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Important Information Regarding the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) from the Fukuoka Prefectural Government

Request To Residents Regarding The Lifting Of The State Of Emergency
Fukuoka Prefectural Government, May 14th, 2020

Since the state of emergency was declared on April 7, the Fukuoka prefectural government has made various requests, such as refraining non-essential out and requested businesses to suspend operations, in order to prevent the spread of infection and ensure the medical care provision system. We apologize for the inconvenience this has caused during the state of emergency, but because many prefectural residents and businesses have given us their understanding and cooperation, and your thoughts and actions have led to this result. We would like to extend my sincere respect and gratitude again to all the medical workers who are struggling on the front lines, as well as to everyone who supports society in various fields.

Even though the state of emergency has been lifted in Fukuoka, this is not the end of it. While facing the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), there is a need for raising levels in socio-economic activities and this is a new beginning to be able to return to our normal lifestyle.

There are examples such as Hokkaido and other countries where a second wave of infections have hit. The awareness and behavior of every prefectural resident will be more crucial than ever. You’ll need to be fully prepared and take action to protect yourself, your family, those around you, and society.

For this, we will ease the requests for the refraining from going out and requests businesses to suspend operations until May 15, but we would like to ask prefectural residents and businesses to take the following measures. 

1. Going out
• Refrain from unnecessarily and urgently outings, to keep in mind of “reducing contact with people by 80%.” *Especially, avoid going out to places where clusters have occurred, or places with “three Cs” Closed spaces, Crowded places, Close-contact settings.
• Avoid unnecessarily travel across prefectures and to your hometown, including prefectures subject to the state of emergency

2. Practice New Lifestyle
Please practice the “new lifestyle” to prevent the spread of infections, such as:
• Social distancing
• Wearing a mask
• Hand washing
Which are the three basics of infection prevention.
“New lifestyle” means avoiding “three Cs”, hand washing / disinfecting, masks, cough etiquette, social distancing, going out with a small number of people, facing each other during meals a new lifestyle that incorporates measures against splash infections, contact infections, and short-distance conversations.

3. Holding Events 
The appropriate prevention measures should be taken when holding an event. Organizers should take careful measures such as cancellation or postponement if the response to the risk is unsuccessful when holding a large-scale event.
*Appropriate prevention measures: Limitation and guidance of visitors, installation of hand disinfection equipment, wearing of masks, indoor ventilation, etc.

4. Closures of Facilities
(a) Regarding facilities where clusters have occurred in Japan, we request cooperation from May 15th to 31st regarding the suspension of business operations.
*Facilities where cluster occurred in Japan
Eating and drinking establishments such as cabarets, night clubs, bars, karaoke boxes, live houses, gyms, and sports classrooms.

(b) For facilities other than those mentioned above, like restaurants to take the appropriate preventive measures, when opening for business, like appropriate seating on all sides, disinfection, and cleaning when customers come in and out.
*Repeal of requests to shorten business hours at restaurants
*Repeal of requests of closure for museums and libraries
*Regarding prefectural schools, dispersion schooling will begin from May 18th after schools will be fully opened after May 25th

5. Attendance at Work
Implement teleworking, staggered hours, and commuting by bicycle to reduce contact with people.

6. Medical Facilities Consultations
If one of the following applies, please consult the Returnee / Contact Persons Consultation Center.
• If you have any of the following symptoms: shortness of breath (dyspnea), strong dullness (fatigue), high fever, etc.
• Those who are prone to severe illness and have a relatively mild cold symptom such as fever and cough, and pregnant women.
• If the symptoms of a relatively mild cold such as fever and cough continue for anyone other than the following above (please consult if symptoms persist for 4 days or more).
If you have a cold, such as a fever or cough, do not go directly to your doctor. Please consult by phone in advance.

Response When Re-infection Spreads
Even though the state of emergency has been lifted, it is expected that people will continue to become infected in the future. Therefore, it is important to maintain a system that can provide appropriate medical care according to the patients’ symptoms.

In addition to accurately monitoring the status of infection, etc., and to be able to promptly respond to patients who need hospitalization treatment, especially critically ill patients, when the phase of infection spreads again, the following medical workers are involved. We have decided to set an index that can be shared.

As a result of a judgment based on this index, there is a fear that the medical care provision system may be under pressure, we request medical institutions to improve the medical provision system, such as preparation of beds. Simultaneously, in order to prevent the spread of infection, we will consider measures such as refraining from going out to residents of the prefecture and requesting businesses to suspend operations.

Guidelines for Preparing to Secure a Medical Service System
Comprehensive judgment based on the guidelines (a) to (d) below
(a) The number of infected people per day is 8 or more for 3 consecutive days (3 days moving average) and is increasing.
(b) The percentage of persons with unknown infection routes for the last 3 days must be 50% or more.
(c) Patient occupancy rate is 50% or more.
(d) Severe condition bed occupancy rate of 50% or more.

We must be prepared for a long-term battle with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Whether or not this battle can be overcome depends on the awareness and actions of prefectural residents and businesses.

Depending on each person’s actions, the efforts we can achieve so far can send us back to the beginning of our progress. We would like to ask for all prefectural residents for their understanding and cooperation to follow these requests.

Source: The information on this page was supplied directly from the Fukuoka Prefecture Government. The original in Japanese appears here: https://www.pref.fukuoka.lg.jp/contents/covid19emergency-details.html

Fukuoka Prefecture
Published: May 18, 2020 / Last Updated: May 18, 2020