Costa Rica confirmed 169 new cases of the coronavirus over the past day, totaling 2,684 cumulative known cases, the Health Ministry announced Thursday afternoon.
The 169 new cases mark the largest day-over-day increase reported by Costa Rican authorities during the crisis, topping Wednesday’s 147.
“It’s worrying, and we are taking the necessary measures to limit the increase of cases,” said Health Minister Daniel Salas. “But in the context of Central America and Latin America, we continue to be a privileged country in the context of COVID-19.”
Seventeen more people have been classified as recovered under Costa Rica’s definitions that qualify certain patients based on time rather than a negative test.
Costa Rica has 1,445 active cases and 1,227 recoveries.
Twelve people have died in Costa Rica after contracting the coronavirus. Twenty-nine people are hospitalized with COVID-19, one fewer than Wednesday. Six people are in intensive care, one more than Wednesday.
“The increase in cases can manifest itself in an increase in hospitalizations some weeks later,” Salas said. “Generally, we’re doing well.”
Costa Rica received a delivery of 21 more ventilators this week, the Costa Rican Social Security System (CCSS) announced, which in turn increases the country’s intensive-care capacity for coronavirus patients.
Border restrictions to remain for ‘some weeks,’ Health Minister suggests
Costa Rica will announce this week its strategy for reopening borders for international tourism, President Carlos Alvarado said Wednesday.
While the Costa Rica Tourism Board has proposed that the country allow visitors beginning July 1, the Health Ministry apparently disagrees with that timeline.
“The pressure that there is to open them cannot substitute for security,” Salas said Thursday. “In that sense, I don’t see the reopening of airports right around the corner, in a couple of days.
“We are thinking that it’s possible that in some weeks, it is possible to do it in a gradual form. For the moment, we are not going to rush with this subject.”
Orange alert expanded again
Starting at 12:01 a.m. Friday, the district of San Rafael in Guatuso de Alajuela will be under an orange alert.
For all regions under an orange alert, extended weeknight driving bans (5 p.m. – 5 a.m.) apply, as do evening and weekend restrictions on most commercial businesses.
See below for a full list of regions under an orange alert:
The Health Ministry recommends that everyone wear a mask when in public in Pavas. Starting Saturday, wearing a mask will be required in certain establishments. (Click here for the details.)
Active coronavirus cases in Costa Rica
Costa Rica will conduct at least 1,000 coronavirus tests on asymptomatic residents of Pavas in an attempt to contain the outbreak in that district, the Health Ministry said.
During its Thursday press conference, the Health Ministry did not provide detailed information on the number of tests processed or the locations of the new positive cases.
The below graphic will update automatically with that information when the Health Ministry releases its full report later this afternoon.