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Costa Rica coronavirus updates for Tuesday, July 21

July 21, 2020

Costa Rica confirmed 277 new cases of the coronavirus over the past day, totaling 11,811 cumulative known cases, the Health Ministry announced Tuesday afternoon.

Two-hundred and seventy-two people are hospitalized with COVID-19 with 49 in intensive care, both new highs.

One-hundred and seventy-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 8,549 known active cases and 3,194 recoveries.

The Health Ministry has announced 68 coronavirus-related deaths, including two since Monday afternoon. The data indicate Costa Rica has 1.33 COVID-19-related deaths per 100,000 people.

Costa Rica coronavirus hospitalizations and deaths on July 21, 2020
Costa Rica coronavirus hospitalizations and deaths on July 21, 2020. Tico Times graph.

As of Monday, 79 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 65 people were hospitalized at San Juan de Dios Hospital in San José; the Costa Rican Social Security System (CCSS) says that hospital has reached its limit for coronavirus patients.

The CCSS is contracting staff in order to open the new tower at Calderón Guardia Hospital, which will feature 64 intensive-care beds for coronavirus patients at its inauguration. In total, the CCSS will add 159 ICU beds over its June capacity of 24, though doing so impacts other health emergencies.

Most hospitalized patients have at least one risk factor, with hypertension, diabetes, obesity and smoking being the most common.

Discontent grows over measures

At least a dozen mayors have spoken out publicly against the government-mandated closure of businesses in their respective municipalities — closures which exacerbate unemployment, poverty and a drop in tax revenues.

During Tuesday’s press conference, Marcelo Prieto Jiménez, Minister of the Presidency, said the government is willing to dialogue with various sectors as the country seeks to balance its health system with economic recovery.

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 through Sunday, July 19
Costa Rica coronavirus test-positivity through Sunday, July 19. Tico Times graph.

The Greater Metropolitan Area is the country’s current epicenter. Much of Costa Rica is under an Orange Alert; click here for details regarding current business and driving restrictions.

Costa Rica has processed 69,947 tests as of Monday (13.7 tests per 1,000 people).

During its Tuesday 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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