Photo courtesy of Ilocos Norte provincial government (file)

LAOAG CITY, Ilocos Norte — The provinces of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan, and Dagupan City in the Ilocos Region will be placed under COVID-19 Alert Level 1, the lowest in the five-tier alert level system, from March 1 to 15, according to Malacañang.

These areas were placed under COVID-19 Alert Level 3 after experiencing a spike in cases last January, which were attributed to the Omicron variant. They were downgraded to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 on February 14 as COVID-19 cases in the region slowed down.

The region logged a daily average of 944 COVID-19 cases during the first weeks of January, according to the data from the Department of Health (DOH) in Ilocos.

Although COVID-19 cases continue to drop, the regional DOH earlier reminded the public not to be complacent in following standard safety protocols.

Under the “new normal” status, all ages are allowed to move around, subject to the guidelines released by the local government units.

All establishments or activities including dining in restaurants, barbershops, beauty salons, nail and hair spas, as well as religious gathering, government offices, among others, are allowed to be fully operational at full on-site venue capacity.

Minimum public health standards are needed to be followed including the face mask mandate, according to the guidelines set by the national Inter-Agency Task Force.

Since the pandemic broke out in 2020, Ilocos region had logged at least 115,747 COVID-19 cases, of which 1,202 remain active as of Sunday.

/MUF

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