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Costa Rica coronavirus updates for Monday, November 9

November 9, 2020

Costa Rica announced 38 new coronavirus-related deaths since Friday for a total of 1,491, according to official data released Monday afternoon by the Health Ministry.

Four-hundred and eighty-four people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19; 195 are in intensive care. Both represent increases compared to last Friday.

The Health Ministry confirmed 736 new cases on Sunday and 488 on Monday for a cumulative total of 117,587.

Costa Rica coronavirus new cases on November 9, 2020
Costa Rica coronavirus new cases on November 9, 2020. Tico Times graph.

A total of 72,249 people have been cleared as recovered; however, this number typically lags several weeks behind actual figures.

The data indicate Costa Rica has 29.2 COVID-19-related deaths per 100,000 people. The country is averaging 15.1 deaths each day since September 1 (1,055 total).

Driving restrictions remain in effect

Costa Rica’s nationwide driving restrictions remain in effect, a government spokesperson said Monday, despite a judge’s ruling that repealed a related decree.

Consult the restrictions on the Presidency’s site here, and click here for a full list of exceptions. Rental cars and those driving to/from the airport are among the exceptions.

Costa Rica’s outbreak in context

Costa Rica has the 45th-most new cases per 100,000 residents over the past seven days, according to data compiled by The New York Times. At 18.3 new cases per 100,000 people, this significantly trails the United States (33.5) but is higher than Canada (10.5).

About 1.3% 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 54% 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.

Costa Rica coronavirus case positivity rate as of November 2, 2020.
Costa Rica coronavirus case positivity rate as of November 2, 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. Visit the Costa Rican Presidency for the official list of coronavirus measures and alerts. 

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