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Costa Rica posts largest increase in known COVID-19 cases; up to 231

March 26, 2020

Costa Rica has confirmed 231 cases of the novel coronavirus, the Health Ministry announced Thursday afternoon.

The figure marks a 30-person increase over the same time Wednesday. It’s the largest day-over-day increase in known cases of COVID-19 within Costa Rica.

Costa Rica coronavirus cases
A graph showing coronavirus cases in Costa Rica through March 26, 2020. Tico Times graph.

Six people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, and five of them are in intensive care. Two elderly adults have died after contracting COVID-19, and two foreigners have recovered and returned home.

The 231 cases are located in 43 cantons — more than half the nationwide total of 82 cantons — across all seven of Costa Rica’s provinces.

Below is a map of cantons with confirmed COVID-19 cases. Click on a blue marker for more information:

Health Minister Daniel Salas said he expects the number of confirmed cases, and the amount of patients needing medical care, to keep rising.

“We need to be careful,” Salas said. “It’s not just about protecting the elderly adults. Obviously, they are the most vulnerable population, and we need to protect them … but I insist that there are also young people, especially with prior health risks, who can become seriously ill.”

In addition to the national reference lab at INCIENSA and some public hospitals within the Social Security System (CCSS, or Caja), five private labs in Costa Rica have been authorized to test patients for COVID-19.

“If we let our guard down now, we will have many more cases in a few weeks or a few days,” Salas said. “It will mean the saturation and overcapacity of our health system and inability to provide the necessary care for gravely sick people.”

Eight patients are undergoing tests that could clear them as recovered, Salas said.

Costa Rica coronavirus cases
Official COVID-19 figures for March 26, 2020. Via the Health Ministry.

The Ministry of Health continues to ask people of all ages to remain home whenever possible and to practice social distancing.

If you believe you may have contracted COVID-19 or have questions regarding the coronavirus, contact Costa Rican health authorities by dialing 1322.

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