Costa Rica confirmed 288 new cases of the coronavirus over the past day, totaling 4,311 cumulative known cases, the Health Ministry announced Friday afternoon.
The 288 new cases are the second-largest day-over-day increase announced by Costa Rica during the pandemic, trailing only Wednesday’s 294. Seventy-three people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, a new high.
Sixty-eight 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 2,636 active cases and 1,657 recoveries.
Eighteen people have died in Costa Rica after contracting the coronavirus, including one death Thursday. The data mean Costa Rica has 0.35 coronavirus deaths per 100,000 people.
Ten 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.
Fifty-two people are currently hospitalized at the country’s coronavirus-specific hospital (CEACO), which has 88 beds. By next week, authorities expect CEACO will be full, meaning COVID-19 patients must be hospitalized elsewhere.
“We are entering a phase where the logistical intensity to manage patients is going to increase,” said Román Macaya, president of the Social Security System (CCSS).
Macaya noted that nearly all hospitalized patients have at least one risk factor, with hypertension, diabetes, obesity and smoking being the most common.
Health Ministry announces 18th death
The Health Ministry announced Costa Rica’s 18th-COVID-19 related death on Thursday evening.
The 38-year-old woman, a foreigner living in the province of San José, had tested positive for the coronavirus on June 28 and had been hospitalized at Hospital México since Tuesday, June 30.
The Health Ministry says diabetes and obesity complicated the woman’s condition.
Nine women and nine men have died of the coronavirus in Costa Rica. The majority had preexisting conditions.
Active coronavirus cases in Costa Rica
During its Friday press conference, the Health Ministry did not provide detailed information on the locations of the new positive cases or the amount of tests processed.
The Health Ministry considers the Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM) as the country’s current epicenter and believes there is community transmission in that region.
The recent spike in cases corresponds with both a general increase in testing and with a higher test-positivity rate, according to officials. From June 23 through July 1, Costa Rica averaged 774 tests and 164 new cases daily.
The below graphic will update automatically when the Health Ministry releases its full report later this afternoon.