Costa Rica announced 49 new coronavirus-related deaths since Friday for a total of 861, according to official data released Monday afternoon by the Health Ministry.
Six-hundred and seventeen people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19; 228 are in intensive care.
The Health Ministry confirmed 1,233 new cases on Saturday, 935 on Sunday and 730 on Monday for a cumulative total of 73,714.
A total of 29,420 people have been cleared as recovered; the Health Ministry says this number lags behind actual recoveries. Costa Rica has 43,433 known active cases.
The data indicate Costa Rica has 16.9 COVID-19-related deaths per 100,000 people. The country is averaging 15 deaths each day in September, including double-digit deaths for 16 straight days.
Costa Rica has 359 intensive-care beds and 986 beds for less-complex coronavirus hospitalizations. This means 64% of Costa Rica’s ICU beds are currently occupied.
Costa Rica’s outbreak in a global context
Costa Rica has the seventh-most new cases per 100,000 residents over the past seven days, according to data compiled by The New York Times. Only Israel, Andorra, Aruba, Bahrain, Montenegro and Argentina have more new cases per 100,000 residents over the last week.
About 1.1% of people with COVID-19 in Costa Rica have died, ranking among the best case-fatality rates in the Americas, according to Johns Hopkins University. (For context, case fatality is 2.9% in the United States, 6.0% in Canada and 10.5% in Mexico.)
The below graph shows Costa Rica’s test-positivity rate (the fraction of tests that come back positive) as of Saturday, September 26. The Tico Times calculates daily positivity using Health Ministry data as follows:
(People testing positive) ÷ (People testing positive + people testing negative)
The World Health Organization recommends testing enough to keep the positivity rate under 5%; Costa Rica’s high test-positivity rate suggests it’s missing milder or asymptomatic cases, allowing the coronavirus to continue to spread.
We’ll update this weekly.
The below graphic will update automatically as the Health Ministry releases new coronavirus data.
If you believe you have COVID-19, contact Costa Rica’s hotline at 1322. English-speaking staff and mental health professionals are available.