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Costa Rica coronavirus updates for Thursday, October 29

October 29, 2020

Costa Rica announced 17 new coronavirus-related deaths over the last day for a total of 1,357, according to official data released Thursday afternoon by the Health Ministry.

Four-hundred and fifty-two people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19; 182 are in intensive care. Both represent decreases compared to Wednesday.

The Health Ministry confirmed 1,017 new cases on Thursday, of which 748 were identified via a lab test, for a cumulative total of 107,570.

A total of 65,666 people have been cleared as recovered; however, this figure typically lags several weeks behind actual figures.

The data indicate Costa Rica has 26.6 COVID-19-related deaths per 100,000 people. The country is averaging 15.6 deaths each day since September 1 (921 total).

Costa Rica’s outbreak in context

Costa Rica has the 34th-most new cases per 100,000 residents over the past seven days, according to data compiled by The New York Times. At 20.4 new cases per 100,000 people, this trails the United States (22.8).

About 1.2% of people who tested positive for the coronavirus in Costa Rica have died.

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

An analysis more than 200 COVID-19-related deaths in Costa Rica, released in early October, confirmed 90% of them were caused by the virus or an associated complication, while 9% had died of unrelated causes. This case-by-case analysis is ongoing.

Costa Rica has 359 intensive-care beds and 986 beds for less-complex coronavirus hospitalizations. This means 51% 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 Monday, October 26. 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 positive rate through October 26, 2020
Costa Rica coronavirus test positive rate through October 26, 2020. Tico Times graph.
Costa Rica new coronavirus cases and rolling average on October 26
Costa Rica new coronavirus cases and rolling average on October 26. 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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