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Costa Rica coronavirus updates for July 17, 2020

Costa Rica confirmed 423 new cases of the coronavirus over the past day, totaling 9,969 cumulative known cases, the Health Ministry announced Friday afternoon.

Two-hundred and eleven people are hospitalized with COVID-19 with 38 in intensive care, both new highs.

One-hundred and forty-five 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 7,104 active cases and 2,818 recoveries.

Forty-seven people have died in Costa Rica after contracting the coronavirus, including five deaths since Thursday afternoon. The data indicate Costa Rica has 0.92 COVID-19-related deaths per 100,000 people.

Costa Rica coronavirus deaths and hospitalizations on July 17, 2020
Tico Times graph.

As of Thursday, 74 of the 88 intermediate-care beds at Costa Rica’s coronavirus-specific hospital (CEACO) were occupied. (Forty-eight more beds are being created for coronavirus patients at the adjacent Trauma Hospital.) An additional 67 people were hospitalized at San Juan de Dios Hospital in San José.

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.

The National Emergency Commission (CNE) said Thursday that Costa Rica is at times transferring one person per hour into hospitals due to COVID-19.

“This impacts the entire national transfer system, with the Red Cross, the CCSS and private companies,” said Mario Urcuyo, CNE representative.

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:

Costa Rica coronavirus test positivity rate through July 15, 2020
Tico Times graph.

The Greater Metropolitan Area is the country’s current epicenter. The entire GAM and much of Costa Rica are under an Orange Alert and have strict health measures, including driving bans.

Restrictions are changing on Monday, July 20 as we detailed here.

Costa Rica has processed 64,150 tests as of Thursday (12.6 tests per 1,000 people).

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.

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