Costa Rica confirmed 245 new cases of the coronavirus over the past day, totaling 5,241 cumulative known cases, the Health Ministry announced Monday afternoon.
Eighty-eight people are hospitalized with COVID-19, a new high.
Twenty-one 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 3,452 active cases and 1,766 recoveries.
Twenty-three people have died in Costa Rica after contracting the coronavirus, including two deaths Sunday and one Monday. The data mean Costa Rica has 0.45 coronavirus deaths per 100,000 people.
Nine people are currently in intensive care.
The Health Ministry says its models show the country’s intensive-care capacity could reach saturation points if new cases remain elevated over several weeks.
Costa Rica’s public-health system has 24 coronavirus-specific intensive-care beds and is preparing an additional 32 beds for those patients. In total, 135 ICU beds could be occupied by COVID-19 patients, though doing so would limit the country’s ability to respond to other emergencies.
Nearly all hospitalized patients have at least one risk factor, with hypertension, diabetes, obesity and smoking being the most common.
Costa Rica announces more deaths
The Health Ministry has announced 23 COVID-19-related deaths. The four latest deaths, all announced since Sunday afternoon, are as follows:
- A 43-year-old foreigner died Sunday afternoon at Calderón Guardia Hospital in San José. The Alajuela resident had been diagnosed on June 13, and he had diabetes and hypertension.
- An 81-year-old Costa Rican died on Sunday night at CEACO. The man had been diagnosed on June 28 in Guanacaste, and he had several risk factors, including his age, diabetes and hypertension.
- A 51-year-old Costa Rican died on July 2 at his Cartago home after suffering from a respiratory infection. The death was attributed Monday to COVID-19, and an investigation is ongoing.
- A 92-year-old Costa Rican died Monday morning at Calderón Guardia Hospital. She had been hospitalized since Saturday and had COPD.
“It’s important not to treat these as just numbers,” said Health Minister Daniel Salas. “There are families who have suffered, and this represents a loss for the whole country.”
Active coronavirus cases in Costa Rica
During its Monday press conference, the Health Ministry did not provide full detailed information on the locations of the new positive cases or the amount of tests processed.
However, Salas indicated that the following cantons had the highest number of new cases Monday: San José, Desamparados, Upala and Goicoechea.
The Costa Rican Social Security System (CCSS) is conducting mass testing (approximately 1,200 tests) on asymptomatic residents of Alajuelita canton. These will be concluded Tuesday.
The recent spike in cases corresponds with both an increase in testing and with a higher test-positivity rate, according to officials. From June 24 through July 3, Costa Rica averaged 878 tests and 194 new known cases daily.
The Health Ministry considers the Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM) as the country’s current epicenter and believes there is community transmission in that region. Much of the GAM is under an orange alert.
The below graphic will update automatically when the Health Ministry releases its full report later this afternoon.