Hiiu County municipality: Severe risk situation emerging on island

Hiiu County marked in red.
Hiiu County marked in red. Source: Wikipedia.

There are now people who have contracted the coronavirus across Hiiu County municipality - in schools, in a family health center, the hospital and one of the island's shops, according to Hiiu County municipality government.

At least 26 people in Hiiumaa island have tested positive since October 28, and on Friday alone, nine more positive test results were added, according to the rural municipality crisis committee. Five of said nine cases were included on the Health Board's statistics for the day, spokespeople for the rural municipality government said.

Three employees at Hiiumaa Hospital and two at the local family health center have been diagnosed with the coronavirus. Infections have been detected in the schools of the towns of Kaina and Kardla and in the Coop store in Kaina.

According to preliminary information, the Health Board can be expected to order mass testing at Hiiumaa Hospital and the Coop store in Kaina.

The virus is spreading rapidly on the island, causing a serious risk situation, the rural municipality said. For that reason, the rural municipality government urges everyone to follow the rules introduced during the spread of the virus in spring, such as wearing a mask and keeping a distance from other people in indoor environments and on public transport. Residents are also urged to download the Hoia coronavirus exposure notification app and the Hiiumaa community app on their mobile phones.

The rural municipality government also underscores that people must remain at home when sick, avoid crowded events and visiting elderly relatives.

On Friday, Hiiu County had 21 active cases of coronavirus but this is a 14-day average per 100,000 inhabitants of 223.71 - the second highest in Estonia after Rapla County. 

The island on Estonia's west coast has a population of approximately 9,300 people. In total, Hiiu County has recorded 40 cases of COVID-19 since March, one of the country's lowest regional totals.

Prime minister: Estonia in health emergency

A health emergency has arisen in Estonia, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) wrote on social media about the situation across Estonia on Friday.

"The overall situation, too, is critical. If we don't take it into consideration today and act accordingly, we'll soon have a crisis on our hands," he said.

Ratas noted that the epidemic can only be stopped if over the coming few weeks, everyone makes an effort not to contract the virus or transmit it to other people.

"For that purpose, above all the situation must be taken seriously. Infection prevention measures must be followed even more strictly, and they start with the principle that the less we come into contact with other people, the smaller the likelihood of infection. Hygiene remains crucial every step of the way and sick people need to remain at home and turn to a doctor. The health and lives of us all are at stake, as well as the capability of our health care system to assist in protecting them," the prime minister added.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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