Testing update
We (everyone living in Mexico) are still severely limited in testing capacity so government statistics about the virus are not reliable. We are assuming there is considerable community spread. You will see below a private lab that will do testing if you have a prescription. See below about the process of getting tested by local public health authorities. Do not go to private labs for testing. Great possibility they are fake.

The hospitals here are ill prepared for any advanced care if you get pneumonia. The public hospital has no ICU and they transfer patients to Leon. MAC and H+ do each have 3 ICU beds but limited intensivist capacity. MAC is better prepared but all local hospitals are advised to simply stabilize any patient with symptoms of serious COVID19. Our advice is to go to MAC for evaluation and stabilization if you are very ill. There will be an evaluation unit dedicated to likely COVID19 patients. (It is not ready yet.) you will be evaluated and if symptoms are likely COVID19 you will be stabilized and sent via Red Cross to Star Medica in Queretaro (as of right now)

If you are still in the process of deciding whether to stay or go here is some sobering information

Italy, which after China has the most confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths to date, has 3.4 hospital beds per 1,000 people, which has proved woefully insufficient. Mexico, by comparison, has only 1.5 hospital beds per 1,000 people, less than half. Mexico’s public health care system has 3,000 ICU beds in the entire country. The US by comparison has 2.8 beds per 1,000.
Data from the World Bank site

The text below is from the Facebook site COVID-19 SMA that is doing a lot of work to keep the SMA community updated. I highly recommend you join.


We’ve created an algorithm to follow if you are concerned that you may have coronavirus (COVID-19). This information will be updated as the testing requirements in Mexico change.

· Health authorities recommend that if you have symptoms or you have had contact with someone with or suspected of having COVID-19, you SHOULD NOT go to clinics, hospitals, or emergency rooms
· Free testing for San Miguel de Allende is ONLY Performed by Ministry of Health (MOH) trained employees
·There are specific requirements that must be met before MOH government testing can occur.
1. Person of any age that in the last 14 days has presented with fever and or cough, and at least one of the following signs and symptoms: Dyspnea (shortness of breath), Myalgia (muscle aches), Headache, Arthralgia (joint pain), Odynophagia (difficulty swallowing or throat pain) AND
2. Have had known contact with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID 19 OR Have had travel in the past 14 days to an area with a known COVID-19 outbreak

If your health is stable and you meet the criteria
2. Call the Ministry of Health (MOH)
· San Miguel MOH Dr. Pamela Chao Cell: 415-103-3116
· National MOH 800-004-4800 (only if you cannot reach Dr. Chao)
Dr. Chao will take a medical and epidemiological history and if you meet the MOH COVID-19 testing requirements she will arrange for you to be tested at no cost. They may come to your home (we suggest you ask), or you may need to go to one of the government clinics. She will provide you with the available options.
· MOH testing results are currently 24-48 hours after the swab.
3. Call your doctor for symptom management (DO NOT go to office)
4. Monitor for worsening symptoms

If your health is unstable or it is an emergency
1. DO NOT go directly to the hospital or doctor’s office
2. Call for a Red Cross Ambulance 415-152-1616, 415-152-4121 OR
3. Dial 911
*** Advise either that you suspect COVID 19

There is a private lab that has begun COVID 19 testing:
Bimodi Labs
Av. De Las Torres 121, Edificio 3, 2º Piso, Galindas, Queretaro

1. Requires a prescription (Please DO NOT go to doctor for prescription. Call and arrange for neighbor or friend to pick up) or phone/fax prescription from doctor
2. Call them first to advise them that you are coming and that you suspect COVID-19
3. Cost is 3000 pesos
4. Results in 24 hours

You can call Sue at 415 103 3952 or Deborah 415 115 7815 anytime and we can help you make the decisions you need to make. We may need to stop seeing clients in person soon. Those that don’t know how to use visual phone technology let us know as soon as possible. We are exploring the possibility of identifying a technician willing to assist you in learning or setting up some of the simple ways you can do this via Skype, Zoom, Facetime or WhatsApp.