By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The Sipalay City Tourism Office in Negros Occidental has advised resort owners to discourage group bookings, except family reservations, following the continued spike in new COVID-19 cases in the province.
Sipalay City Tourism Officer Jerrick Lacson said the measure was put in place by the local Inter-Agency Task Force in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and for easy contact tracing and containment of a group of persons if one of them tested positive.
Lacson said they are having difficulty in contact tracing if a group that books a resort is composed of friends or workmates.
June is considered a low season month and only 25 to 30 percent of the resorts are booked.
Normally, every end of school year for college and postgraduate schools, there were a lot of group bookings in the Sipalay resorts but, for this year, they have not observed any increase as to bookings. Most of the universities and colleges ended their school year in the first week of June.
Lacson added that several city hall employees are under isolation pending the release of their swab results.
He said 14 members of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office were infected with the virus, and emergency cases are being responded to by the respective barangay emergency response teams.
Sipalay logged 16 new COVID-29 cases, bringing to 44 the active infections in the city as of June 13.
Total cumulative cases, meanwhile, reached 539, with 482 recoveries and 13 deaths./DGB, WDJ