Estonia's coronavirus infection rate increases to 1.15

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Coronavirus restrictions signage, in three languages. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Estonia's coronavirus infection rate - R - has increased slightly over the last week and now stands at 1.15, the Health Board announced on Wednesday.

The R rate, which shows the average number of secondary infections produced by a single infected person, has grown in the northern region (1.0→1.12) and eastern region (1.0→1.08). The R rate has remained stable in the southern and western regions at 1.2 and 1.0, respectively.

The 14-day infection rates increased in all counties except Pärnu County, which saw a drop of 17.9 percent. The infection rates stabilized in Hiiu and Lääne-Viru counties. The highest increases came in Viljandi County (38.9 percent) and Lääne County (35.3 percent).

The regions with the highest infection rates are still counties in South Estonia, such as Võru County (923.3 infections/100,000 people), Valga County (741), Põlva County (779) and Viljandi County (467). The average growth in infections in those counties was around 25 percent for the week.

Forecast for the upcoming weeks

The Health Board assessed that effects from the recently imposed restrictions should be seen this week and the opening of the school year on Wednesday should not affect coronavirus infection indicators too much, which means infections should not go up significantly over the next week.

The board pointed out that it is important to consider that the R rate has grown some over the previous week, especially in larger counties. Therefore, an increase in infections is also expected in the coming weeks with schools and kindergartens opening.

Infection forecast if R rate remains unchanged (July 19-September 25). Source: Health Board

Patients by age

Last week, infections grew in all age groups. The most common age group of infected people remain working age and socially active people - 20-59 years old, making up 60 percent of all infection cases.

Last week, infection indicators grew considerably among those aged 60 and up - the number of infected people grew 145 percent in the 75-79 age group and nearly 50 percent in the 60-69 age group.

Where people get infected

Analyzed data shows that the source of infection was not found for 28 percent of the diagnosed cases last week (up from 25 percent the week prior).

39.6 percent of infections happened within the family, 6.4 percent got infected while abroad, 5.9 percent caught the virus at the workplace, 5.9 percent among acquaintances, 3.3 percent at entertainment events, 3 percent at healthcare establishments and care homes, 1.8 percent at childcare establishments and schools and the remaining 6.6 percent were infected with the coronavirus elsewhere.

56 outbreaks in Estonia

A total of 56 active outbreaks took place in Estonia over the last week, three more than the week prior. A total of 835 cases were related to the outbreaks.

Around half of the outbreaks are related to events, such as entertainment events, summer camps, field trips, weddings, birthdays, meetings, festivals and trainings. There were 27 such outbreaks and they make up nearly 55 percent of all outbreak infections.

In addition to different events, family outbreaks make up a large part of the total outbreaks with 26.8 percent. There were also four care home outbreaks last week.

Infections connected to travel

Last week, 21,509 people who filled out a border crossing form, arrived in Estonia. A total 156 COVID-19 cases were diagnosed among them, making up 6.4 percent of all cases. The cases brought in can be connected to 28 different countries.

The most common sources of infection when it comes to travel are Finland (30 cases last week), Turkey (28) and Russia (16). There were nine cases brought in from Bulgaria and eight from Greece.

Delta variant makes up 99.9 percent of all cases

The spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19 is ongoing in Estonia and genotyping data over the last week shows that the variant makes up 99.9 percent of all cases in Estonia.

Last week, unvaccinated patients made up 70 percent of all diagnosed cases and 86 percent of all hospitalizations.

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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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