Costa Rica announced 13 new coronavirus-related deaths over the last day for a total of 1,444, according to official data released Thursday afternoon by the Health Ministry.
Four-hundred and forty-nine people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19; 177 are in intensive care. Both represent decreases compared to Wednesday.
The Health Ministry confirmed 1,106 new cases on Thursday for a cumulative total of 114,367.
A total of 70,002 people have been cleared as recovered; however, this number typically lags several weeks behind actual figures.
The data indicate Costa Rica has 28.3 COVID-19-related deaths per 100,000 people. The country is averaging 15.3 deaths each day since September 1 (1,008 total).
The National Emergency Commission (CNE) says it’s taking necessary precautions to limit the spread of the coronavirus at the dozens of shelters housing 1,300 people displaced by Hurricane Eta.
Costa Rica’s outbreak in context
Costa Rica has the 42nd-most new cases per 100,000 residents over the past seven days, according to data compiled by The New York Times. At 19.2 new cases per 100,000 people, this trails the United States (27.7) but is significantly higher than Canada (8.5).
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.
COVID-19 is expected to be Costa Rica’s leading cause of death in 2020, surpassing acute myocardial infarctions (heart attacks), which killed 1,322 people last year.
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 49% 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, November 2. 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.
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. Visit the Costa Rican Presidency for the official list of coronavirus measures and alerts.