Tartu County approaching Harju in COVID-19 rates ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Tartu's famous Kaarsild bridge.
Tartu's famous Kaarsild bridge. Source: Erge Jõgela.

Coronavirus rates in Tartu County have also started to rise significantly, heading towards figures consistently put in by Harju and Ida-Viru counties in recent weeks.

The three counties – Harju County includes Tallinn – are the most populous regions of Estonia, comprising around two thirds of the total population.

While Ida-Viru County's rate is currently 834 per 100,000 inhabitants over the past 14 days, Harju County's is less than half that, and with Tartu County's own number standing at 320.9, the gap is narrowing.

During the week November 17-24, 165 new cases were recorded in Tartu County; a week later the figure was 259 – a 60 percent rise.

Health Board PR specialist Merilin Vernik notes that Tartu County has the largest number of educational institutions, one of the key types of location seeing rising rates, though qualified her words by saying that drawing conclusions based on outbreaks alone should not be over-used.

"The virus can reach anywhere now, and you have to be careful," Vernik said.

Six educational establishments and one hobby group have registered outbreaks, the latter numbering 18 cases at present, while a Tartu care home has eight recorded infections so far.

As for possible solutions, Verink simply had to double down on the general advice.

She said: "There is nothing more we can recommend than reducing contacts. Those who have the opportunity to work remotely should definitely do so."

The standard precautions of hand-washing and disinfecting, mask-wearing and social distancing should still certainly be followed, she added.

Vernik said, adding that it is definitely important to wash your hands, wear a mask and keep your distance from other people.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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