Covid hospitalizations down but school, daycare infections keep rising
Over the past seven days, 1,007 people were admitted to hospitals for treatment of Covid-19, down 22 percent compared to the previous week. During that period, ending at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, 183 people were moved into intensive care, just five percent lower than the week prior, according to data from public health agency RIVM.
"Although these numbers are slightly decreasing, hospital and ICU admissions are about the same as the numbers during the first half of October, when it was decided that additional measures are needed to reduce the spread," the RIVM stated.
For the week, 33,949 people tested positive for an infection of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, a decrease of eight percent. The RIVM also said that 406 more deaths were linked to Covid-19. That was down nearly four percent compared to a week ago when 422 deaths were tallied. To date, 9,438 people have died from Covid-19, and 527,523 people tested positive for the coronavirus infection.
Infections linked to schools and childcare centers also appear to have gone up for the fourth straight week, with 1,464 infections linked to the locations. That means that over nine percent of all cases where an investigation isolated the source of the acquired infection were tied to schools and daycare. That figure was at four percent just a month ago.
The data also showed that 4,430 of those who tested positive were younger than 18 years of age, with a one-third increase in infections among children from 4 through 11 years of age. They accounted for 723 of the infections among minors. About 83 percent of the total were among children between 12 and 17 years old, which showed slight improvement since the previous week.
Schools and daycares ranked fourth for the most common place where someone caught the coronavirus. Infections among household members was the most frequent source of viral spread identified by the data. That was followed by visits to family or friends in other households, and time spent in the workplace. Nursing homes and care homes ranked fifth.
There was almost no change in the basic reproduction (R) value of the virus, which stood at 1.04. For every 100 people contagious with the virus, an estimated 104 others will become infected. About a hundred thousand people were estimated to be contagious with the viral infection, also about eight percent lower, the RIVM said. The agency downplayed the reduction, calling it "slight", with the agency having openly advocated for keeping the country under the current partial lockdown at least through mid-January.
Around 260 thousand people self reported to the municipal health service GGD for a coronavirus test. About 11.1 percent of them tested positive, an improvement over 12 percent from last week's report. Until Tuesday, testing was generally only available to people who presented with at least one symptom of the viral infection, like a runny nose, cough or fever.
Asymptomatic testing for the virus became available to the public on Tuesday.