COVID-19 Protocol

PROTOCOLS FOR VISITING THE SOLTIS CENTER DURING COVID-19 (September 2020)


1.   Contact Information
•  Person: Dr. Eugenio Gonzalez
•  Organization Name: Soltis Center for Research and Education
•  Email Address: egonzalez.soltis.center[at]tamu.edu

2.  Where do we obtain COVID-19 protocols for The Soltis Center?
In Costa Rica, the only accepted and official protocols are those issue by the Ministry of Public Health   (https://www.ministeriodesalud.go.cr/index.php/centro-de-prensa/noticias/741-noticias-2020/1725-situacion-nacional-covid-19) and the Social Security System (https://www.ccss.sa.cr/web/coronavirus/).

3.  Type and number of medical facilities are available in the program locations? Do they test and treat patients suspected of having COVID-19? Are they accessible for routine care?
Since we in a remote area away from main cities, the main hospital is located in Ciudad Quesada, some 40 minutes away from the Soltis Center. They do test for COVID-19; however, not available for routine case. Private hospitals in the same city provide routine care assistance. As a country, there are public hospitals mostly located in the great metropolitan area of San Jose. Also, more than 10 private hospitals in the same area provide services to patients suffering COVID-19. All of those hospitals are about three hours driving from the Center.

4.  Is there a national health care system? can international visitors use its services for COVID-19 tests and treatment? What are the costs associated with COVID-19 tests for visitors?
The national care system also treats international visitors, but there is an insurance that must be either bought locally or ask the international insurance providers if COVID is treated when abroad. The cost ranges from $275 to $965 for those 70 or older. This what the government offers, but international insurances covering for COVID 19 are also accepted.

5.  Please describe general COVID-19 specific risk management protocols.
a. NO body with COVID-19 at the moment of visiting the Center is accepted.

b. If while at the Center shows symptoms related to those of COVID-19, will be put in quarantine and encourage to visit 
the local hospitals or doctors.

c. If visitors have been in contact with someone with COVID-19, must prove he or she is not carrying the virus through a medical test prior to arrive the Center.

d. Upon arrival to the Center, social distance is required, and everyone must wash hands, apply alcohol in the hands, test for temperature and blood oxygen saturation. If body temperature or blood oxygen saturation exceeds the standards, the visitor is encourage to see a doctor. Every time visitors arrive even from a local trip; the same protocols are enforced.

e. Social distancing is encouraged and enforced when necessary. For instance, in the classroom, minimum distance is 1.8  meters among each, in the cafeteria, only 4 people per table.

f.  Face mask is mandatory when staying at the Center facilities.

g. Only two people per dorm is allowed.

6.  Current entry requirements for U.S. travelers:
For any international visitor, protocols are required and enforced by local health authorities, and here is a link of what is official for Costa Rica. https://www.visitcostarica.com/en/costa-rica/planning-your-trip/entry-requirements

7.  State of transportation in all the locations the program will visit (e.g., is public transportation safe for groups or individual use)? Is private transportation recommended and, if so, is it available to students?
All programs visiting the Soltis Center are encouraged to use private transportation. The Center has always facilitated the local transportation through a private company. We strongly recommend using private transportation services.

8.  Policies or protocols in place to monitor or limit student’s free-time and independent travel.

a) The program leader or faculty must provide before arrival what type of group activities are planned for the students, being during free time or in academic activities.
b) Small group activities (5 to 6 students) are recommended.
c) Crowds in closed facilities (i.e. classrooms) are not to exceed 20 people max.

 

9.  COVID-19 housing protocols.
a) Only two people per dorm is allowed.
b) Each dorm has a bathroom, so it will be 2 people/bathroom.
c) No overnight stays or long visits or interactions are recommended with local families yet.
d) WiFi internet is available all over the facilities and can be used for remote classes anytime.
e) Dorms and common areas are sanitized every day or upon request if necessary more than once a day.

10.  Set-up of group and/or individual meals
•  Meals at the Center are offered buffet style, this is each individual pick up a plate and pick up what is going to eat.
•  No direct interaction with cooks or waiters. Among individual, social distancing is enforced.
•  After self-service, only four people are allowed by table.
•  Employees are to follow the same protocols every day upon arrival (wash hands, alcohol disinfection, temperature, oxygen saturation) and are asked if having some COVID-19 related symptoms in the last hours or prior showing up to work.
•  Interaction with visitors in minimum. Face mask is mandatory for all.

11.  Classrooms, and social distancing recommendations.
Tables and chairs as set up in such way social distancing is kept.

12.  Virtual activities or programming? If so, can you switch a program to a virtual format if it cannot continue in person  because of COVID-19?
Since we are more a service or facilitator Center, we do not offer specific activities unless requested by the faculty leader. The academic/educational portion of the program is full responsibility of the faculty, and we help and provide all the local logistic for them to accomplish their objectives and goals.
 

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