Costa Rica confirmed 360 new cases of the coronavirus over the past day, totaling 6,845 cumulative known cases, the Health Ministry announced Friday afternoon.
One-hundred and twenty-eight are hospitalized with COVID-19 with 17 in intensive care, both new highs.
Eighty-seven 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 4,709 active cases and 2,110 recoveries.
Twenty-six people have died in Costa Rica after contracting the coronavirus, including one death Friday.
The data indicate Costa Rica has 0.51 COVID-19-related deaths per 100,000 people.
As of Thursday, 73 of the 88 intermediate-care beds at Costa Rica’s coronavirus-specific hospital (CEACO) are occupied, meaning COVID-19 patients will soon have a larger impact on other hospitals.
In addition to the intermediate-care capacity at CEACO, Costa Rica’s Social Security System (CCSS) has plans to create up to 159 more ICU beds for coronavirus patients at various public hospitals, including at a new tower at Calderón Guardia Hospital in San José.
Most hospitalized patients have at least one risk factor, with hypertension, diabetes, obesity and smoking being the most common.
Active coronavirus cases in Costa Rica
The recent spike in cases corresponds with both an increase in testing and with a higher test-positivity rate, as shown in the below graph:
Between Wednesday and Thursday, for instance, authorities processed 1,923 tests. (One person can be tested multiple times.)
The Costa Rican Social Security System (CCSS) is conducting mass testing on asymptomatic residents of Alajuelita canton and will continue these efforts throughout the Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM) in coming days.
The Health Ministry considers the GAM as the country’s current epicenter. Much of the area is under an orange alert.
During its Friday 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. The below graphic will update automatically when the Health Ministry releases that information later this afternoon.