Nosara, COVID-19

Increase in COVID-19 cases in Nosara led to reinforcing staff in the district’s Ebais clinic

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Nosara reported 32 active COVID-19 cases as of September 17, according to official statistics from the Ministry of Health. It is the district with the second highest number of patients with the virus in the entire canton, after Nicoya center.

Given the increase in testing, the Ministry of Health reinforced the Nosara Ebais clinic with personnel from other health centers in Nicoya for medical care focused on COVID. The head of the Nosara Ebais, Dr. Natalia Ulate, confirmed this to The Voice of Guanacaste.

“The Ministry of Health is sending us personnel from all the Ebais in Nicoya to take care of patients with respiratory symptoms and also to do tests. Without them, we simply wouldn’t have enough to get by,” the doctor stated.

Ulate emphasized that the Ebais’ medical team is not overloaded at the moment and that they continue to treat other types of illnesses as normal. The scenario may worsen, she warned, if the district continues to experience a significant increase in COVID cases.

The doctor also assured us that people infected by the virus in Nosara aren’t reporting that their conditions are worsening and they are quarantining in their homes.

According to data from the Ministry of Health, the district’s statistics have grown significantly since August 14, when Nosara went from a total of 3 cases to 6. Since then, the district reports an average of one new case per day.

At that time, local health authorities attributed the increase in the number of cases to people having parties and doing construction work in the area.

The scenario remains the same, according to the president of the Nosara Integral Development Association (ADIN) and head of the Nosara Emergency Committee, Marco Avila.

For this reason, ADIN is carrying out a campaign using loudspeaker cars to remind the community to avoid bursting their social bubbles and getting together in large groups.

“We are saying that even though the measures have been lifted now, citizens need to continue following the measures and going out only when necessary. We can’t continue like this,” Avila said.

The Central American Population Center of the University of Costa Rica (UCR) ranked the entire canton of Nicoya as one of the populations in the country with the greatest tendency to spread infection.

The institution called this data a “baby shower index,” explaining that the calculation estimates the probability that there is someone with an active COVID-19 case that could infect some or all of the participants in a meeting of 20 people, such as a baby shower or a party.

The baby shower index for Nicoya is greater than 10%, the canton with the fifteenth highest rate nationwide. That means that if there is a gathering of 20 people in Nicoya right now, there is a 10% probability that someone COVID positive will go and infect others who are there.

The study also indicates that in recent weeks, populations in coastal areas are among the most vulnerable to getting sick with COVID-19.

Nosara Ebais Methodology Changed

Dr. Ulate said that, previously, if patients with COVID symptoms went to the Ebais, they were evaluated and sent home with an appointment for Health Area personnel to go to their home.

Given the increase in cases, they had to change the methodology. Patients who need to be tested have to go to the health center on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday during the first couple of hours of the day, when all the reinforcements sent by the Ministry of Health will be waiting for them.

“We use this schedule because they are the days that the van from the Health Area normally comes. In this way, we send all the tests for their respective analysis the same day,” explained Ulate.

The new protocol indicates that if a patient arrives with flu-like symptoms on a day when they are not doing testing, the doctor in charge can only take their information and schedule an appointment to perform the test.

The doctor recommended continuing to take all the health measures recommended by the Ministry of Health and avoiding going out when unnecessary.