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Costa Rica coronavirus updates for Tuesday, December 8

December 8, 2020

Costa Rica suffered 73 new coronavirus-related deaths since Saturday for a total of 1,846, according to official data released Tuesday afternoon by the Health Ministry.

Six-hundred and nineteen people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, the most since late September.

The 230 patients in the ICU represents 64% of Costa Rica’s total capacity.

The Health Ministry has confirmed 147,430 total cases, including 1,206 on Saturday, 954 on Sunday, 576 on Monday and 1,009 on Tuesday. At least 105,686 people have been cleared as recovered, though this number lags behind the actual figure.

The data indicate Costa Rica has 36.2 COVID-19-related deaths per 100,000 people. COVID-19 will be Costa Rica’s leading cause of death in 2020.

Authorities detail vaccine efforts

The National Emergency Commission (CNE) said Tuesday that it has purchased 14 ultra-low-temperature freezers that will be used to store coronavirus vaccines. Deliveries of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to Costa Rica would begin in the first quarter of 2021.

The total cost of Costa Rica’s vaccine efforts is approximately $70 million, said Alexander Solís, CNE president.

Costa Rica’s outbreak in context

Costa Rica has the 51st-most new cases per 100,000 residents over the past seven days, according to data compiled by The New York Times. At 19.4 new cases per 100,000 people, this significantly trails the United States (60.8) but is higher than Canada (17.3).

New case totals correlate with testing capacity; Costa Rica’s high test-positivity rate suggests it’s catching fewer minor or asymptomatic cases.

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 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 up to 359 intensive-care beds and 986 beds for less-complex coronavirus hospitalizations.

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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