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Published Wednesday, July 8, 2020 

Mass covid-19 diagnoses continue
in Orange Alert zones

By the  A.M. Costa Rica staff

Specialists are developing a mass covid-19 testing for areas declared in Orange Alert.

This week, 1,850 tests will be applied to people who live and work in the Alajuelita Canton, located in San José Province.

The team of 100 specialists in charge of the tests are visiting 23 of the 111 communities in that canton, Social Security said. And escorted by 15 police officers.

According to Social Security, testing will be carried out on people over the age of five who live in communities such as: Chorotega, Corina Rodríguez, Los Pinos, Alajuelita Centro, La Guápil, San Felipe, Tejarcillos, San Josecito, Juan Rafael Mora, Vista Real, San Felipe 1, Calle Alto Parte Este, Concepción Arriba, El Tejar, Las Vegas, Piedras de Fuego, Cochea, Antolina, Calle Vieja al Colegio, Los Almendros, Riveras del Río, Ocho de Diciembre and Avenida Seis.

A two block radius was established in each neighborhood where tests will be conducted.

In each house, the sample will be applied to an asymptomatic person. But if a person with symptoms of covid-19 is identified, the sample will be applied to them first.

If people with covid-19 symptoms are detected and are not within the areas established in this study, they will get an order to go to the Alajuelita Social Security clinic.

This is the second operation of mass testing for covid-19 that Social Security has carried out since the beginning of the pandemic.

Last week, community transmission in Pavas District was ruled out, after Social Security carried out a massive diagnostic testing in that zone.

An investigation, conducted by specialists from the Ministry of Health and Social Security, for the detection of covid-19 in the zone resulted in negative.

Community transmission is when there is no clear source of origin of the infection in a new community. It happens when experts can no longer identify who became infected after being exposed to someone who interacted with people from the originally infected communities.

According to the data provided by Minister of Health Daniel Salas, 1,201 diagnostic tests were conducted and of these only 4.5% were positive- 54 people tested positive for covid-19, 27 men and 27 women.

Of the people tested, 1,052 were tested inside their homes or workplaces, and 149 came to the health post to request the test.

"A community broadcast occurs when there is a positive result of 10% -15%," Salas said. "In this case, we are clear that there have been some local transmissions, but they have not maintained chains of community transmission."

The special four-day sanitary operation in Pavas was carried out in communities and companies in the area where no cases had been reported.

The next special health operation will take place in the communities of  La Carpio District in the San José Province.

The mass covid-19 diagnostic testing by Social Security and the Ministry of Health is due to the fast increase of infections in the country.

On Tuesday, the ministry provided the following statistics of the status of the virus in the country:

245 new cases of patients infected with covid-19, bringing the total to 3,653 active cases.

• The ages of infected patients range from a three-month-old baby to a 96-year-old person.

• 1,603 foreigners have been infected of the 5,486 cases since March, approximately 29% of the total cases.

• 107 patients are being treated in public hospitals, where 96 patients are in recovery rooms and 11 are in an ICU, with delicate health conditions. Most of the infected patients are quarantined in their homes.

• 1,810 coronavirus patients have fully recovered, which is a 33% recovery rate.

• 33,596 people have been ruled out.

• 49,717 medical covid-19 tests have been made.

• 23 deaths have been reported from patients infected with covid-19 since March, 10 women and 13 men.

The updated number of total patients in each district can be reached at the National Distance Education University on its
Covid-19 Map.

As of Tuesday night, the pandemic has killed 543,558 patients worldwide, according to recent statistics reported by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.

How else should authorities tackle massive isolated covid-19 outbreaks in the country? We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to

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