Government updates COVID-19 risk matrix

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A traffic light. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

On Thursday, the government announced an update to the COVID-19 risk matrix, which will now display four different risk levels.

Taking into consideration the increase in the number of vaccinated people and as of the scientific council's and Health Board's recommendations, the government has decided to update COVID-19 risk matrix indicators, the government's press service announced on Thursday.

"The current risk matrix mainly considers infection indicators, but thanks to vaccinations, the infection indicators no longer show how many people end up in the hospital," Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) explained. "Our main goal is to lessen the burden on the hospital network to maintain the healthcare system. The new matrix will consider the new situation more specifically."

As of the new risk indicators, Estonia's coronavirus infection risk is on "yellow" - medium risk.

To better estimate the burden on the healthcare system, one main indicator and additional indicators will be changed. The risk matrix will no longer look at the average number of infections over the previous seven days and will instead look at the number of hospitalizations over the previous seven days.

Additional indicators include average deaths over the previous seven days, the completed vaccination coverage of the adult population, the infection rates among people aged 60 and up and the number of patients on ventilators.

UPDATED COVID-19 RISK MATRIX INDICATORS

Green - Low risk

  • The average number of infections over the previous seven days is up to 250 people and the average number of hospitalized patients over the previous seven days is up to 10 patients a day.
  • The risk of infection and the burden on the healthcare system is low and society can operate as normal.

Yellow - Medium risk

  • The average number of infections over the previous seven days is 250-600 people and the average number of hospitalized patients over the previous seven days is 10-30 patients a day.
  • The risk of infection is average. The healthcare system's operation is not in critical danger, but additional COVID-19 hospital beds must be created, which will make planned treatment queues longer. Some restrictions need to be imposed, which will limit the national spread. These restrictions are using coronavirus certificates to ensure safety and wearing masks in public spaces.

Orange - High risk

  • The average number of infections over the previous seven days is 600-1,000 people and the average number of hospitalized patients over the previous seven days is 30-60 patients a day.
  • The risk of infection is high. The healthcare system is in danger and queues for regular healthcare services will get longer. To ensure the availability of medical care, strict restrictions must be imposed to avoid higher risk of infection. This means increasing monitoring at culture, entertainment and catering establishments and regional restrictions, if necessary.

Red - Very high risk

  • The average number of infections over the previous seven days exceeds 1,000 and the average number of hospitalized patients over the previous seven days is more than 60 people a day.
  • The risk of infection is very high and the most strict restrictions will be imposed, such as closing most establishments, distance learning and working from home. The sustainability of the healthcare system cannot be ensured.

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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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