City adopts national policy on face shields

Photo by Mark Perandos
Photo by Mark Perandos

THE Davao City Government has adopted the national policy of the mandatory wearing of face shields in areas that are “closed and crowded.”

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio has ordered that face shields shall only be used in crowded places, close-contact settings, and confined and enclosed spaces (3Cs).

This is in accordance with her Executive Order (EO) 51 Series of 2021, otherwise known as "An Order Providing For The Guidelines On The Use of Face Shields," which she signed on September 30, 2021.

The new EO repeals or modifies Executive Order 65-A series of 2020, known as "An Order Consolidating all the Issuances on the Use of Face Shields and all other orders or parts thereof which are inconsistent with the provisions of this Executive Order are hereby repealed or modified accordingly."

EO 51 mandates that face shields must be used in crowded places -- defined as areas where there is a mass gathering of individuals, which include but are not limited to swab sites, vaccination sites, evacuation centers, distribution of assistance, and the Commission on Elections (Comelec) voters’ registration.

The new order, which was to take effect immediately, is in accordance with President Rodrigo Duterte's announcement on September 22, 2021, to limit the use of face shields to the 3Cs as recommended by the Technical Advisory Group.

The President has earlier extended the State of Calamity in the country until September 12, 2022, via Presidential Proclamation 1218.

The World Health Organization has defined the 3Cs as crowded places with many people nearby, close contact settings, especially where people have close-range conversations, and confined and enclosed spaces with poor ventilation.

It can be recalled that the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) Resolution 68, s. 2020 dated September 3, 2020, mandates the use of a face shield with a face mask in the following places: supermarkets, public markets, malls; and venues where government-initiated meetings and critical government services are being conducted or provided.

The City Government, through EO 65-A series of 2020, also required its employees and clients/visitors to wear a face shield and face mask inside their buildings and rooms.

The mandatory use of a face shield often ranks among the top three Covid-19 protocol violations in Davao City.

Covid-19 Task Force spokesperson Dr. Michelle Schlosser said in a previous interview that in her personal opinion, face shields are non-pharmacological interventions that can help reduce Covid-19 infections.

"An additional protection from this virus is all OK. Para sa akoa, kon added protection ang face shield and sa mga (if face shields can add protection against) droplets, that's also good," she said.

The Department of Health also said that face shields are additional protection against droplets, which might carry the Covid-19 virus. (With CIO)


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