Coronavirus level is highest in southern and central Estonia

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Tallinna Vesi's Paljassaare Wastewater Treatment Plant. Source: Tallinna Vesi

The level of coronavirus is highest in southern and central Estonia, results of this week's University of Tartu wastewater monitoring study show. Larger cities in Ida-Viru County have low levels of the virus.

The study's lead researcher Professor of Technology of Antimicrobial Compounds of the University of Tartu Tanel Tenson said this week's results show that the virus is more evenly spread across southern Estonia compared to last week.

While a week ago, the main outbreaks were in larger cities, the most recent analysis shows a wide spread of the virus in Tõrva and Elva, among other smaller places.

Samples with a high level of coronavirus were also taken from several other smaller sites in southern Estonia.

Compared to the index describing the average situation in Estonia, the virus level is lower in Ida-Viru County, western Estonia and Harju County.  

Results from the latest wastewater study from the University of Tartu were released on August 27, 2021. Source: University of Tartu.

How and where are the samples collected?

Wastewater samples are collected at the beginning of every week in all county centers, cities with more than 10,000 inhabitants and, if necessary, in smaller settlements. This week's samples were taken only from larger cities and reflect the situation of wastewater passing through the treatment plant over 24 hours, giving a reliable overview of the infection level in the city.  

The study is a tool helping the Health Board monitor changes in the outbreak dynamics and discover hidden outbreaks. It gives early information for estimating the spread of the virus before clinical cases are detected. The Health Board is regularly informed of the results.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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