Estonia's coronavirus infection rate falls to 1.05

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Used face masks scattered near Ülemiste shopping center. Source: ERR

Estonia's coronavirus infection rate - R - has decreased nationally to 1.05 from 1.15 the week prior, the Health Board's weekly coronavirus overview reads.

Compared to August 30, the R rate, which shows the average number of secondary infections produced by a single infected person, remained stable in the northern (1.2→1.08) and eastern (1.8→1.05) regions.

The rate dropping also happened because younger people did not get infected as often, but with school and different hobby groups starting back up, the Health Board expects infections to increase over the coming weeks.

14-day infection rates improved in Hiiu and Saare counties and remained stable in Ida-Viru, Järva, Rapla, Valga and Võru counties. In all other counties, the 14-day rate increased.

The regions with the highest infection rates are in South Estonia: Võru County (917.7/100,000 people), Valga County (758.8/100,000 people), Põlva County (981.9/100,000 people) and Viljandi County (615.2/100,000 people).

Epidemic spread has taken place in the southern and western regions over the last month with Viljandi (31.5 percent), Põlva (26), Jõgeva (27.6) and Lääne (45.1) counties in an upward infection trend. In other counties, the infection growth was around 10 percent.

Last week, infections increased considerably among those aged 60 and up. In the 70-75 age group, the number of infections increased by 69 percent, the number of infections in the 65-69 age group by around 16 percent. The number of infections among children aged 0-4 and 15-19 has decreased.

Infections in care homes up

4.4 percent of last week's cases were brought in from abroad, 39.6 percent were infected from family circles and 9.4 percent at the workplace. 5.7 percent of cases last week were through acquaintances, 1.8 percent from entertainment venues and events, 5.6 percent from healthcare establishments and care home institutions and 2.2 percent of last week's cases stemmed from education establishments. Other sources of infection were noted for 6.4 percent of all cases.

Infections in healthcare establishments and care homes were up from the week prior (3 percent→5.6 percent) and in education establishments (1.8→2.2). Travel did not cause as many cases last week (6.4→4.4), the same with entertainment venues and events (3.3→1.8).

There were 64 active outbreaks last week, up from 56 the week before. Outbreaks related to different events, such as festivals, entertainment, birthdays, camps, etc., have begun to decrease, but the number of outbreaks in healthcare establishments, education establishments and workplaces have increased.

Teacher in northern region infected students

As of September 5, the Health Board is monitoring eight care home outbreaks. Another healthcare establishment outbreak was found in Estonia last week - Valga Hospital, where the number of infected people stands at 11.

Infections in education establishments are mostly discovered in pre-school establishments, there is one school outbreak in the northern region with eight students infected. The outbreak began from a teacher infected with the coronavirus.

Cases related to travel

Last week, 103 diagnosed cases stemmed from travel, making up 4.4 percent of all cases last week. Infections were traced back to 20 different countries with Finland the most common at 21 cases. Cases being brought to Estonia via travel was also common when it came to travel from Turkey (19 cases) and Russia (19).

Vaccination tempo slowing

23,621 vaccine doses were administered in Estonia last week, down 18 percent from the week prior (28,754 doses). The rate of people who have completed their vaccination process increased by 2.53 percent, the total number of administered doses went up 1.87 percent.

Last week, 67 percent of infections and 78 percent of hospitalizations were unvaccinated people.

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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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