Costa Rica confirmed 91 new cases of the coronavirus over the past day, totaling 2,368 cumulative known cases, the Health Ministry announced Tuesday afternoon.
The 91 new cases mark the second-largest day-over-day increase reported by Costa Rican authorities during the crisis.
Eighty-six 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 1,227 active cases and 1,129 recoveries.
Twelve people have died in Costa Rica after contracting the coronavirus. Thirty people are hospitalized with COVID-19, two more than Monday. Three people are in intensive care, one fewer than Monday.
“This is the largest number of hospitalizations registered during the coronavirus pandemic,” said Health Minister Daniel Salas.
Román Macaya, director of the Costa Rican Social Security System (CCSS), said the priority is ensuring intensive care capacity. Macaya said the CCSS is not currently saturated due to the coronavirus, but “the risk is always present.”
“That’s what keeps us awake at night,” Macaya said. “As we’ve said from the beginning, there is no health system in the world that can support an exponential increase in cases.”
Pavas added to orange alert; community spread possible
The district of Pavas will be under an orange alert starting at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday.
The Health Ministry said there is a chance of widespread community transmission in that area after authorities detected traces of SARS-CoV-2 in the district’s wastewater.
Starting immediately, the Health Ministry recommends wearing a mask when in public in Pavas. (However, masks are only required in the situations outlined yesterday.)
In regions under an orange alert, most commercial businesses must close at 5 p.m. on weekdays and remain closed on weekends (supermarkets and health services are excepted).
In addition, in districts under an orange alert, the weeknight vehicular restriction begins at 5 p.m., though through traffic on the Circunvalación (Route 39) in Pavas is excepted.
Orange alerts for coronavirus typically last at least two weeks.
Pavas is the largest district in the canton of San José and has among its highest population density. It also houses Tobías Bolaños International Airport.
Some 71,384 people live in Pavas, per the 2011 census (PDF download).
Alajuelita and Desamparados, two cantons in the Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM), are also under orange alerts.
Active coronavirus cases in Costa Rica
The below graphic will update automatically when the Health Ministry releases detailed information later this afternoon.