and registering as a user when you walk into the restaurant, cooperate with any and all infection prevention measures in place by restaurants.

Strengthen Infection Prevention Measures

Strengthen Infection Prevention Measures at Home

Looking at case analyses, there is a high percentage of cases that occur at home or in the workplace, and based on this, we can infer that infections happening in the workplace or at social gatherings are being brought home. In addition to reducing outings and making use of work from home initiatives (etc), take measures to prevent infections at home by ensuring proper ventilation, washing your hands with soap and water, gargling, changing clothes when you get home, avoiding sharing utensils, keeping track of your own health by taking your temperature every day, and more. Be sure to also frequently disinfect everyday surfaces such as the toilet, doorknobs, and light switches.

Strengthen Infection Prevention Measures at the Office

Implement the following measures to avoid the 3Cs and prevent infection:

  • Appoint an infection prevention measures manager.
  • Stagger lunch or break hours.
  • Strictly enforce hand sanitation when entering or exiting the office.
  • Be sure to enforce ventilation and the use of humidifiers (keep a record of usage and readings).
  • Get the word out about the COVID-19 Infection Prevention Measures Guide for Workplaces; strictly adhere to the guide.
  • Make use of industry health information (etc).

Avoid Travel to Other Areas

Avoid travel to prefectures under state of emergency as much as possible. We also ask that you seriously reconsider travel plans to/from regions with increased infections (areas where prefectural governments have called for avoiding unnecessary outings or areas where the number of new infections for the most recent week have been over 15 per 100,000 people). Please note that this does not apply to travel for work, school, or medical visits.

Slander and Discrimination Will Not Be Tolerated

Anyone can catch COVID-19. We ask that you act calmly and rationally: do not be swayed by fake or suspicious news and act in ways which violate someone’s human rights. NEVER slander or discriminate against those such as COVID-19 patients, their families, medical and welfare workers, or international residents.

Continuation of Essential Duties (Those That Ensure Stable Citizen Life/the Economy)

When we are in Infection Level 3 or 4, businesses that are essential to stable citizen life and the economy, as well as those who support these businesses, should continue to do their duties according to the characteristics of their business while taking the necessary infection prevention measures.

Early Detection of New Patients; Strengthen Cluster Response Measures

Early Detection of New Patients

There is a high percentage of new patients with unclear routes of infection in Hiroshima City. As it is necessary to isolate new patients early and break the chain of infection, we will strengthen the following measures:

  • Strengthen proactive epidemiological surveys in Hiroshima City.
  • Encourage PCR testing (etc) for all residents and workers in areas with high numbers of infections in Hiroshima City.

In addition, to stop the chain of infection in the prefecture and effectively reduce new patient numbers, we will allow pre-determined persons to be tested at one of the five PCR testing centers in the prefecture.

Strengthen Cluster Response Measures

As cluster outbreaks at facilities such as medical institutions and elderly care facilities continue to frequently occur, we will strengthen the following measures to detect new patients (the cause of clusters) faster and end cluster outbreaks faster:

  • Strengthen PCR testing for workers at medical institutions and elderly care facilities.
  • Early facility intervention and facility infection management guidance by our Medical and Welfare Cluster Response Team.

February 4, 2021
Hiroshima Prefecture COVID-19 Infection Prevention Headquarters

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