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Costa Rica coronavirus updates for Tuesday, November 24

Costa Rica suffered 21 new coronavirus-related deaths over the past day for a total of 1,662, according to official data released Tuesday afternoon by the Health Ministry.

Five-hundred and one people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19; 208 are in intensive care.

The Health Ministry has confirmed 133,190 total cases, including 895 over the past 24 hours. At least 81,973 people have been cleared as recovered, though this number lags weeks behind the actual figure.

The data indicate Costa Rica has 32.6 COVID-19-related deaths per 100,000 people. The country is averaging 11.5 deaths each day in November (277 total).

Costa Rica’s outbreak in context

Costa Rica has the 46th-most new cases per 100,000 residents over the past seven days, according to data compiled by The New York Times. At 22 new cases per 100,000 people, this significantly trails the United States (52.2) but is higher than Canada (13.6).

Costa Rica coronavirus cases and rolling average on November 24, 2020
Tico Times graph.

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. The average age of patients in the ICU is 59 years.

COVID-19 will 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 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 58% 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 23. 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 as of November 23, 2020
Tico Times graph.

The below graphic will update automatically as the Health Ministry releases new coronavirus data. Remember, coronavirus updates now happen twice a week, but this graph updates daily:

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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