Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Isla Mujeres Daily News & Events Tuesday, September 29


  Here's the webcam LINK, which also has time lapse of the past 24 hours.
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Rain in the forecast....

There's a "norte" (front from the north) arriving tonight that is expected to bring abundant rain with lightning and gusts of wind at 50-60kph. Tonight & tomorrow's rain forecasts for Q. Roo are for 50-75mm of rain, Thursday's is for 75-150mm, Friday is 150-250mm and Saturday is 75-150 mm.
(50mm is 2 inches, 250 is 10 inches).

      Today the municipality of Isla Mujeres continues to report 196 positives with 15 deaths and now there are 155 recovered. 

The state geoportal still has data on active cases by colonia for 9/28, which I reported yesterday.

On the national map for 9/28, the municipality reports 5 suspicious and 86 negatives  (with 196 confirmed and 15 deaths).

The state geoportal updated the Incidence Rates & Isla Mujeres has decreased to 6.16 cases per 10,000 inhabitants, and although we're still the worst in the Northern Zone, the worst in the state is OPB (Chetumal) with 6.69. The other Northern Zone municipalities are Tulum at 3.06, Holbox (LC) at 2.93, Cozumel at 1.97, Solidaridad (PDC) at 1.67, and the best is Benito Juarez (Cancun)-Puerto Morelos at 1.58 cases per 10,000 inhabitants. My graphic shows the trend in recent weeks. Incidence rates allow comparisons between very populous municipalities like Benito Juarez (Cancun) who have nearly three quarter of a million residents, with ours which has about 21,000.


A Guide to the Current C-19 Situation in Isla Mujeres for Vacationers

Are the Beaches open & are there restrictions?
Yes, but it's determined week-to-week. #1 is the beach entrance sign, click on it for the translation. There's also a sign saying you can't bring alcohol to the beach. (You can buy it from the restaurants there). The other sign is green to indicate space is available, yellow when space is limited and red when the beach has reached 60% capacity and no one else can enter. After you enter, there are signs in the sand to indicate social distancing (#2) and businesses are required to distance their tables & loungers and to limit capacity to 60%.

What businesses are open & how does that work?
Tourism-related businesses began opening in July, with more opening each month and now Isla Mujeres leads the Mexican Caribbean with hotel occupancy at ~40%. Many protective measures were required to reopen, such as providing PPE for all employees, constructing protective barriers for clerks, implementing temperature checks & installing sani-mats at entrances, providing sinks/hand-gel and posting signs about mandatory masks & capacity limits. All workers and managers are required to obtain a certificate by taking an online C-19 class and exam, provided by the government. Theme parks, archeological sites, nautical tours, souvenir stores, street vendors, and most tourism businesses are operating. Tourism increased significantly after Sept. 7th when our Zone attained the Yellow phase and the beaches reopened. Masks are mandatory in all public areas and at all businesses except when seated for eating/drinking. This includes when you are moving around the island on foot or in a cart. There is a temperature check upon arrival & everyone passes thru a Sani-Tunnel. There is a questionnaire when arriving at the airport.

What's up with the week-to-week colors?
The state epidemiological light determines what businesses are open and at what capacities. Nightclubs and schools won't open until Green, but most businesses are open at 60% capacity, after being limited to 30% in Orange. It's announced on Thursday nights, for the following Monday-Sunday and is determined by the number of cases and hospital availability, in each of two Zones. We're the Northern Zone. Click on #3 for the translation.
In July, Mexico entered the "New Normality", when Governors were given permission to determine how and when their states would move forward. Our Governor said that Tourism is essential to the economy of Quinana Roo and laid out a Reactivation Plan to reopen the state in a gradual, responsible and orderly manner. Promotional campaigns were launched, protective measures were instituted, and airlines increased flights,

How has Isla Mujeres been affected by Covid?
Officially, the municipality has reported 194 confirmed cases, 15 deaths, 141 recovered, 83 negatives and there are 10 suspicious/pending. Our population is ~21k and our Incidence Rate per 10k is 9.23. As you can see from the graphic, there were 32 cases before July when the New Normality began, and 162 cases since we've returned to work. Isla's first case was 4/4 and the first in the state was 3/13, in Cancun.

Which way is it trending?
For our Northern Zone, statistics improved at the beginning of the month, upgrading our region to Yellow. One of the main determiners is the Risk of Contagion, which indicates how many people are likely to be infected by each positive person, which must stay below 1 or we'll return to Orange. To move to Green, it needs to drop below 0.5. This past week, it went the wrong direction and increased to 0.84. The Governor responded by strengthening various measures that are already in place including more young "Yellow Hat" volunteers, checkpoints/'sanitary filters' at entrances & exits of towns, programs in the colonias identifying areas of higher-contagion & contact, more signage and more awareness-raising efforts like graphics on social media reminding residents that the yellow light is for recuperation of income and jobs, not for recuperation of their social lives.
On the NATIONAL epidemiological light, today Quintana Roo moved into the Orange status, after we'd been in Yellow the past two weeks, for the first time. Remember, it is the weekly STATE epidemiological light that determines which businesses may operate at what capacities, and when the beaches are open.

You'll find the daily and weekly updates at Isla Mujeres News & Events, as well as graphics tracking the trends and reports from the state Geoportal on active cases in each colonia. Sponsored by Maravilla Caribe Bed & Breakfast. #1 photo from Isla Mujere al Dia.

 Translation of sign at Beach entrances--

 It says~~General Recommendations for those using the beaches in the Covid-19 contingency

-Stay home if you have symptoms
-Verify that the beaches are open with available space.
-Use personal protection equipment (face masks or shields, sanitizing gel, and glasses).
-Cooperate with the safety/security on the beaches, follow the rules and recommendations of authorities.
-Plan your visit to the beach, taking extreme individual hygiene measures (with clothing and using one towel per person, clean swimming accessories, keep your hands clean and avoid touching your face).
-Maintain healthy distance and respect the spaces designated for each person.
-Don't share objects, toys, balls, or sun screen with other people.
-Don't stay at the beach longer than 3 hours, to avoid agglomerations.
-No groups of more than 5 people
-Use degradable plastic bags to collect the trash you generate, close it properly and throw it in the trash cans.
-Obey the instructions of personnel with ZOFEMAT, Fiscalizacion (Control), Civil Protection, Public Security and the National Guard.
-Pay special attention to the informative signs about Covid-19.
-If you bring chairs, tables or loungers, sanitize them before entering the beach and when you leave.
-Have a responsible attitude collaborating with the fulfillment of the protection measures appropriate to care for your health.
~~Beach Hours are 10a-5p~~
Translation by Ronda Winn-Roberts of Isla Mujeres News & Events sponsored by Maravilla Caribe Bed & Beach. photo credit-Isla Mujeres al Dia

Translation of Graphic about Yellow phase restrictions & capacities--

It says that Gyms & sports clubs in open air are open at 70%, and at 50% in enclosed spaces.
Open at 60% are hotels, restaurants, historic sites, theme parks, golf courses and tourism services. Beaches and public parks. Religious Services. Theaters and cinemas. Department Stores. Manufacturing. Realtors. Hair salons & beauty parlors. Open at 50% are conventions and congresses in open air, and at 30% in enclosed spaces.
Not open are Schools. Bars, nightclubs, discos, show centers, etc.
Maximum Capacity for Transportation (Seats) Motorcycles-1 (This is not enforced in Isla Mujeres), Private vehicles-4, Taxis-3 including the driver (Doesn't appear to be enforced here). Public Transport-50% (This doesn't apply to the ferries).
In all activities, continue the measures for sanitary prevention-Wash your hands frequently, wear face masks, healthy distance of 1.5 meters, stay at home if you develop symptoms, strict application of recommendations and guidelines.
The top says the Economic reopening will be done in a gradual, orderly and responsible manner.
The circles show the Number of Cases Daily and the Average Number of New Cases are Yellow, while the Hospital Availability is Green.
A link is given to the complete list of activities.
The left column lists essential services that operate at normal capacity including police, legislature, medical services, food suppliers, financial institutions, fishing & farming, construction, warehouses, mining and water purification.
Open at 80% are computer vendors and at 75% are administrative, technical, professional, consulting and assessing services.
Translation provided by Isla Mujeres News & Events, sponsored by Maravilla Caribe Bed & Beach

The City Council approved a program of discounts on various payments of taxes, fines, fees and charges from 15 to 50 percent which will be available from October 1st to November 30th. These include property taxes-50% off, charges and fines associated with trash collection (only businesses pay for this--it's free for residents), traffic fines-50% off (except DUI), driver's license fees-30%, Civil Protection fees/fines-30%, and Urban Development fees-25% (construction licenses under 300 sq meters & commercial ecology permits under 100 sq m. & others).

En public places it's important to wear face masks correctly, cover your mouth and nose, don't manipulate it with dirty hands, help reduce infections and act responsibly.

TVisla Mujeres    

Inspectors with CONANP (National Commission for Natural Protected Areas) and SEMAR (Navy) detained a fisherman, Hector N, who had 14 conchs in his possession of which 11 were of the Rosado (Queen Conch) species, and three of the "King Kong" species, which are species whose capture is banned and in danger of extinction. (photos)  LINK 

The Anti-Rabies vaccination campaign was successful with a total of 1490 vaccines administered of which 776 were on the island and 714 in Rancho Viejo. (photos) LINK    


  This blog is brought to you by....

MaraVilla Caribe   Bed & Beach    Four rentals with large glass doors overlooking our white sand beach and the beautiful Caribbean sea, with  kitchenettes & fast WIFI. In the upscale neighborhood of  Bachilleres, convenient to downtown or the colonias, yet separate.  Quiet & Private.   
Free amenities include hammocks, portable beach chairs, beach towels, washer & dryer, loungers, shared bikes, BBQ grill, and safes.  Panoramic views from the rooftop terrace. Large sliding doors open to a patio & the white sand backyard-beach, overlooking the Caribbean sea.  Downtown is  ~ a mile away; we're on all four bus routes or  flag a $3 taxi. Off street parking. In the quiet neighborhood of Bachilleres sleep to the sounds of the sea.$275/$325/$425 wk   $40/50/$65nt  Monthly Discounts
Fine dining a few steps away at Da Luisa or try the neighborhood eateries a couple blocks farther. We provide a list of links & direction to over 20 eateries within ten minutes walk, including Mango Cafe,  Mike's Pizza, Brisas, Rosa Sirena, Coco Jaguar, Manolitos, La Chatita, Green Verde, Kash Kechen Chuc, and the large department store-grocery Chedraui & the local craft brewery.  Visit marinas, bars, & beach clubs that are minutes away by bike or on foot. Attend Yoga classes a couple villas away at Casa Ixchel. Fresh juice, produce & tortillas a few blocks away in the village, as well as a variety of other stores.
Full moon rising over the Caribbean 
 After Sunset--Sept 2 at 7:42
  Sept 3      8:15 
 Sept 4      8:48
Sept 5       9:21
Sept 6       9:54
Sept 7     10:30

 Sunset  7:02-6:35pm (beginning vs end of month)
Sunrise  6:31-6:38am
Painting by Pamela Haase at MVC
Turtles continue nesting in September. They nest along the eastern beaches. Tortugranja staff and volunteers gather the eggs and incubate them in the sand in a pen outside the facility. Three species nest annually in Isla Mujeres, Greens, Loggerheads, and Hawksbills.

Swimming with the whale sharks ends Sept. 17 They congregate and feed on a 'buffet' of plankton and fish eggs from a type of tuna. Rays are also attracted to the feeding areas.  Photo by Tony Garcia

Wednesday, Sept. 16--Independence Day  (The Grito is read by the Mayor each year on the night of the 15th, which will presumably be done virtually this year.)

Sources for Weather Information:
LINK to Civil Protection Q Roo weather bulletin  (Spanish)
LINK to Mexico National Weather Service (Spanish)
 LINK to satellite images for the Mexico National Weather Service
 LINK to GOES East Band 16 GIF (animation)
LINK to a private weather station on Isla Mujeres
LINK to NHC   

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