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Costa Rica coronavirus updates for Thursday, October 15

October 15, 2020

Costa Rica announced 25 new coronavirus-related deaths over the last day for a total of 1,159, according to official data released Thursday afternoon by the Health Ministry.

Five-hundred and thirty-six people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19; 206 are in intensive care.

The Health Ministry confirmed 1,372 new cases on Thursday, of which 1,047 were identified via a lab test, for a cumulative total of 93,152.

A total of 57,731 people have been cleared as recovered; however, this figure does not include about a month’s worth of patients, according to health authorities.

The data indicate Costa Rica has 22.7 COVID-19-related deaths per 100,000 people. The country is averaging 16.1 deaths each day since September 1 (723 total), including double-digit deaths every day since September 12.

Two children with COVID-19 die

Thursday’s deaths include the first two minors to die with COVID-19 in Costa Rica. They include a 9-year-old and a 12-year old, both of whom had prior immunological issues.

Like all other deaths associated with COVID-19, theirs will be analyzed by medical experts from the Health Ministry and Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) to determine the true cause of death.

An analysis of 212 COVID-19-related deaths in Costa Rica, released Wednesday, confirmed 90% of them were caused by the virus or an associated complication, while 9% had died of unrelated causes.

Costa Rica’s outbreak in context

Costa Rica has the 12th-most new cases per 100,000 residents over the past seven days, according to data compiled by The New York Times.

About 1.2% of people who tested positive for the coronavirus in Costa Rica have died. The deaths comprise 386 adults, 771 elderly adults, and two children.

The average age of Costa Rica’s coronavirus-related deaths is 70 years.

Costa Rica has 359 intensive-care beds and 986 beds for less-complex coronavirus hospitalizations. This means 57% of Costa Rica’s ICU beds are currently occupied.


The below graph shows Costa Rica’s approximate test-positivity rate (the fraction of tests that come back positive) as of Tuesday, October 5. The Tico Times calculates daily positivity using Health Ministry data as follows:

(People testing positive) ÷ (People testing positive + people testing negative)

Note that the actual number of daily tests is higher than indicated on the chart, because one person can be tested multiple times.

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.

Costa Rica coronavirus test positivity rate on October 12, 2020
Costa Rica coronavirus test positivity rate on October 12, 2020. Tico Times graph.

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.

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