The Ministry of Health updated this Friday the “General guidelines for home isolation for Costa Ricans, residents and diplomats who enter the country due to the health alert for Coronavirus (COVID-19)” and eliminated the exit permit to buy food or medications.
The more than 3,000 people so far who have received a health order since arriving in Costa Rica after the closing of the borders on March 18, that allows only Costa Ricans, legal residents and diplomats to enter the country, will only be able to leave their registered isolation location to seek medical attention.
Violating the health order constitutes a crime punishable by 1 to 3 years in prison or a fine of 50 to 200 days, according to article 277 of the Penal Code.
Anyone with knowledge of a health order violation should report it to 911.
In its first guidelines, the Ministry of Health allowed those in isolation to buy medicine or food, with the obligation of wearing a mask and carry alcohol gel.
OBLIGATIONS OF THE PERSON IN QUARANTINE
Nationals, legal residents or diplomats who enter Costa Rica while the borders are closed (to April 12) will be subject to the following obligations
- Availability of a telephone in the home or cell phone, which guarantees permanent communication with health personnel to follow up, coordinate visits, or make care possible in the event that symptoms related to COVID-19 develop.
- Try to ensure that relatives with risk conditions (older adults, with chronic diseases, immunosuppressed, hypertensive, risk conditions due to lung disease) can stay with other relatives in another house, while the person is in isolation
- Frequently touched surfaces (bedside tables, bed frame, bedroom furniture), bathroom and toilet areas should be cleaned with disposable material and disinfected daily with a household disinfectant or alcohol-based solution to a 70% grade.
- Both the person in isolation and their family members must be able to understand and apply correctly and consistently the basic hygiene, prevention and infection control measures found on this website.
- The common areas of the home must be kept well ventilated and hygiene measures must be intensified.
- The quarantined person must remain in a room for individual use. The room should have adequate ventilation direct to the street (ie a window). There should be no recirculated air currents from heating or cooling systems.
- It is recommended in case it has availability, that the person has a bathroom for exclusive use, or failing that, it must be cleaned with chlorine each time it is used by the patient
inside the room a garbage can should be placed, with a pedal opening lid, and a plastic bag that closes hermetically for waste.
- It is recommended to have cleaning utensils for individual use and products for hand hygiene, soap and water will be used, in the event that this is not available, alcohol-based solutions with a degree of 70% can be used.
- Towels and cloths should be changed periodically whenever they are damp, it is recommended to use paper towels for hand drying preferably.
- The person should not leave their place of isolation under any circumstances, except to seek medical attention.
- Learn about handwashing, sneezing, and coughing protocols, not touching your face, and other ways to say hello.
- Stay informed through official media about the situation of COVID-19 in Costa Rica and avoid risky situations that may cause anxiety.
This report was originally published in Spanish at Delfino.cr