Costa Rica

Costa Rica announces new restrictions to limit mobility in Greater Metropolitan Area

The Tico Times - Ven, 10/07/2020 - 21:45
Novel coronavirus COVID-19

Costa Rican authorities on Friday announced a series of health measures to limit mobility in the Greater Metropolitan Area, which includes the capital of San José and surrounding cities.

The following measures take effect beginning Saturday, July 11. They will last through Sunday July 19.

The entire GAM has been elevated to an orange alert

The below image indicates which cantons are under an orange alert starting Saturday:

Orange alert in Costa Rica as of July 11, 2020. Orange alert in Costa Rica as of July 11, 2020. Via CNE. Near-total vehicular restriction in Orange Alert areas

In regions under an orange alert, there will be a near-total weekday vehicular restriction. This applies 24 hours a day:

  • Monday: Vehicles with license plates ending in 1 and 2 can drive to essential services (pharmacies, health centers, supermarkets) only. Vehicles with license plates ending in other numbers cannot drive.
  • Tuesday: Vehicles with license plates ending in 3 and 4 can drive to essential services only. Vehicles with license plates ending in other numbers cannot drive.
  • Wednesday: Vehicles with license plates ending in 5 and 6 can drive to essential services only. Vehicles with license plates ending in other numbers cannot drive.
  • Thursday: Vehicles with license plates ending in 7 and 8 can drive to essential services only. Vehicles with license plates ending in other numbers cannot drive.
  • Friday: Vehicles with license plates ending in 9 and 0 can drive to essential services only. Vehicles with license plates ending in other numbers cannot drive.
  • Weekends: There is a total nighttime restriction from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. During the day (5 a.m. to 5 p.m.):
    • Vehicles with license plates ending in ODD numbers can drive to essential services on Saturday.
    • Vehicles with license plates ending in EVEN numbers can drive to essential services on Sundays.

Workers are permitted to drive to open businesses, but must carry proof of employment. Public transport will continue operating at 20% capacity; taxis can continue operating without restrictions.

Essential services will continue

Essential businesses can remain open during the week in areas under an orange alert. This includes supermarkets, pharmacies, and health centers. Delivery services are also permitted.

Ongoing measures in yellow-alert areas

All areas under a “Yellow Alert” (i.e. any location not listed under an Orange Alert) remains in Phase 3.

Businesses can remain open on weekends, religious ceremonies are allowed, and beaches are open from 5-9:30 a.m. daily.

What is the purpose of the measures?

According to President Carlos Alvarado, the restrictions will help health authorities regain control of the outbreak. The population-dense GAM has been identified as the epicenter of the outbreak in Costa Rica.

While the measures won’t immediately correspond with a drop in new cases, it will allow authorities to better identify and isolate clusters. If successful, this would slow the spread of the coronavirus enough to prevent saturation of health services.

This is a developing story and is being updated. 

Categorie: Costa Rica

Costa Rica coronavirus data for July 10, 2020

The Tico Times - Ven, 10/07/2020 - 21:09
Costa Rica coronavirus data on July 10, 2020

Costa Rica confirmed 360 new cases of the coronavirus over the past day, totaling 6,845 cumulative known cases, the Health Ministry announced Friday afternoon.

One-hundred and twenty-eight are hospitalized with COVID-19 with 17 in intensive care, both new highs.

Eighty-seven more people have been classified as recovered under Costa Rica’s definitions that qualify certain patients based on time rather than a negative test.

Costa Rica has 4,709 active cases and 2,110 recoveries.

Twenty-six people have died in Costa Rica after contracting the coronavirus, including one death Friday.

Costa Rica coronavirus hospitalizations on July 10, 2020 Costa Rica coronavirus hospitalizations on July 10, 2020. Tico Times graph.

The data indicate Costa Rica has 0.51 COVID-19-related deaths per 100,000 people.

As of Thursday, 73 of the 88 intermediate-care beds at Costa Rica’s coronavirus-specific hospital (CEACO) are occupied, meaning COVID-19 patients will soon have a larger impact on other hospitals.

In addition to the intermediate-care capacity at CEACO, Costa Rica’s Social Security System (CCSS) has plans to create up to 159 more ICU beds for coronavirus patients at various public hospitals, including at a new tower at Calderón Guardia Hospital in San José.

Most hospitalized patients have at least one risk factor, with hypertension, diabetes, obesity and smoking being the most common.

Active coronavirus cases in Costa Rica

The recent spike in cases corresponds with both an increase in testing and with a higher test-positivity rate, as shown in the below graph:

Costa Rica coronavirus test positivity through July 9, 2020. Costa Rica coronavirus test positivity through July 9, 2020. Tico Times graph.

Between Wednesday and Thursday, for instance, authorities processed 1,923 tests. (One person can be tested multiple times.)

The Costa Rican Social Security System (CCSS) is conducting mass testing on asymptomatic residents of Alajuelita canton and will continue these efforts throughout the Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM) in coming days.

The Health Ministry considers the GAM as the country’s current epicenter. Much of the area is under an orange alert.

During its Friday press conference, the Health Ministry did not provide full detailed information on the locations of the new positive cases or the amount of tests processed. The below graphic will update automatically when the Health Ministry releases that information later this afternoon.

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INFOGRAFÍA SITUACIÓN NACIONAL COVID-19
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Categorie: Costa Rica