Limburg turns red on European Covid map
Update 1:15 p.m. - This story was updated when the ECDC published its weekly map and data.
The warning level for Limburg is increasing. The province turns red on the weekly map of coronavirus cases in Europe. Red is the second-highest level. The rest of the country remains on orange for the time being.
Over the past weeks, the Netherlands' position improved on the map because the number of positive tests decreased week after week. In September, the whole country was red. Since last week, the entire country has been orange.
The number of positive tests started to rise over a week ago and has been accelerating in recent days. The expected increase in the autumn seems to have started, said the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). If that increase continues, more provinces will switch from orange to red next week. The chance is greatest in Utrecht, Zuid-Holland, Overijssel, and Gelderland. Utrecht remained just below the line between orange and red this week. If three more residents in the province had tested positive, Utrecht would also have gone red on Thursday. In Overijssel, the number of positive tests increased by almost 38 percent since last week's map and in Gelderland by about 35 percent.
The health service ECDC, the European counterpart to the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, publishes the map every Thursday. The service looks at the number and percentage of positive tests in the two previous calendar weeks. The map has four colors. From low to high, these are green, orange, red, and dark red. Countries can decide based on the map to tighten the rules for travelers from other countries. When the Netherlands turned dark red in July, countries like Germany and France introduced stricter rules for Dutch people who wanted to cross the border.
In other countries the picture remains the same: in Spain, France, and Italy the situation is improving, and in Central Europe, the number of positive tests is increasing. The whole of Romania is now dark red, the highest level possible. Slovenia remains at that level, and large parts of Slovakia are now also dark red. More than half of Hungary is red, and the Czech Republic goes from primarily green to completely orange. Germany remains almost entirely red. Flanders remains orange, and Wallonia remains red. Finland and Luxembourg go from all orange to all red in one week.
Reporting by ANP.