Published on February 3, 2021

IMAS Is The First State Institution Certified As A "Preventing Work Center Against COVID-19"

  • User population and official of the institution have a guarantee that the sanitary measures and facilities are highly secure. 
  • This seal is the standard of the Costa Rica Work and Take Care strategy.
  • IMAS joined forces with the Joint Program to launch the “COVID-19 Prevention and Mitigation Protocol Implementation Guide” in its 39 offices across the country.


The Mixed Institute of Social Assistance (IMAS) became the first public institution to obtain the certificate "Work Centers Prevented against COVID-19", granted by the Occupational Health Council of the Ministry of Labor and Social Security.

This seal guarantees the user population and civil servants who approach any of the 39 IMAS offices throughout the country, that they enter a high security area.

In the context of the pandemic, the institution joined forces with the Joint Program of the Fund for Sustainable Development Goals, to prepare and publish the "Guide for the implementation of the protocol for prevention and mitigation of COVID-19" in places of IMAS work, promoting a preventive institutional culture and continuous improvement. 

This cooperative effort is aimed at guaranteeing in times of pandemic the continuity of services and social protection programs for the most vulnerable population in the country.

The guide has been a reference and consultation tool for IMAS officials in responding to the national emergency. It contains its own provisions for the prevention and mitigation of COVID-19 in accordance with the needs and particular characteristics of the tasks carried out in the different work areas of the institution.  

“Obtaining this anti-covid seal is a sign of an organizational commitment to the population to which we owe ourselves. We respond to the need to innovate as a permanent action of institutions, but mainly as a tool in the face of the pandemic. In the emergency, the IMAS has not stopped its services; on the contrary, we continue to be determined to improve them so as not to leave anyone behind, "said Juan Luis Bermúdez Madriz, Minister of Human Development and Social Inclusion.

“IMAS is a key institution to address the impacts of COVID-19 and support thousands of people in a vulnerable condition in the face of the pandemic. For this reason, it is extremely important to ensure the continuous fulfillment of its functions, having the health and safety of workers and users as a priority. For the United Nations System, it is an honor and a priority to support Costa Rica in its response to COVID-19, ”said Allegra Baiocchi, UN Resident Coordinator for Costa Rica.

This certification tool "Prevented Work Centers against COVID-19" was born as an initiative supported by the second vice president of the Republic, Marvin Rodríguez. and the Occupational Safety Council of the Ministry of Labor and Social Security.


Virtual modalities. To improve care in the midst of the pandemic, the institution has created virtual resources such as the virtual assistant Zury, who assists the public in their queries about benefits, requirements, locations, addresses, telephone numbers, hours and is capable of scheduling appointments according to the availability of regional offices. 

Another of the modalities that have been reinforced is the service from the Call Center, where the affidavit can now be processed, through an automatic “Interactive Voice Response” system known as IVR.

In 2020, the IMAS programmatic offer benefited 365,750 families and incorporated 19,000 new ones in the Bridge to Well-being Strategy, which represented a great challenge for the institution's staff and the new provisions.

This 2021 the IMAS returns to the countryside, to the streets of the neighborhoods, to home visits, taking as a fundamental pillar, the protection of the health and safety of the beneficiaries.


Originally published on Costa Rica Gobierno del Bicentenario