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Article ID:0000243399Updated on:2021年9月10日更新印刷ページ表示

Intensive COVID-19 Infection Prevention Measures Under Extended State of Emergency (Excerpt; as of 9/9/2021)

The following is from the Hiroshima Prefectural Government:

With the effect that the spread of infections in metropolitan areas will have on our prefecture, as well as the concern that cases will rise sharply in a short amount of time, Hiroshima Prefecture implemented Early Intensive COVID-19 Infection Prevention Measures, stronger measures implemented at an earlier point in time than ever before, beginning on July 31, 2021. In addition, with the declaration of Semi-State of Emergency beginning August 20, we have been working to stop the spread of COVID-19 locally, mainly in designated Intensive Prevention Measures Priority Areas, to stop the virus from spreading further in the prefecture.

Across Japan, we are seeing prefectures with reduced numbers of newly reported infections (per 100,000 for the latest week); however, the fact remains that infections are continuing to spread mainly in the younger generation, and there are regions where it is becoming difficult to maintain medical care systems due to handling numerous severe COVID-19 cases and patients being kept in quarantine at home.

Thus, based on Section 32, Paragraph 3 of the Act on Special Measures for Pandemic Influenza and New Infectious Diseases Preparedness and Response, the period for State of Emergency has been extended for Hiroshima Prefecture as of September 9.

While our prefecture has seen a decrease in the number of newly reported infections since the end of August, as the number of infections is still at a high level, and taking into consideration the spread of the highly infectious Delta variant and the current state of our medical care system, the prefecture is at Level 4 (newly reported infections (per 100,000) for the week until 9/8/2021: Hiroshima Prefecture: 45.5 – Hiroshima City: 58.3, Kure City: 44.6, Fukuyama City: 41.6). 

Experts believe that:

  • In light of the infectiousness of the Delta variant and taking into account all previous measures and their effectiveness, we must continue to carry out strong measures, such as activity restrictions based on controlling the number of people going out and reducing the opportunity for contact, as well as restricting facilities usage, until the number of newly reported patients is stably below the warning level to firmly control the spread of infection.
  • As we occasionally see infections in those who have been double vaccinated, we must continue to call on all residents to thoroughly carry out measures to prevent their own infection, regardless of their vaccination status.
  • With concern over the increase of infections in schools and nursery schools in particular, parents/guardians must be aware of their everyday health and quickly receive testing in order to avoid bringing infection into the home.
  • Together with continuing to create a system where antibody cocktails can be administered at an early stage to patients at high risk of developing severe illness, all medical institutions must cooperate and strengthen efforts to monitor the health of those recovering in quarantine facilities or at home so that they may prevent infections worsening in patients and prevent the strain on hospital bed availability.
  • Vaccination is proceeding at a steady rate, and we are accumulating data and analyses of their effectiveness in terms of infection prevention and preventing serious cases. While using the knowledge gained from this for infection prevention measures, the most effective strategy is aiming for and promoting ever-increasing vaccination rates.
  • Promotion of vaccination, especially in those at high risk for severe illness (those in their 40s-60s with underlying conditions or obesity), the younger generation (who have lower vaccination rates), and the parents of children younger than 12 (who cannot currently be vaccinated), is extremely important from the point of view of preventing serious cases and preventing infections in the home. 

Taking all of this into account, in addition to firmly promoting vaccination, we will implement these intensive measures with prefectural residents, business owners, and city and town governments, working together as a team to avoid another wave of infections and straining our medical systems, as well as keeping the number of severe cases and deaths to the absolute minimum.

Period of Intensive Infection Prevention Measures

  • September 13-30, 2021 (emergency measures will also be carried out during this period)

Formal Request to All Citizens and Businesses in Hiroshima Prefecture

1) Reduce person-to-person contact

In order to reduce person-to-person contact by 80% through a reduction in the number of people out by 50%, we formally request the following during the intensive measures period in addition to strict adherence to infection prevention measures:

(a) Reduce outings

  • Reduce all outings and time spent out in half, including necessary everyday errands and shopping. Note that this restriction does not apply to school commutes or visits to medical institutions.
  • When outings are necessary, always wear a mask and remember to avoid contact with others as much as possible (keep a distance of at least two meters), such as avoiding crowded places and times.

    Examples of necessary outings: visits to medical institutions, shopping trips for medicine, necessary work/school commutes, exercise/walks outside in your neighborhood.

(b) Commutes to work

  • Reduce person-to-person contact during work commutes through promoting walking/cycling to work, staggered working hours, etc.
  • Aim to reduce the number of people in office by 70% by making use of online meetings, work from home, and encouraging employees to take vacation days. Businesses should also make a public record of their progress in reducing the number of people in office and encourage participation.
  • For those working in places which cannot make use of measures such as work from home, aim to reduce the number of people in the workplace by 70% through measures such as spreading people out in other locations, etc.
  • As we have formally requested that residents further reduce outings after 8 pm, curb working hours after 8 pm unless absolutely necessary for the business.

2) Going to dining establishments and infection prevention measures at said establishments

  • Avoid going to dining establishments with anyone other than those you live with. However, this does not apply if using dining establishments with physical infection prevention measures in place (see bullet point below) OR at campgrounds with infection-via-droplets prevention measures in place (acrylic panels or placing guests one or more meters apart or dining with masks on as much as possible) with proper hand sanitation measures and ventilation.
  • When going to dining establishments, choose Hiroshima Active Guard partners and COVID-19 Infection Prevention Measures partner establishments who have implemented proper physical infection prevention measures such as acrylic panels. Be sure to also make use of Hiroshima COVID-19 QR Codes and cooperate with infection prevention measures in place at dining establishments.
  • Do NOT go to dining establishments that do not comply with the formal request for closure/shortened hours.
  • Do not drink in groups outside/in parks due to high risk of infection.

3) Do NOT Travel to Other Regions

  • To the utmost extent possible, do NOT travel outside of the prefecture. If you absolutely cannot avoid travel, in addition to being thorough about infection prevention measures, get tested for COVID-19 before you leave or when you arrive. Please note that this travel restriction does not apply to travel for work, school, or medical visits.
  • If meeting with visitors from those regions, take the risks into consideration and act accordingly. For businesses, consider changing when you take business trips or making use of online meetings instead.

4) Continuation of essential duties (those that ensure stable citizen life/the economy)

As the prefecture is at Level 4, businesses that are essential for stable citizen life and the economy, as well as those who support these businesses, should continue to operate according to the characteristics of their business while taking the necessary infection prevention measures.

5) Other Measures

a) Early detection and quarantine

In order to find new infections in the early stages and offer appropriate medical care at hospitals or quarantine hotels, we will implement the following:

  • Comprehensive epidemiological surveys and intensive PCR testing
  • Secure systems for medical care and quarantine care

b) Cluster response measures

We will strengthen our measures to detect new patients who have the potential to cause clusters faster and end cluster outbreaks faster via the following:

  • Strengthen regular 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.

Formal requests to universities and schools

Kindergartens, elementary schools, junior high schools, high schools

  • Implement measures based on the Hygiene Management Manual for COVID-19 in Schools.
  • In particular, do not engage in high risk activities (group work, cooking classes, contact sports or exercise, etc).
  • Regarding school events: activities that take place outside of the school, such as class trips, should be cancelled or postponed; school festivals and sports events should not involve high risk activities (provision of food/drink, contact sports, etc).
  • Thoroughly implement eating lunch in silence and instruct students to avoid eating/drinking when on the way to/from school.
  • When students living in dorms return home, reduce risk by keeping travel to a minimum.
  • At high schools, all afterschool clubs will be cancelled as a rule.
  • Be sure to respond to the situation locally and at school, such as being prepared to offer online classes when implementing staggered school hours or temporary closures.
  • Note that the Prefectural Board of Education will offer support to elementary and junior high schools in holding classes online when implementing staggered school hours or temporary closures.

Universities, higher education specialty schools

  • Regarding classes, ensure thorough adherence to infection prevention measures, such as frequent ventilation and sanitization, limiting the number of students in class, ensuring space between seats, and making use of online classes.
  • Regarding off-site practicals, in addition to the practical site’s strict adherence to infection prevention measures, have students proactively get PCR tests in advance, and ensure thorough adherence to infection prevention measures for two weeks leading up to the practical and during the practical.
  • Group activities, such as clubs or extracurriculars, should be kept to an absolute minimum (e.g. participation in official tournaments).

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