Coronavirus round-up: October 25-31

A sign asking people to wear masks.
A sign asking people to wear masks. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Last week, there were 12,069 new cases of coronavirus diagnosed across Estonia compared to 9,988 the week before. Deaths jumped from 40 to 71.

This article brings together the most important news and data about the coronavirus situation in Estonia from the last week. The data is taken from the Health Board and Koroonakaart.

In the article you can find the following information:

  • Weekly news overview;
  • The total number of new cases diagnosed by week;
  • New cases by day for October 25-31;
  • New cases by county by week;
  • Total number of positive and negative tests by week;
  • Deaths of covid-positive patients by week;
  • Vaccinations by week.

Overview: More restrictions were introduced on Monday, closing entertainment venues at 11 p.m. and adding additional checks to coronavirus certificates.

Regular testing for school children was introduced and Tallinn moved all schools to distance learning for at least a week from November 1 - although some decided to stay open. Schools in Narva and Pärnu counties quickly followed.

The Health Board has said, based on past experience, it is known the infection rate rises after the school holidays, which took place last week.

Minister of Health and Labor Tanel Kiik (Center) said stricter restrictions should have been introduced earlier. Approaching the vaccination situation as the Nordic countries have done has not worked in Estonia, he said.

The number of patients being treated in hospitals has almost reached the limit. Urmas Sule, head of the Emergency Crisis Department of the Health Board, said the situation will not improve in the near future. New restrictions are likely to be introduced if the situation worsens to protect the healthcare system.

Estonia has the highest number of new cases in Europe and has already broken new records for cases and infection rates. The infection rate is still rising and the reproduction rate R is 1.2 - it needs to be below 1 for the rate to drop.

Experts are still not ruling out a future lockdown and the results of the wastewater study keep rising.

There has been an uptick in the number of people getting vaccinated.

New cases by week: There were 12,069 new cases reported last week - an increase of more than 2,000 - the highest number ever reported in a single week. The week before 9,988 were reported.

The Health Board said in its weekly summary that infections had increased in all age groups. The highest was among those aged 75–79 years (64 percent), 80+ years (60 percent), 20–24 years (50 percent) and 0–4 years (45 percent).

Last week, 41 percent of infections were contracted within the family, 26 percent are unknown, 8 percent in schools, 7 percent at work, 5.2 percent in health care institutions, 3 percent from friends and 2 percent were caught abroad.

On Monday, the 14-day infection rate was 1,694.4 per 100,000 people. Last week the number was 1,353.3.

New cases by day: More than 2,000 cases were reported on a single day last week for the first time. The highest number reported the week before was 1,787.

More than 1,400 cases were reported on five other days - even Sunday, when there are usually far fewer new cases as testing drops over the weekend.

The R rate is still above 1, meaning the infection rate is still rising.

New cases by region: The highest number of cases were recorded in Harju County which had 4,824 cases compared to 3,918 last week.

Tartu County had the second higher number of cases at 1,291, followed by Pärnu and Ida-Viru counties, with 1,132 and 1,029 respectively. These are record numbers for all three counties.

Only Ida-Viru County has exceeded 1,000 cases a week in the past, but its highest number in the spring was 1,030. Neither Tartu nor Pärnu counties surpassed 450 cases during the spring.

The below graph shows the countries with the highest rates. Click the colored dots to remove data from the graph.

Number of tests: There were 12,069 positive tests and 45,365 negative tests carried out. This gives a total of 57,434 - similar to the week before.

The positive share of tests rose to 21.1 percent, compared to 17.43 percent the week before.

Hospitalized patients: This graph shows the number of patients in hospital every Monday morning for the last month. This week, the figure was 571 compared to 516 last Monday and 408 the week previous.

The proportion of patients over the age of 60 was 76.9 percent.

By the time this article was published on Tuesday, the number had risen to 595. Experts have said Estonia only has the staffing capacity to treat 600 coronavirus patients.

At the peak in spring, there were 737 patients receiving treatment, but it will not be possible to treat so many this time due to staff shortages.

The Health Board said in its weekly summary that by the middle of November it is expected that 730-740 coronavirus patients will be in need of treatment. This will rise to 800 in three weeks. This means disruptions to all other types of treatment - including emergency treatment.

Deaths of covid positive patients: There were 71 deaths last week - the highest amount since mid-April. There were 40 the week before. The highest number of deaths recorded in a single week was 87 in April.

The total number of deaths, as of Tuesday, is 1,550.

The Health Board told ERR News on Wednesday that 164 people infected with coronavirus died between October 4-31. Of those, 120 were unvaccinated which is 73.1 percent.

Number of vaccines administered: The number of people vaccinated for the first time was 14,152 - the highest since August. The total number of doses - first and second - given was 18,424.

Additionally, more than 26,000 booster doses were administered.

The vaccination rate by age group can be seen below.

Editor's note: This article was updated on November 3 to add information from the Health Board's weekly summary.

How can the spread of coronavirus be stopped?

  • The most efficient measure is getting vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • Keeping your distance from others.
  • Wear a mask in crowded places.
  • Closed, crowded spaces should be avoided if possible.
  • Hands must be washed frequently with soap and warm water.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough.
  • If you develop symptoms stay at home and contact a family doctor.

Coronavirus data

You can find more data about coronavirus in Estonia on the Health Board's website or at koroonakaart. Both websites are in Estonian, Russian and English.

Note to readers

Feedback is welcome, as are suggestions for data we can show or stories we can tell. Email: helen.wright@err.ee

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Editor: Helen Wright

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