LA TRINIDAD Mayor Romeo Salda has ordered the mandatory wearing of face shields in all public areas.

The mayor issued Executive Order (EO) 61, mandating all persons in public areas and transport, employees of private and public offices, banks and establishments, department stores, public markets, groceries, satellite markets such as talipapas, hardware stores, sari-sari stores and individuals transacting at the La Trinidad Vegetable Trading Post, Benguet Agri-Pinoy Trading Center and private trading areas to wear a face shield over their face masks.

The EO is effective August 7.

Salda said the municipality acknowledges the added requirement will incur some cost to community members but no amount of protection is too much when it comes to health and safety since the face shield adds an extra layer of protection against Covid-19.

Salda attributed the order to a surge in Covid-19 cases in the town and said the use of face shields and masks "considerably reduces exposure to and emission of respiratory droplets, there arises the need to require the use of both protective gears."

"According to medical experts, wearing a face mask not only curbs the spread of the coronavirus but reduces a mask wearer's risk of catching the virus by 65 percent. Furthermore, wearing a face shield reduces the inhalational exposure of the worker by 96 percent in the period immediately after a cough. The face shield also reduces the surface contamination of a respirator by 97 percent. If social distancing is observed, risk infection is reduced by 99.9 percent," the order stated.

But Benguet Governor Melchor Diclas previously said the province is still studying the mandatory wearing of face shields.

On a personal note, the governor said the use of the face shield is needed depending on the workplace for frontliners that include the Philippine National Police and in the offices that are conducting transactions to various clients in their respective office.

Diclas also reiterated the recent memorandum order of Department of Transportation (DOTr) requiring all passengers of any mode of public transportation to wear face shields that will be effective August 15.

DOTr said the initiative aims to further reduce the risk of transmitting Covid-19 in public transport facilities as health authorities have pointed out that the use of face shields and masks reduces exposure to and emission of respiratory droplets considerably.

As of August 9, Public Information Office-Benguet said there are 91 confirmed cases in the province with 65 total recoveries and 25 active cases of Covid-19 recorded.

The active cases are recorded in the Benguet towns of Itogon, Kapangan, Kibungan, Sablan, Tuba and Tublay and La Trinidad with the highest number of active cases.

Benguet recorded its first Covid-19 death last week after a 58-year-old male miner from Itogon succumbed to the virus.