Third COVID-19 wave has not reached Ida-Viru County yet

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Narva Castle. Source: R2

Ida-Viru County, the county with the lowest rate of vaccinations in Estonia, has registered few new cases to start August. Experts say it still too early to speak about herd immunity in the county, because the new wave has simply not reached it yet.

It seems like Ida-Viru County is experiencing a somewhat different summer than the rest of Estonia, one more similar to last year - there are very few daily cases in the county. But like last year, the wave of infections came around in late fall.

The Health Board assesses that Ida-Viru County has not had many mass events and many residents have already had the virus before.

"The number of people who have recovered certainly affects it. Many infections in Ida-Viru County were brought in from Russia, but there are more and more people getting vaccinated for travel, which is why less is brought in. But infections in all counties are growing, so we must also be prepared to see Ida-Viru's numbers jumping up," said Health Board deputy director Mari-Anne Härma.

Narva Hospital chief Ago Kõrgvee said herd immunity has not been researched yet. The current low state could however be compared to a calm before the fall storm.

"While 70 percent of the remaining population has been vaccinated, once it reaches us, we have not reached 50 percent. People of Ida-Viru County are still quite local, the rest of Estonia has traveled around and things will likely get worse once children go to school," Kõrgvee said.

During previous waves, the coronavirus has spread significantly in large work collectives and schools. People mostly spend their summers in summer homes while waiting for school to start on September 1.

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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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