On Monday morning, May 25th, Puerto Peñasco Municipal Health Coordinator, Dr. Oscar Castro Castro joined broadcaster José Antonio Pérez of La Reyna del Mar to discuss steps underway that could pave a way for city residents to return to town sooner than originally forecast, though still under strict health protocols. Dr. Castro emphasized such steps are meant to help reunite families that are Peñasco residents, who for one reason or another were not all in town when the roadblock measures went into effect in early April. Update: The thermal cameras went into operation on the evening of May 27th (following our initial publication). There is an initial 10 day window for residents wishing to return to do so.
The possibility for Puerto Peñasco residents to gain access to town will include use of thermal cameras set up at the roadblock area north of the city, ability to provide proof of address (CFE / TelMex or other utility bills, INE (voter ID card), confirmation that people are coming to stay in their homes (or rather, not for vacation in the case of foreign individuals who may have a residence here), and following all city health guidelines still in place (use of masks, curfew, only essential outings, etc. – or rather, shelter in place guidelines). In addition, steps will be in place regarding additional rapid-testing on site for individuals that may present higher temperatures as detected by the thermal cameras. The proposed date for visitors to town is still tentatively for when the city enters Phase III (anticipated for June 16th if the first two phases go well).
The three thermal cameras (2 portable and 1 stationary) were put in operation on the evening of Wednesday, May 27th. Dr. Castro stressed this announcement is based on wanting to provide a way for families – many of whom have been separated for over two months – to have a way to be reunited. This will apply to both returning Mexican and foreign nationals who are full-time city residents, and will be staying at home. Any healthy resident able to return if/when this proposed strategy goes into effect is urged to quarantine themselves at home for a minimum period of 12 days. Dr. Castro explained, “Supposedly, these are individuals who want to return home to be with their families and no longer be separated, not to be going out in the streets.”
Mexico’s “New Normal”
It is important to remember, in Mexico’s “New Normal” the Federal Alert system (stoplight) , which goes into effect on June 1st, will determine how different states in Mexico can gradually reopen. As of May 25th, Sonora – and therefore Puerto Peñasco – was designated in “yellow” yet with a rising number of cases (red triangle); these designations will continue to be evaluated and announced weekly by the Federal government.
Federal Alert system per region regarding activities during Coronavirus
Red – Only essential activities, expanded solely to construction, mining, and vehicle manufacturing. Maximum care/stay at home for vulnerable individuals (those with chronic illnesses and older individuals)
Orange – In addition to the above, activities not deemed essential but at a reduced level, reopening of public spaces at a reduced level (outdoor), and ongoing attention for vulnerable individuals (those with chronic illnesses and older individuals) in returning to workforce as appropriate
Yellow – In addition to the above, resuming all essential / non-essential businesses, opening of public spaces (outdoor), and opening of indoor public spaces at reduced capacity (museums, churches, movie theaters), ongoing attention to vulnerable populations though they also may return to workforce
Green – That listed above, as well as resuming of educational sector with children and teachers in schools (per school year calendar)