Costa Rica confirmed 294 new cases of the coronavirus over the past day, totaling 3,753 cumulative known cases, the Health Ministry announced Wednesday afternoon.
The 294 new cases are by far the largest day-over-day increase announced by Costa Rica during the pandemic. Fifty-six people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, also a new high.
Eighty 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 2,221 active cases and 1,516 recoveries.
Sixteen people have died in Costa Rica after contracting the coronavirus, including one death Tuesday. The data mean Costa Rica has 3.13 coronavirus deaths per 1,000,000 people.
Six people are currently in intensive care.
The Health Ministry has indicated its models show the country’s intensive-care capacity could reach saturation points if new cases remain elevated over several weeks.
Costa Rica will add new restrictions
Costa Rica will announce new health measures on Thursday in an attempt to mitigate the second pandemic wave, President Carlos Alvarado said.
The new restrictions will be targeted at the Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM) around San José. They will go into effect Friday and will last at least a week.
We’ll have more details on the restrictions when they’re announced tomorrow afternoon.
The Health Ministry will also conduct mass testing in additional GAM communities, it said Wednesday.
Active coronavirus cases in Costa Rica
During its Wednesday press conference, the Health Ministry did not provide detailed information on the locations of the new positive cases or the amount of tests processed.
However, the Health Ministry said it considers the Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM) as the country’s current epicenter. The GAM, which includes the capital of San José, is home to about half of all Costa Ricans.
The recent spike in cases corresponds with both a general increase in testing and with a higher test-positivity rate, according to officials.
The below graphic will update automatically with that information when the Health Ministry releases its full report later this afternoon.