The number of coronavirus patients requiring hospitalization is set to reach 450 in the coming days, 500 by the end of October and 600 in mid-November, the Health Board's weekly overview (link in Estonian) reads.
Last week, there were 49,424 coronavirus tests conducted, 13.1 percent up from the week prior. 16.2 percent of the tests came out as positive for the coronavirus.
The highest rates of positive tests were in Põlva County (24.2 percent), Pärnu County (24 percent) and Valga, Viljandi and Võru counties (19.3 percent each).
Estonia's R rate remains stable around 1.18 nationwide. The infection rate increased in the northern region (1.18 percent → 1.22 percent), but remained the same in the remaining regions.
Estimate: 1,400 daily infections, 10,000 a week
The Health Board noted an increased growth of coronavirus spread in Lääne County (64.6 percent), Ida-Viru County (49.2 percent), Järva County (44.3 percent) and Hiiu County (42.1 percent). The increase of spread in Ida-Viru County and Harju County (28.5 percent each) affects all of Estonia.
The highest infection rates per 100,000 people over the last week were registered in Põlva County (1947.5), Pärnu County (1870.4) and Võru County (1301.7).
The Health Board is estimating the increase in coronavirus spread to continue over the coming weeks. The average number of daily infections in the ongoing week is set to exceed 1,400 and the weekly number of cases will likely exceed 10,000.
Infections by age group
Last week, infections were in an upward trend in almost all age groups, the highest increase was in the 80+ age group (by 62 percent). Next was the 70-74 age group at a 54 percent increase, followed by the 20-24 age group (38 percent).
Infections have stabilized somewhat in the 0-4 and 15-19 age groups.
The highest rate of infections and the highest rate of infections per 100,000 people is still among school children, especially the 10-14 age group.
The Health Board said the number of hospitalized patients without additional restrictions can climb to 450 in the coming days, 500 by the end of October and 600 by mid-November.
The maximum number of hospitalized coronavirus patients was 727 on April 5.
Sources of infection largely the same
35.2 percent of the known sources of infection over the last week happened within family circles. 17.7 percent of the infections were traced back to childcare establishments and schools with 96 percent of these infections being children.
9.4 percent of last week's infections took place at work (including care home staff), patients in health care establishments and care homes made up 3.1 percent. 2 percent of the infections were traced back to travel.
The infection rates went up a bit in workplaces and among patients at healthcare establishments and care homes. Infection among family and travel decreased.
Number of outbreaks up
There were 178 active outbreaks in Estonia last week, up from 171 the week prior. The total number of infected people in these outbreaks totals 2,890, up from 2,429 the week before.
Outbreaks traced to childcare establishments and schools have been the most active in terms of infections with 449 cases added in the previous 10 days. Outbreaks in prisons have accounted for most of the 122 cases added to the unclassified outbreaks in the last 10 days.
As of October 17, the Health Board is monitoring 16 outbreaks in care homes, down from 21 the week prior. There are a total 540 people linked to the care home outbreaks with most of the outbreaks in the southern region.
There were four new healthcare establishment outbreaks in the last week, there are a total of seven being monitored, as of Wednesday. New outbreaks were most common in South Estonia, where the burden on hospitals is greatest.
The number of school outbreaks being monitored remains high and is in an upward trend. There were 103 outbreaks in schools last week, up from 93 the week before and 11 outbreaks in pre-school establishments. There are school outbreaks in all regions.
There were 120 infections in care homes last week. Eight of these people were hospitalized and there were no deaths. Care home residents made up 1.5 percent of all infections last week and 2.3 percent of all hospitalizations.
There were 124 infections traced back to travel last week, which made up 2 percent of the total cases. Cases were traced back to 25 countries, the most common of which were Turkey (33 cases), Finland (22) and Russia (20).
Hospitalizations and deaths
There were a total of 348 hospitalizations in the last week (up 43.8 percent from the week prior). In addition, 14 percent of all cases among the 60+ age groups required hospitalization.
As of October 18, the average age of hospitalized patients is 69 years. The rate of people aged 60 and up was 75.5 percent.
Compared to the week prior, the rate of hospitalized patients aged 60 and up increased, but the rate of patients aged 40-59 decreased.
People over the age of 80 make up a third of all hospitalized patients.
There were 30 deaths last week with ages varying between 37 and 96. All these people had co-morbidities. The average number of deaths over the previous seven days is 4.3.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste