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Costa Rica suspends economic reopening plans as new cases spike

June 20, 2020

Costa Rica confirmed 119 new cases of the coronavirus over the past day, totaling 2,058 cumulative known cases, the Health Ministry announced Friday afternoon.

The 119 new cases are the largest day-over-day increase tracked by Costa Rica during the coronavirus crisis. It also marks Costa Rica’s first day over 1,000 known active cases.

Forty-five more people have been classified as recovered under Costa Rica’s new definitions that qualify certain patients based on time rather than a negative test.

Costa Rica has 1,064 active cases and 982 recoveries.

Twelve people have died in Costa Rica after contracting the coronavirus. Twenty-nine people are hospitalized with COVID-19, four more than Thursday. Five people are intensive care, two more than Thursday.

“Not only did we have an increase in cases, but also in hospitalizations,” said Health Minister Daniel Salas.

Economic reopening suspended

The Health Ministry has suspended the third phase of its economic reopening that was planned for Saturday.

Stores, theaters, cinemas, and museums must remain closed this weekend. The second-round soccer final between Saprissa and Alajuela, scheduled for this weekend, is suspended.

A nationwide daytime vehicular restriction will be imposed Saturday and Sunday as follows:

  • Saturday (10 a.m. – 5 p.m.): Even license plates cannot drive. Odd license plates can only drive to health centers, pharmacies and supermarkets.
  • Sunday (5 a.m. – 5 p.m.): Odd license plates cannot drive. Even license plates can only drive to health centers, pharmacies and supermarkets.

The vehicular restriction begins at 10 a.m. Saturday and ends 5 a.m. Monday. The general nighttime vehicular restriction also remains active.

Most commercial businesses must also remain closed this weekend, with exceptions for supermarkets, pharmacies and health centers.

Beaches will remain open from 5-8 a.m. on weekdays only, and religious services cannot occur this weekend.

“This suspension will be subject to the epidemiological curve,” Salas said.

“Our expectation is that the measures we are taking are going to help avoid an exponential increase in infections, which would put us on the road to a collapse in intensive care services.”

Active coronavirus cases in Costa Rica

The cantons of Alajuelita and Desamparados have been placed under an orange alert due to an increase in cases. They are the first cantons in the Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM) to be placed under an orange alert due to the coronavirus.

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