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Formentera Local Police write 30 tickets in days since state of alarm declared

Foto 2020 Control Poli SFerranAccording to the Formentera Department of Interior, local law enforcement have issued 30 citations to individuals who violated confinement orders laid out by the state of alarm proclamation. The local bureau of the central government is responsible for processing the infractions and determining corresponding fines. All the cases involved individuals who had left their house without a valid motive.

In the words of department chief Josep Marí, “we wish we hadn’t had to issue a single one of the thirty”. He added that Monday marked the rollout of increasingly restrictive state of alarm-related measures aimed at preventing as many transmissions as possible: “The only trips out of the house must be absolutely essential. And when we do go out, every single time we need to be following safety measures dutifully; not just for our own protection, but for other’s as well”.

1 April 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

To tackle Covid-19, Consell de Formentera pushes Govern balear to do more to inform, monitor, detect and control

In a letter sent today, Consell de Formentera president Alejandra Ferrer explained to the premier and health minister of the Govern balear, Francina Armengol and Patrícia Gómez, respectively, that since the invocation of the state of alarm, members of local law enforcement, firefighters and Civil Protection corps have been implementing control measures to see to it that restrictions put in place to prevent the local spread of Covid-19 are respected.

In recent days the island government has supplied the forces with protective equipment that’s key to their safety, however, as Ferrer pointed out in her missive, the very nature of such individuals’ work puts them at risk. The president underscored the profound importance of emergency responders’ protection, since an infection among their ranks could trigger “a drastic reduction of services and a stunting of local emergency responders’ reactive capacity”.

Formentera’s president detailed to the Balearic officials the local government’s voluntary registry of more than 300 recent arrivals—individuals who are tracked, given updates, and encouraged to call 061 if they present symptoms. The Formentera Department of Social Welfare contacts older islanders living alone and pitches in with tasks that pose particular challenges, while members of Civil Protection are due to make their own rounds to give elderly islanders information updates and check in, Ferrer said.

She likewise pointed out that Formentera’s sole Mobile Covid-19 Unit [UVAC] is meant to be tasked exclusively with home calls for patients with symptoms who present possible Covid-19 cases, and that the unit should also be assessing which cases warrant hospitalisation and ensuring proper monitoring of family members in order to control possible sources of infection.

The president pointed out that “Formentera has just one hospital and, should cases surge suddenly, we run the risk of seeing services overloaded and those in need of urgent care —both Covid-19 patients and individuals with unrelated care needs— neglected”. “It’s important we understand that a portion of Formentera’s healthcare workers come from Eivissa, and the infection risks inherent to travel mean that, whether workers are local or taking the ferry from Eivissa, keeping them safe is paramount to our hospital’s ability to continue functioning without becoming an infection source”.

Ferrer highlighted the following requests in her letter:

1. Closer monitoring of minor cases
Better and stricter control measures can be developed for essential staff whilst maintaining current protocol in which individuals presenting minor cases carry out confinement and self-isolation and are monitored via telephone, and hospital care is reserved for serious cases. Improvements can also be made to the way we monitoring of minor cases, strengthening our footing as we confront the situation today and enabling proper care for affected individuals.

2. Testing for the island’s emergency responders
A mechanism can be created without change to current protocol so that, similar to healthcare workers, emergency corps members with possible contagion exposure can be tested quickly and easily and continue performing their work safely.

3. More powerful Mobile Covid-19 Unit
The Formentera UVAC, created to treat homebound patients who have tested positive for Covid-19 or present symptoms consistent with it, should expand patient support so proper review of virus development can be ensured, increasing ease of mind for homebound individuals with symptoms and their families and preventing further spread.

4. Closer monitoring of recent arrivals
Individuals having arrived on the island from other locations should be subject to closer monitoring to make sure they respect measures in place and self-isolate as required.

5. More information from 061 emergency response and UVAC
Between the Consell de Formentera and local 061 emergency responders, more robust collaboration is needed around calls concerning possible Covid-19 cases. Key for the UVAC, meanwhile, is a closer monitoring of each case, particularly individuals who have tested positive, to keep the Consell informed while still respecting the confidentiality of sensitive information.

“We are asking for these measures because early detection, both in individuals close to confirmed positives and in suspected infections, can stem further spread of the virus and will help avoid overloading and endangering hospital services”, she said, offering a willing hand for “whatever the Govern balear might need as we tackle Covid-19.”

30 March 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

Consell de Formentera essential services

In line with Royal Decree 10/2020 (29 March 2020), the Consell de Formentera establishes the following minimum services from today 30 March to 9 April:
-Help at Home (Servei Atenció Domiciliària, SAD) and support for minors and victims of gender violence.
-Fire department and local police.
-Mortuary and cemetery services with vigil and funeral ceremonies in accordance with Order SND/298/2020 to limit propagation and spread of Covid-19.
-Maintenance and cleaning brigade: minimum operational maintenance of municipal facilities and cleaning of those areas necessary for essential services.
-Abbatoir (Escorxador).
-Pound (Canera).

The decree also lays the groundwork for establishment of minimum required action to maintain service crews and infrastructure, including defining minimum personnel or shifts similar to holiday or weekend protocol.

The current decree was itself preceded by exceptional measures and work at home schemes. Under the new order, individuals unable to work from home must register for a permit for recoverable mandatory retribution (permís retribuït obligatori recuperable), and have until 31 December 2020 to reimburse or compensate pay from interrupted work. Details to follow will be agreed with the administration.

Leave is to continue unchanged for workers already at home on leave or active vigil as a result of Covid-19.

As the Consell de Formentera is not considered an essential service, urgent registry transactions will be performed by email, and telephone support will continue. The online portal of the Citizen Information Office, the Ovac, will remain active.

30 March 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

Appealing to islanders’ civic sense, Consell urges proper waste disposal and issues reminder re: Covid-19 recommendations

foto 2020 contenidors1The Formentera Department of Environment reminds islanders that waste must be sorted and placed in bins by category: non-recyclable garbage in grey bins, paper and cardboard in blue, Tetra Briks, cans and plastics in yellow, and glass in green. Cleaning crews have signalled increasingly large rubbish piles found next to empty refuse collection points.

“Putting trash in the right bin isn’t just a question of aesthetics; it’s a key public health issue, both for those that empty the containers and clean our streets and for normal islanders as they try to use public dustbins”, said environment conseller Antonio J Sanz as he appealed to residents for cooperation. “A clean Formentera is everyone’s business”, he said.

The following municipal facilities have closed amid the coronavirus health crisis: Es Cap de Barbaria vehicle dismantling station, household waste recycling centre (Deixalleria), Es Cap de Barbaria transfer station for non-hazardous construction and demolition waste and garden clippings. The closures will remain in effect for the duration of the state of alarm.

The Department of Environment reminds islanders of recent action to ramp up sanitising efforts in busy public spaces, particularly immediately outside pharmacies, supermarkets, food shops, banks, etc.

Recommendations for handling rubbish at homes with Covid-19 patients
The Consell de Formentera reminds islanders of the Spanish Ministry of Health’s recommendation for handling rubbish at home.

Households where no one is infected or under quarantine are encouraged to sort waste as usual. In an effort to reduce the amount of waste that winds up at treatment plants, please remember, proper sorting of paper/cardboard, glass, plastics and organic waste if applicable is key. Please only place items in bins that correspond to the accepted items as listed.

Another important reminder: latex and nitrile gloves like those used on trips to the grocery store are not plastic and hence, must not be placed in plastics-only yellow containers.

According to the health ministry, households in which at least one of the members is infected with Covid-19 or under quarantine should dispose of the patient’s waste, including single-use objects like gloves, tissue paper and masks used by the patient, in a plastic bag-lined dustbin (BAG 1) which should be located in the patient’s room (if possible, the bin should have a lid and a foot-push lever). Waste sorting in these cases is unnecessary.

BAG 1 must be properly closed and placed inside another rubbish sack (BAG 2), which will in turn accommodate gloves and masks used by the caregiver. BAG 2 must be properly closed before being taken out of the room.

BAG 2 and its contents should be placed into the bag (BAG 3) containing the household’s non-organic and non-recyclable waste [labelled “resta” on bins]. After closing BAG 3, wash hands thoroughly with soap and water for 40-60 seconds.

BAG 3 must be put into the general rubbish bin. Under no circumstance must these bags be placed in organic, plastics, paper, glass or fabric bins or left standing nearby.

31 March 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

Alejandra Ferrer sends wishes for fast recovery of two islanders who tested positive for coronavirus, asks entire island for unity, cooperation

Speaking on behalf of the local cabinet, Consell de Formentera chief Alejandra Ferrer directed a message at the entire island in the wake of the two first confirmed cases of coronavirus on Formentera, but not before expressing her hope that the pair would manage a speedy recovery.

“We’re sending all our encouragement to these first two Formentera inhabitants to be affected by Covid-19, as well as to their families and friends”, she said, directing a special appeal for strength at the individual in intensive care with uncertain prognosis at Can Misses hospital. Ferrer hoped for a “speedy recovery” of the second individual, now in isolation at home with comparatively minor symptoms and being monitored by the Mobile Coronavirus Unit (UVAC).

The regional health office has confirmed that “in line with protocol, health authorities have contacted those living with the patients to make sure control measures like full isolation are being followed to avoid new transmissions”.

“Our best wishes go out to everyone affected, particularly those in serious condition, whether they’re here in the Balearics, in Spain or worldwide. These are very trying times for a great portion of the global population. To those affected and their loved ones, you have our strength.”

“The current health crisis is global”, Ferrer pointed out, adding islanders have already been operating under the assumption that cases could appear here, “and now, that’s unfortunately where we’re at. The whole island has been preparing for this and followed confinement measures dutifully in the previous weeks, but now we’re asking you to be even more vigilant so we can be sure we’re limiting the local spread as much as humanly possible.”

Ferrer asserted, “We need to be meticulous about our compliance with the safety measures that have come with the state of alarm. Following on yesterday’s ratcheting up of protocol, today we have an absolute freeze on all activity the central government hasn’t deemed essential. More islanders will be staying home from work tomorrow and helping do their part to get through this crisis by avoid contact and trips outside”.

The president applauded doctors, health workers and the staff of the Formentera Hospital and Can Misses for their efforts, and proclaimed, “Now more than ever, we need to remain calm and trust that the measures adopted by authorities will be effective and that we’ll get through this thing fast and limiting the human toll as much we can”.

29 March 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

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