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Health, Travel Safety and Infrastructure Upgrades in Sayulita

Last Updated:
 

SayulitaLife.com created this page to help travelers educate themselves on any current information regarding health, travel safety, and infrastructure upgrades in Sayulita. Below, you will also find a detailed update on seasonal illnesses such as the Coronavirus, Norovirus, and Rotavirus.

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE
Sayulita Businesses that deliver during Coronavirus times

Sayulita Cuida / Sayulita Cares Donations raising money for a food bank and food delivery system for Sayulita and San Igancio's most vulnerable during the Coronavirus pandemic. 

Per a statement issued by the government of the State of Nayarit on March 25th, 2020, strict preventative measures will be enforced effectively immediately until further notice to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (which has now entered into phase 2). This includes restrictions to carry out tourist activities and restricting beach access throughout the state. They ask that all who intend on traveling to the state of Nayarit reschedule for future dates. 

To keep up to date with Mexican case numbers, you can download a daily news brief about both the number of cases as well as their location in Mexico -- in addition to information about global trends -- at Mexico’s Secretaria de Salud’s website. The most recent and accurate updates on Travel Advisories and Situational Reports for locations around the world can be found at the WHO and CDC websites.

To help share facts and not fear, you can share updates to the WHO’s Mythbusters page, plus download and share PDF copies of the CDC’s Know The Facts Factsheet.

For more information on where you can be tested for the Coronavirus in Jalisco and Nayarit, please see: Riviera Nayarit Recommendations Regarding Coronavirus. The most recent stats on the virus by country can be found at the Worldometer Coronavirus website. 

We'll keep on top of changing conditions, so please refer back to this page frequently.

NOROVIRUS UPDATE
As of today's date, there have been NO REPORTED CASES OF NORO-LIKE ILLNESS IN SAYULITA SINCE MAY, 2019. Over the past few years, there were a significant number of people, especially groups, who fell ill while on vacation during winter months in Sayulita. It is important to note there was no source found for the illness, and there was no doctor-diagnosed correlation between swimming and the viral illness.

The following information has been gathered from multiple sources and we hope it will help visitors to stay informed, enjoy their vacation and avoid getting sick.

Most winters we see an influx of norovirus cases, typically between the months of November and April. This coincides with the flu and virus season in the US, Canada and other parts of the world. Norovirus is not a Sayulita-specific illness, you can get it anywhere: in schools, daycares, elder care facilities, on cruise ships, etc. In fact, The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) reports on average, 20 million Americans contract the Norovirus each year. There is a lot of speculation, but nobody knows why the Norovirus is occurring in the winter months and does not seem to be an issue in the summer, even though Sayulita's summer tourism level is now at an all-time high.

Facts to Note About the Norovirus
The Norovirus (also called the stomach vomiting bug), is highly contagious and is often misdiagnosed as food poisoning. In addition to person-to-person spread, it can survive on hard surfaces for weeks and up to twelve days on contaminated fabrics. Sixty-one percent of cases are transmitted by touching an infected surface. It can be resistant to hand sanitizer and people can still be contagious and spread the Norovirus for up to three days after their symptoms subside, and in some cases up to two weeks. See this Factsheet from LA County for more information. Please note that this is a virus, and there is NO treatment for it other than rest and fluids. Antibiotics cannot cure ANY virus.

NOTE: If you are sick with vomiting and or diarrhea for 24-48 hours it is likely Norovirus. If your symptoms last longer than three days, please make sure that you see a doctor.

ROTAVIRUS UPDATE
In the past, there have been a small number of doctor-diagnosed cases of Rotavirus in Sayulita. Rotavirus is most common in infants and children, and although adults can also get sick, they usually have milder symptoms. There is an immunization available for children for the Rotavirus. Information on the Rotavirus can be found on the CDC website. As with the Norovirus, preventing the Rotavirus starts with frequent handwashing with soap and water. As with the Norovirus, there is no treatment for the Rotavirus. Antibiotics do NOT help cure ANY viral infection. Get plenty of rest, drink enough fluids, and see a doctor if your symptoms persist or you are unable to stay hydrated.
 

UPGRADES TO SAYULITA'S WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT + EMISSOR


The upgrades to Sayulita's wastewater treatment plant and emissor project were completed in April, 2019. Water quality continues to be great, and far below the limits set for safe swimming. There is NO untreated sewage entering the riverbed, the beach or the ocean.
Sayulita's new Wastewater treatment plant and emissor pipe is complete and operationalOn April 11, 2019, the new emissor pipe was successfully installed and the newly upgraded wastewater treatment plant is online and everything is fully-functioning. The Governor of Nayarit, the President of Bahia de Banderas, and the Director of the CEA (Nayarit's potable water authority) toured the plant and inaugurated the new facility. The treatment capacity has greatly improved and the latest water quality tests performed by the Nayarit (state) government already show vast improvement. 10-20 PPM / 100 ML. You can read about the water quality in this article from the Health Secretary of Nayarit (en Español - Google Translate works well to get an English version); and you can get the complete story on all the updates in English from this El Sayulero article from April 17, 2019. 


 

power washing Sayulita streetsSTREET CLEANING

As of March 23, 2019, in the continued efforts to prevent the spread of illness in Sayulita, ProSayulita is power washing the streets with chlorinated water. Please donate if you are able. This project is privately-funded and its success depends on support from the community. NOTE: SAYULITA'S STREETS WILL AGAIN BE POWER WASHED WITH CHLORINATED WATER DURING THE 2020 HIGH SEASON.

 

 

RAISING AWARENESS + REDOUBLING CLEANING EFFORTS
The entire town of Sayulita has worked incredibly diligently to work to raise awareness of proper cleaning methods for restaurants, bars, vacation rentals, businesses, etc. Laminated flyers provide instructions on how to mix the proper strength bleach solution required to kill the Norovirus and other seasonal germs. These flyers are FREE for every Sayulita business or vacation rental.

Norovirus flyer for vacation rental owners

If you'd like to view or download any of the information kits, please click on the relevant link below: 

English version for Vacation Rental cleaning staff
Spanish version for Vacation Rental cleaning staff

English version for Business Owners
Spanish version for Business Owners

HOW TO AVOID ILLNESS + WHAT TO DO IF SOMEONE IN YOUR TRAVEL PARTY FALLS ILL

  • Wash hands with soap and water each time you use the bathroom, after every diaper change, before eating and preparing food, and immediately upon returning to your rental after being out and about, touching things in town.
     
  • Please do NOT rely on hand sanitizer. Norovirus can be resistant to hand sanitizer, so soap and water is still your best bet for hand sanitizing.
     
  • Microdyn (an iodine-based product with added colloidal silver, is available at all grocery stores in Sayulita), should always be used to soak fruits and vegetables before eating. Thoroughly cook all shellfish. NOTE: Freezing does not kill all viruses; in order for viruses to be destroyed, foods must be cooked to 140 degrees Fahrenheit  (60 degrees Celsius). 
     
  • Wipe down high-touch surfaces with a bleach solution (for example, toilet and faucet handles, light switches, doorknobs, stair rails, etc.).
     
  • Isolate the sick person, even when feeling better, as people can still be contagious and should not prepare food for others.
     
  • Notify the Property Manager or Housekeeping Staff if you need new linens. If your rental does not have a washer and dryer for guest use, clothing can be washed at various laundromats in Sayulita.
     
  • If someone in your travel or vacation party falls ill, please notify the Property Manager (or homeowner), so they can alert the Housekeeping Staff to take extra precautions when cleaning.
     

SEWER INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECT

The exponential growth in tourism was too much for Sayulita's delicate and out of date infrastructure. The Mexican government tests the water in the bay quarterly and publishes the results. Please note the parts per million of contaminants allowed may differ than that in your home country. In Mexico, the water is deemed safe for swimming if the PPM is under 200. None of the water quality tests went over this number, however, they sometimes got quite close before the treatment plant was upgraded. The government website is of course, in Spanish, and can be a bit difficult to navigate, but past test results can be found here.

Phase one began in October, 2017 and replaced the main sewer line beneath the street all the way to the treatment plant. The sewer line was buried and encased in concrete at the seasonal river crossing. Phase two followed, which upgraded and completely overhauled the wastewater treatment plant and doubled the capacity. Phase three was successfully completed in April, 2019, and included the installation of an emissor pipe that carries the treated wastewater (NOT raw sewage) 2.3 km into the deep ocean water. Environmental impact studies were completed before the project began and this was found to be the best solution. Coastal cities around the world deal with treated wastewater using this method. Immediately after these upgrades were completed, the Nayarit Secretary of Health tested the water and the results successfully came back at at 10-20 PPM -- the lowest they have been in a long time. Please reference article here.

Now that the emissor pipe is installed, local volunteers are working with experts to develop and implement a plan that will restore native plants to this area, in order to return the natural estuary to its former condition (or better), and allow both the bird and wildlife species that used the area to return as well. You can read about the entire project and all the phases in this El Sayulero article from March, 2019.
 

SAFETY + TRAVEL WARNINGS
The US and Canadian governments release warnings for various countries or locales when they determine there could be significant risks in the area for travelers. The Puerto Vallarta airport is located in the state of Jalisco. However, please note that if you see Jalisco on a travel advisory, it is highly likely the warnings stem from activity in non-tourist areas of the state. There have been no current problems in Puerto Vallarta that affect tourists. As you leave Puerto Vallarta, you will cross the state line into Nayarit, where Sayulita is located. There have been no reports of violence or cartel activity, and it is safe to travel from Puerto Vallarta to Sayulita by taxi, bus, and private car.

You can find travel advisories for Mexico from the US Department of State here. Please note that as mentioned, the state of Jalisco has a level-three advisory, yet the government adds this statement: "There are no restrictions on travel for U.S government employees to Guadalajara Metropolitan Area, Riviera Nayarit (including Puerto Vallarta), Chapala, and Ajijic. Canadian citizens can find Mexico travel warnings here.