Netherlands remains red on Europe's coronavirus map
As expected, the whole of the Netherlands will remain red on the European Union's coronavirus risk level map for seven more days. Over 4.6 percent of all coronavirus tests performed in the Netherlands over the past two weeks were positive, according to data submitted by the Ministry of Health to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).
Anything over 4 percent during a two-week period puts an entire country at the red level. Red is the second highest warning color on the map that the European health service ECDC produces every Thursday. All twelve provinces were also at red last week.
Flevoland is relatively the largest fire in the country. In the past two weeks, 281 out of every 100,000 inhabitants tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. That is considerably lower than last week's calculation. Friesland follows, but the number of positive tests there is almost 19 percent higher than with data used to produce last week's ECDC map. With 254 cases per capita, Friesland has overtaken Noord-Holland (244), Zuid-Holland (241) and Overijssel (227). The number of cases is also increasing in Utrecht.
Relatively fewer people tested positive in Gelderland (174), Groningen (169), Limburg (154), Noord-Brabant (143), Zeeland (124) and Drenthe (173). However, a significant increase was measured in Drenthe.
The national percentage of positive tests has been increasing in recent weeks. This is partially due to the end of the summer holidays. Fewer and fewer people are being tested solely because they need proof of a negative result to go on a vacation. The vast majority of travel access testing in July and August came back negative for coronavirus, bringing the overall positivity rate down significantly.
With the vacation high season coming to an end, a higher percentage of tests being carried out in the Netherlands are those performed at test sites run by public health services. Many people schedule an appointment there when they have symptoms resembling Covid-19, or when they have had contact with someone who turned out to be infected with the coronavirus. That produces a relatively higher percentage of positive tests.
The ECDC looks at the number of confirmed infections and the percentage of positive tests in the two previous calendar weeks. The card has four colors. From low to high, these are green, orange, red and dark red. Six provinces would have been red and six would have been orange if the national positivity rate had held below four percent.
Countries use the ECDC map to determine their policies. When the Netherlands turned dark red in July, countries including Germany and France introduced stricter rules for residents of the Netherlands who wanted to cross their borders.
Not much has changed in the rest of Europe either. Belgium, the west of Germany and Berlin remain at red. Crete, Corsica and the southern French portion of Occitania, including Toulouse, Montpellier and Nîmes, went from dark red to red. Large parts of Sweden, western France, the Canary Islands in Spain and Madeira in Portugal went from red to orange.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times.