The government announced on Thursday, October 14, that the spread of the coronavirus in Estonia has now reached the highest level of risk on the national COVID-19 risk matrix.
The updated risk matrix, which places a higher emphasis on hospitalization, states that the red level, i.e. the 'very high risk' level means 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.
While Estonia's seven-day average for hospitalization stands at 42, the seven-day infection rate per 100,000 people hit 1,015 on Thursday.
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, the risk matrix reads.
The government announced that it is also monitoring the vaccination rate of the adult population, which is currently at 67.8 nationwide. As of Thursday, 767,890 have been administered at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine. 727,643 of these people have completed their vaccination process.
The goal of restrictions for very high spread is to ensure emergency medical care and to get the pandemic under control, the government said.
On Tuesday, the Tartu University Hospital board made a decision to limit scheduled treatments amid rising coronavirus numbers. Hospital board member Joel Starkopf said: "Two existing intensive care units have been transformed into coronavirus intensive care units. In order to continue intensive care for other non-coronavirus patients, it is necessary to limit scheduled surgical treatment."
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste