Coronavirus round-up: January 11-17

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Friedrich Reinhold Kreutzwald statue wearing a mask in Võru County. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Last week 3,543 cases of coronavirus were diagnosed in Estonia compared to 4,289 cases the week before - 746 fewer cases. There were 46 deaths which is a new record high.

ERR News has rounded up the most important news and data about the coronavirus in Estonia from the last week and put it in one place.

This round-up is usually published on Monday, because the results for Sunday of the previous week are released on Monday morning, only making it possible to analyze the previous week's results after the data has been reported.

You can find the following graphs below:

  • The total number of new cases diagnosed by week;
  • New cases by day for January 11-17;
  • New cases by county by week;
  • New cases compared with deaths and hospital releases;
  • Total number of positive and negative tests by week;
  • Deaths by age group.

The data has been taken from the Health Board and we downloaded it from Koroonakaart which publishes data every day in English, Russian and Estonian.

Our "Coronavirus in Estonia: All You Need to Know" guide also provides an overview of total cases by county, the daily rate of new cases, and includes a breakdown of all the restrictions so far. We update this page daily.

In the graphs below, you can add or take away data from the graphs by clicking on the colored dots below. The data points are (mostly) dated with each Monday's date.

Overview

While the number of new infections has fallen, the latest stage of a COVID-19 monitoring study conducted by scientists of the University of Tartu shows that the coronavirus has spread in all 15 Estonian counties and its spread doubled over the holidays.

The head of the government's scientific council and virology professor Irja Lutsar told ERR on Friday she does not want to confirm that Estonia has reached the plateau of the second wave of COVID-19 yet.

So, while the number of total cases has fallen, experts are cautious about whether this fall is temporary or the start of a longer trend.

Vaccinating against COVID-19 continued and moved from only health professionals to people living in care and nursing homes. The first doses of the Moderna vaccine arrived in Estonia, while Pfizer/BioNTech's reported production problems will temporarily slow Estonia's vaccination program over the next couple of weeks.

So far, 18,275 people have been vaccinated against coronavirus and second doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine have started to be administered. The outgoing government also set a goal to start vaccination non-risk groups by the end of May.

The government introduced several new restrictions last week, choosing to extend, but also ease, rules in place in Harju and Ida-Viru counties imposed in December.

The government's scientific advisory council recommended school children in Harju and Ida-Viru counties return to school on January 25. Restrictions on cafes, restaurants, hobby training and museums were relaxed on Monday (January 18) and gyms have reopened for "individual training". The nationwide alcohol sales restriction has been extended until the end of February.

The recommendation to wear a mask will stay in place until the end of the second wave.

From January 15, a negative test should be shown arrival to shorten the self-isolation period or a test taken on arrival. Rules are stricter for those flying from the United Kingdom.

The government also raised the limit for self-isolation for travelers from abroad. Previously if a country had an infection rate higher than 100 per 100,000 inhabitants self-isolation was required, now it is 150.

The infection rate - R - has fallen to around 1, experts said.

Articles referenced in this section are linked below in the "Coronavirus highlights January 11-17" section.

New cases by week: There was a fall of 746 cases last week compared to the week before. This is the first time since October that there has been such a significant fall in the total number of cases week-on-week but it is not known if this will continue.

In total, 3,543 new cases were diagnosed compared to 4,289 the week before.

Despite the fall in cases, a new record was set for the number of deaths as there were 46.

The 14-day infection rate is now 589.02 per 100,000 compared to 601.44 the week before.

New cases by day January 11-17: The highest number of cases recorded on a single day was 852 on Tuesday, January 12 and no new records were set last week. The lowest number of cases was 265 which were reported on Sunday, January 17. This is reflective of the data's usual pattern where there are more cases midweek and fewer at the weekend.

There were 46 deaths. There were 10 on January 14 - the highest number on a single day - and more than four every other day.

New cases by county: There were new cases reported in every county last week, you can see exactly how many and where on the map below. Once again, Pärnu County overtook Tartu County to have the third-highest number of cases. The majority of the new cases were diagnosed in Harju, Ida-Viru, Pärnu and Tartu counties.

As mentioned above, there were almost 750 fewer positive cases of COVID-19 diagnosed last week. In connection with this, both Harju and Ida-Viru counties saw significant falls in their case numbers.

Harju County's cases fell from 2,440 to 1,813 - a difference of more than 600. Ida-Viru County recorded 562 new cases compared to 675 the week before - more than 100 less. Saare County also saw a fall from 36 to 30.

Pärnu County's cases rose from 247 to 267, Võru County's cases increased from 69 to 88 - the biggest increase, proportionally.

Tartu County's cases plateaued at 236 compared to 233 the week before.

You can add or take away data from the graph by clicking on the colored dots at the bottom. The six counties included on the graph have the highest numbers of cases in total. 

Hospital releases: 217 people were released from hospital and patients receiving treatment in hospitals has stabilized at approximately 400. There were 424 patients being treated in hospital on Monday, a slight increase from 412 the week before.

Positive and negative tests by week: There were more than 30,000 tests carried out last week, which means testing is higher than over the Christmas and New Year period but was lower than the weeks running up to Christmas where almost 35,000 tests were carried out each week.

There were 3,543 positive tests and 27,650 negative tests recorded, which gives a total of 31,193. The average positive share was 11.17 percent, falling from 11.97 percent the week before.

Deaths

Deaths by week: There were 48 deaths last week, a new record high.

Coronavirus highlights January 11-17:

"Let's keep Estonia open!"

The Health Board launched a new campaign called "Let's keep Estonia open!" ("Hoiame Eesti elu avatud!") this week, which calls for the people of Estonia to follow five basic principles:

  • Stay at home if you have fallen ill;
  • Stay at least two meters away from other people;
  • Wear a mask in crowded places;
  • Wash your hands diligently;
  • Download the HOIA app onto your smartphone;
  • Get your information from reliable sources, such as kriis.ee, the Health Board or contact the free 1247 helpline.

The spread of coronavirus in Estonia is extensive and rapid, which means that it is possible to get infected anywhere you may come in to contact with others.

If possible, choose electronic channels and online services for running your errands. Run as many of your errands as possible via electronic channels which will allow you to avoid unnecessary contact with others and reduce the risk of your being infected.

If you experience any symptoms, please stay at home.

Download HOIA

Estonia's coronavirus exposure notification app HOIA will alert you if you have been in close contact with someone who later tests positive for coronavirus.

The free app can be downloaded at the Google Play Store or App Store. Read ERR News' feature about the app here. 

Note to readers

Feedback is welcome, as are suggestions for data we can show or stories we can tell. Email: helen.wright@err.ee

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Editor: Helen Wright

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