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Article ID:0000246091Updated on:2021年10月1日更新印刷ページ表示

Intensive COVID-19 Infection Prevention Measures After Lift of State of Emergency (Excerpt; as of 9/28/2021)

The following is from the Hiroshima Prefectural Government:

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. We have since expediently carried out measures such as Semi-State of Emergency (declared on August 20) and State of Emergency (declared on August 27) and worked to stop the unprecedented and rapid spread of infection.

Across Japan, beginning at the end of August after the Obon summer holidays, newly reported infections (per 100,000 for the latest week) have been steadily decreasing; however, there remain areas in which the strain on medical systems due to handling numerous severe COVID-19 cases and patients recovering at home has not yet been fully resolved.

In these circumstances, based on the Act on Special Measures for Pandemic Influenza and New Infectious Diseases Preparedness and Response, State of Emergency has been lifted for Hiroshima Prefecture as of September 30.

Our prefecture has seen a continued decrease in the number of newly reported infections since the end of August; we are no longer at Level 4 and our situation is improving. Based on a comprehensive judgement of our medical systems, we are currently at Level 2; however, some cities and towns remain at a relatively high level of infection with infections continuing to occur. (Newly reported infections (per 100,000) for the week until 9/27/2021: Hiroshima Prefecture: 9.5 – Hiroshima City: 14.3, Kure City: 3.6, Fukuyama City: 7.2). 

Regarding vaccination, we are currently at the point where, if the necessary number of vaccines are distributed moving forward, we expect that we will have enough vaccines for nearly every prefectural citizen who would like to be vaccinated.

Experts believe that:

  • It is reasonable to gradually end the strong measures which were in place until this point. While maintaining our PCR testing system, we must call on all citizens to continue to thoroughly carry out infection prevention measures, such as wearing a mask regardless of vaccination status, proper hand sanitization, etc., as well as early testing and early consultation with medical professionals. Infection prevention measures should be maintained at schools and childcare facilities where there are large numbers of unvaccinated people.
  • The most effective measure against COVID-19 is vaccination; we must promote vaccination and aim to further improve the vaccination rate among those at high risk of developing severe COVID-19, the younger generation, parents/guardians with children younger than 12 years old, etc.
  • Regarding our medical care systems, in anticipation of the next wave of infections, all medical institutions must cooperate and quickly build a medical care and management system to monitor those at quarantine facilities and care for patients recovering at home including utilizing virtual doctor visits. In addition, we must also promote the effective management of antibody cocktail treatments.

In order to allow prefectural citizens to restore their regular socioeconomic activities as soon as possible, we must aim to create an environment where we can effectively quarantine those infected by means of thorough epidemiological surveys to prevent another wave of infections. To this end, in addition to firmly promoting vaccination, we will gradually loosen restrictions based on the infection situation and continue to implement necessary measures.

Period of Intensive Infection Prevention Measures

  • October 1-14, 2021

Note: should we see another rapid rise in infections, we will quickly strengthen our measures. Also, should the infection situation improve, we will loosen the activity restrictions on our formal requests and/or lift restrictions in some areas designated as Intensive Prevention Measures Priority Areas.

Intensive Prevention Measures Priority Areas

In order to ensure an improved infection situation by containing infections locally and preventing another wave, we hereby designate the following areas as Intensive Prevention Measures Priority Areas:

  • Hiroshima City
  • Higashi-Hiroshima City
  • Fuchu Town
  • Kaita Town

Formal Request to All Citizens and Businesses in Hiroshima Prefecture

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:

Reduce outings

  • Reduce all outings and time spent out in half, including necessary everyday errands and shopping. In particular, those in Intensive Prevention Measures Priority Areas should further reduce outings after 9 pm. 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.

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.
  • In addition, we as we have formally requested that those in Intensive Prevention Measures Priority Areas further reduce outings after 9 pm, curb working hours after 9 pm unless absolutely necessary for the business.

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.
  • Strictly carry out infection prevention measures at establishments that offer karaoke facilities, such as avoiding crowding and ensuring ventilation.

Do NOT travel to other regions

  • To the utmost extent possible, do NOT travel to/from regions under State of Emergency or Semi-State of Emergency. In addition, make wise choices and thoroughly consider the necessity of traveling to/from regions under formal request to avoid unnecessary outings and regions where the number of newly reported infections (per 100,000 for the latest week) is 10 or more.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Regarding travel within the prefecture, when traveling to/from Intensive Prevention Measures Priority Areas, be sure to thoroughly carry out infection prevention measures. Please note that these travel restrictions does not apply to travel for work, school, or medical visits.

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

Should the infection situation for the prefecture be at Level 3 or 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.

Other measures

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

Cluster response measures

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

  • Conduct 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, avoid contact between students during high risk activities (group work, cooking classes, contact sports or exercise, etc) and take steps to maintain a set distance between students when doing these activities.
  • Regarding school events: carefully consider whether or not to hold activities that take place outside of the school, such as class trips, depending on the infection situation of the location. In addition, carefully consider whether or not to carry out high risk activities (provision of food/drink, contact sports, etc) at school festivals and sports events based on the infection situation.
  • 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.
  • Regarding after school clubs at high schools, discuss gradually resuming club activities beginning with low-risk activities while implementing infection prevention measures as much as possible.
  • 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.
  • Thoroughly carry out infection prevention measures during group activities (dormitory life, clubs, extracurricular activities, camps).

Vaccination

In order to put an end to COVID-19 infections, we will provide information about the effectiveness of the vaccine in order to have as many people get vaccinated as soon as possible. In addition, we will also implement measures such as effective PR and securing opportunities for vaccination.

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