Infections with the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 in the Netherlands have been increasing for the past few weeks. Hospital admissions are also on the rise. More people are reporting symptoms which could indicate COVID-19. This may possibly be the start of the expected autumn wave of COVID-19. Vaccination and testing are very important in this phase to prevent the figures from rising sharply. 

Respiratory infections are more common later in the year. The coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 also spreads more easily in autumn. In recent weeks, more people are contracting the virus and passing it on to others. Some people have a higher risk of severe illness due to COVID-19, especially people who are older or have underlying health conditions. RIVM therefore urges extra attention for vaccination, testing and the other basic recommendations.

Upward trend

The number of people who tested positive for COVID-19 through the Municipal Public Health Services (GGDs) increased last week all across the Netherlands and among nearly all age groups (Figure 1). An increase was also observed in the percentage of Infection Radar survey participants reporting symptoms that could indicate COVID-19. The number of new hospital admissions of patients with SARS-COV-2 also showed a clear increase. The number of new ICU admissions of patients with SARS-CoV-2 is still relatively low. 

Vaccination, testing, self-isolating

Vaccination offers protection against severe illness. The repeat vaccination against COVID-19 helps you maintain effective protection against the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and helps to prevent serious illness. Some groups of people have a higher risk of serious illness. That makes them vulnerable. That is why it is particularly important for them to get the repeat vaccination. This also applies to people who work in healthcare and have contact with vulnerable people.

To prevent the COVID-19 figures from rising rapidly, it is important for everyone who has symptoms to use a self-test and to self-isolate if they test positive for COVID-19. Also, wash your hands regularly, do not shake hands, cough and sneeze in your elbow and ensure a good flow of fresh air.