Nicoya, COVID-19

First confirmed case of Covid-19 in Nicoya is an official at La Anexión Hospital

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The first person confirmed with COVID-19 in Nicoya is an employee at La Anexion Hospital. This was confirmed to The Voice of Guanacaste by the medical center’s director, Anner Angulo, who also explained that the employee is isolated at home and in good health.

According to Angulo, the employee returned to the country on Sunday, March 8 through the Juan Santamaria Airport, after being in the United States. Last week, he called in sick due to a cold but went to a medical consultation at the hospital on Thursday and had contact with workers at the medical center.

The director indicated that all personnel who were in contact with this employee are not at the hospital, and the hospital’s epidemiological surveillance commission is already analyzing the condition of each of them and performing tests if they show symptoms.

All direct contacts with the case were sent home with a health order. The health order is that they must be under house arrest [meaning they cannot go out]. They must be at home, hopefully in their room, and they must not have contact with elderly, obese, diabetic or hypertensive patients,” Angulo specified.

Angulo said that at this time, he does not have data on how many personnel there are or the contacts that employee had since he arrived. “The hospital’s epidemiological surveillance commission is managing how many contacts there are but I don’t have the information.”

As a result of the confirmed case, La Anexión Hospital is canceling all outpatient appointments, surgeries, mammograms, X-rays and laboratory tests this week (Monday, March 16 to Friday, March 20). The medical center’s staff are contacting everyone with appointments to reschedule them, but the doctor emphasized that the patients themselves can call the hospital to reschedule at 2685-5066.

In addition, visiting hours this week will be from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Each hospitalized patient that requires accompaniment can only have one specific person with them; in other words, no changes can be made in who the companion is.

The doctor repearted the importance of going to the emergency room only if the situation really warrants it. “We can all contribute to decreasing the virus’s transmissibility and lowering this curve that is rising,” said the doctor. “Let’s pay attention to handwashing and sneezing and coughing protocols. Let’s avoid physical contact and going to gathering places.”