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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Surging infection rates in Yucatán fuel rumors on social media

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
Today, health authorities are expected to provide an update on whether or not Yucatán will be changing its status on Mexico’s epidemiological traffic light system. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht.

A dramatic increase in the amount of new COVID-19 infections in Yucatán seed rumors and uncertainty.

Authorities are warning the public to ignore unofficial communique’s making the rounds on social media.

Rumors abound regarding a return to red for Yucatán on Mexico’s epidemiological traffic light system, as do false reports stating that the state’s hospital occupancy stands at 98%.

Yucatán’s state government has indeed issued a press release acknowledging a rise in public sector occupancy, but the reported numbers are 51% for Mérida and an average of 19% for all other communities.

Earlier: Yucatán prepares to welcome its first cruise ship in over a year

There has also been much speculation regarding the return of an alcohol ban in Yucatán, which has, in turn, fueled increased sales across the state. 

Cases of beer in packages of 12 or more have become scarce in many parts of Mérida and even show up as out of stock on the websites and apps of several grocery stores.

Screenshot from Walmart’s website showing 12 packs of Indio beer being out of stock.

Business owners have also expressed concern that the recent reinstatement of mobility restrictions could be a prelude to even more drastic measures.

Food and beverage industry representatives say that many businesses won’t be able to withstand any more closures and that if they are forced to close again, this time it will be for good.

Over the last few weeks, the average amount of new cases of the virus has risen to 203 a day, beyond even the highest weekly average recorded over the summer of last year.

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