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Published Friday, July 3, 2020 

Orange Alert expands to more
regions with covid-19 peak

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Faced with an increase in cases of covid-19 infections, mainly in the central region of the country, and after an epidemiological analysis, authorities expanded the Orange Alert to more areas. The extension of the Orange Alert is the measure of containment of the virus that has spread in the country.

The rapid increase of infections motivates the Minister of Health Daniel Salas to declare community transmission in the Greater Metropolitan Area.

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.

The Greater Metropolitan Area, or GAM by its acronym in Spanish, includes the cities of San José, Alajuela, Heredia, Cartago and towns in its peripheries.

The declaration arises due to the impossibility of a full follow-up to every single case registered in the GAM.

This alert resulted in a mandatory order for usage of face masks for every person that works attending the public throughout the country.

The following is a list of every area declared in Alert Orange:

San José Province: San José downtown, Curridabat, Montes de Oca, Moravia, Tibás, Goicoechea, Aserrí, Escazú, Desamparados, Alajuelita and Puriscal.

Alajuela Province: Alajuela downtown, San Ramón, Palmares, Grecia, Upala, Guatuso, Los Chiles, southeast sector of the Fortuna de San Carlos District (communities of Tres Esquinas, Los Ángeles, Sonafluca, La Perla, San Isidro, El Tanque, San Jorge, Santa Cecilia). Communities of La Vega and Bonanza in the district of Florencia of San Carlos.

Heredia Province: Heredia downtown, Santo Domingo, Barva.

Puntarenas Province: Puntarenas downtown and Corredores. Except for the districts of Cobano, Lepanto, Monteverde, Isla Chira, Isla Caballo, Isla San Lucas, Isla del Coco and Isla Venado.

Cartago Province: The Union.

Guanacaste Province: Bagaces.

Limón Province: Pococí.

Businesses located under declared Orange Alert must comply with mandated work hours. During the business week, from Monday to Friday, customers will be able to attend commercial activities from 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Places of worship, public parks, bars and events of mass concentration will not be able to continue with their operations- all are closed until further notice.

Hotels will be able to work all week, from Monday to Sunday, as long as they only serve 50% of the maximum capacity of guests.

On weekends, Saturday and Sunday, only the following businesses can attend customers: supermarkets, pharmacies, medical centers, grocery stores, suppliers, bakeries, butchers, fruit markets, home services, agricultural supplies, veterinarians, banks, funeral homes, hardware stores, vehicle repair garages and gas stations.

Also on weekends the following are not allowed to open for business: restaurants, beauty salons, shops, cinemas, theaters and museums, places of worship, public parks, bars and events of mass concentration.

The farmer's fairs, known as Feria del Agricultor, will remain open, offering a special elderly- only schedule from 5:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

Yellow Alert

For the rest of the country, the Yellow Alert remains in effect. This alert allows for the continuation of phase 3 in reopening.

Daily business hours are from 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Places of worship can have a maximum capacity of 75 people. Beach access is only from 5:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Hotels can only attend a maximum of 50% of allotted guests.

On weekends, Saturday and Sunday, restaurants, shops, museums, cinemas and theaters can attend customers.

However, access to public parks, bars and events of mass concentration continue to be closed.

Ban on driving

In regions with an Orange Alert, the ban on driving applies only at night from Monday to Sunday, between the hours of 7:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. of the next day.

The regulations for vehicles on the roads are as follows, from Monday to Friday, only vehicles with the last number on the license plates are not allowed that day:

Monday: 1 and 2

Tuesday: 3 and 4

Wednesday: 5 and 6

Thursday: 7 and 8

Friday: 9 and 0

On Saturdays and Sundays, the ban on driving is from 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. After 7:00 p.m., the ban on driving applies to all vehicles. The last number of plate prohibition rule applies as follows:

Saturday: 0, 2, 4, 6 and 8

Sunday: 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9

Border zone communities differ with their driving rules.

The ban on driving is kept stricter in some areas on the Nicaraguan border. The restrictions apply from Monday to Sunday from 5:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. in the following areas: La Cruz, Upala, Guatuso and Los Chiles.

The ban also includes:

In San Carlos, the rule applies in the districts: Aguas Zarcas, Cutris, Pital, Pocosol and Venecia, Tres Esquinas, Los Ángeles, Sonafluca, La Perla, San Isidro, El Tanque, San Jorge, Santa Cecilia, La Vega and Bonanza.

Canton of Río Cuarto

Districts of Llanuras de Gaspar and Curuña of the canton of Sarapiquí

Districts of Pacuarito and Reventazón of the canton of Siquirres

Districts of La Rita, Roxana, Cariari and Colorado in the canton of Pococí.

Duacarí district of Guácimo canton

Canton of Corredores

Sabalito and Agua Buena districts of the Coto Brus Canton.

The ban on access to water navigation continues, Monday to Sunday from 5:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m., in the following rivers: Medio Queso, Frio, Tortuguero, Colorado, Sarapiquí and San Carlos.

On Thursday, the Ministry of Health provided the following statistics of the status of the virus in the country:

270 new cases of patients infected with covid-19, bringing the total to 2,417 active cases.

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

• 1,175 foreigners are or have been infected of the 4,023 cases since March. That is approximately 29% of the total cases.

• 60 patients are being treated in public hospitals, where 54 are in recovery rooms and 6 are in an ICU, with delicate health conditions. Most of the infected patients are quarantined in their homes.

• 1,586 coronavirus patients have fully recovered, a 39% of the total of cases.

• 30,709 people have been ruled out.

• 43,865 medical covid-19 tests have been made.

• 18 deaths have been reported from patients infected with covid-19 since March, nine women and nine 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 Thursday night, the pandemic has killed 521,298 patients worldwide, according to recent statistics reported by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.


Should the authorities declare Orange Alert in all Cantons of the borderlines with Nicaragua and Panama?      We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to

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