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Published Tuesday, July 14, 2020 

Massive testing in Alajuelita results
in 40 positive cases of covid-19

By the  A.M. Costa Rica staff

On Monday, Social Security authorities released the results of the second massive test for the detection of covid-19 in the country.

The massive covid testing was carried out in Alajuelita District in San José Province last week.

Out of 1,500 tests, 40 people infected with the virus were detected. There were 159 tests that have not been successful, and the rest of the 1,201 tests were negative.

According to Román Macaya, president of Social Security, of the total of people who underwent the covid diagnostic test, 1,286 of them were asymptomatic. That means that they had no symptoms related to the virus at the time of the medical test. However, 62 did present symptoms similar to possible covid-19, when the test was explained.

Other data provided by Social Security regarding the results of the massive test are that:

• All the people attended were symptomatic and over 5 years old.

• Of the 40 positive cases, 18 are women and 22 men.

• Of the total positive cases, 11 people did not work and the other 29 are people who reported as workers.

• Of the 40 infected people, 10 are between the ages of 20 and 29.

• The communities where the most positive cases were detected were in Los Pinos, Juan Rafael Mora, Corina Rodríguez and San Josecito.

"Young people tend to be the population with the fewest health complications from covid-19, but that does not mean that they are not going to infect other loved ones such as parents, grandparents or uncles or people with risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity, smoking," said Macaya.

The team of 100 specialists were in charge of the tests, visiting 23 of the 111 communities in that canton. They were escorted by 15 police officers.

According to Social Security, testing was carried out on people who live in the following communities: 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 were conducted. In each house, the sample was applied to an asymptomatic person. But, if a person with symptoms of covid-19 was identified, the sample was first applied to them.

If people with covid-19 symptoms were detected outside of the established perimeter , they would receive an order to be attended at the Alajuelita Social Security clinic.

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

The first massive test operation was held in Pavas District.

According to Social Security as a result of the operation, the community transmission in Pavas District was ruled out.

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 percent," 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 success of the mass testing operation has led the government to push for a third one.

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.

As of Monday afternoon, the ministry provided the following statistics of the status of the virus in the country:

 • 440 new cases of patients infected with covid-19, bringing the total to 5,701 active cases.

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

 • 2,370 foreigners have been infected of the 8,036 cases since March, approximately 29% of the total cases.

 • 161 patients are being treated in public hospitals, where 131 patients are in recovery rooms and 30 are in Intensive Care Units, ICU, with delicate health conditions. Most of the infected patients are quarantined in their homes.

 • 2,304 coronavirus patients have fully recovered, which is a 29% recovery rate.

 • 41,529 people have been ruled out.

 • 59,749 medical covid-19 tests have been made.

 • 34 deaths of patients infected with covid-19 since March. Of these eight were foreigners, one person whose nationality is not yet identified and 25 Costa Ricans. Of the total of deaths, 13 were women and 21 men.

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

As of Monday night, the pandemic has killed 571,840 patients worldwide, according to recent statistics reported by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.

Where else should authorities develop a massive covid-19 diagnostics test in the country?  We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to

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