July 26, 2020

The positive PCR test rate stands at 12%, the lowest yet

The positive PCR test rate stands at 12%, the lowest yet

In his latest daily briefing, Health Minister Enrique Paris confirmed the downward trend in Chile’s Coronavirus pandemic indicators. He highlighted, “we've been getting very positive figures, including an 11% drop in new cases over the past seven days and a 29% drop over the past 14 days.” The Health Minister added that the rate of positive PCR tests “is 12%, which is among the lowest we have seen of late.”

In regard to the occupancy rate of ICU beds, Minister Paris said, “the occupancy rate of ICU beds across the country is 84% on average. There are 504 beds available, so we are prepared in case we suffer a setback.”

Opening Businesses and Commercial Establishments

Health Undersecretary Paula Daza explained how businesses will operate in the municipalities that are in the “Transition” phase of the “step-by-step” plan.

Given that quarantine will only be in place during the weekends during this phase, Undersecretary Daza said, “all small businesses and SMEs, such as hair salons, bookstores and bike shops can be open during regular hours Monday through Friday,” while respecting the curfew which begins at 10 p.m.

The undersecretary added that these businesses must follow all of the health protocols developed by the Economy Ministry and validated by the Health Ministry. “It is important that each of these places has protocols in place and applies them,” she said, including sanitizing the premises, providing hand sanitizer, avoiding crowding and providing guidelines for employees.

Undersecretary Daza used the opportunity to call on the public to download the self-care guide. She explained, “it will give businesses clarity about the strict protocols to be implemented and people can learn about the measures that they should follow to decrease the spread of the virus as much as possible.”

When asked which businesses may reopen, Undersecretary Daza said, “only businesses that are staffed by individuals who live in a municipality in the same situation as that municipality, that is, a municipality that is in the transition, preparation or initial reopening phase. However, businesses staffed by individuals who live in a municipality that is under quarantine may not reopen because someone who is under quarantine may not travel to a municipality that is in transition. An employee who lives in a municipality in quarantine cannot be required to work in a municipality that is in transition,” Undersecretary Daza noted.