Since the fourth wave of the pandemic began in early July, regional areas such as Changwon have reported steady increases in confirmed cases of Covid-19 infections.
As of Monday, August 22, there were 21 new cases of infection, bringing the total number of infected cases to 2,408.
The city government had imposed Level 4 social distancing measures from August 6 to August 16, and this was extended effective August 17 until the 29th of the same month.
This announcement came following a big cluster infection related to Nam Changwon Nonghyup Mart, a wholesale supermarket located in Gaeum-dong.
The number of confirmed cases related to Nonghyup Mart increased to 68 until the 17th after the first infected person appeared on the 2nd. As a result, 20,000 people, mainly Changwon citizens who used the mart, had to be tested. The city government will hold the Nam Changwon Nonghyup Mart legally responsible for violating social distancing rules and causing more group infections by allegedly hiding corona virus infections among its employees.
In response to the increasing number of infected cases, the city opened several mobile testing centers in the following locations: Changwon Mannam Plaza, Masan Train Station Square, Nae-seo Municipal Stadium, and at the park near the migrant center in Palyong-dong.
This mobile swab testing unit was open on a Friday and weekend from 2pm to 6pm to cater to migrant workers who are only available on the weekend. Most migrant workers work six days a week, from Mondays to Saturdays, and take have a day-off on Sundays.
This service was completely free of charge, and many foreigners were glad that they could be tested for corona virus without any hassle.
So what does Level 4 social distancing mean? This means that private gatherings of more than four people are banned. After 6pm, private gatherings are limited to 2 people, even for the fully vaccinated.
All demonstrations and rallies are banned, except for single-person demonstrations.
Sports facilities such as gyms and fitness centers are closed at 10pm, and people who use the facilities are required to wear a mask at all times. Sports events will run without spectators. Playgrounds are temporary off limits.
Schools and learning centers will have online classes only. Private academies are open until 10pm and can only accommodate one person per 6 square meters of space.
Churches are closed and religious events have to be held online. Weddings and funerals are strictly limited to family members only, with a maximum cap of 49 people.
Businesses must have 30% of their staff work from home.
Restaurants and cafes must follow a strict social distancing guideline and can operate until 9pm. After 9pm, only take-outs and delivery are allowed.
Covid-19 vaccinations have started to roll out in the city. Following inoculation periods according to age groups, notifications are given to all citizens and foreigners, even those without the National Korean Health Insurance. For more information on vaccines, you may visit the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency at www.kdca.go.kr
Changwon citizens are urged to comply with the Level 4 social distancing rules. Despite the seemingly stern preventive measures, it is always better to be safe than be sorry.
Always wear a mask and follow the social distancing rules.
Stay safe, everyone!