In the past calendar week, from 12 to 18 May, there were 21% fewer hospital admissions of patients with COVID-19 compared to the week before. New arrivals in the ICU were also down by 24% compared to the previous week.*
The number of newly reported people who tested positive for COVID-19 dropped by 25%. The number of reported positive tests decreased in all age groups. The number of reported infections per 100,000 dropped from 270 to 202 across the Netherlands.
1,152 new COVID-19 hospital admissions were reported last week, 21% fewer than in the week before, when 1,458 people with COVID-19 were admitted to hospital. 239 new ICU admissions were reported in the past week, a 24% decrease compared to the week before, when 313 people with COVID-19 were admitted to ICU.
Positive COVID-19 tests and regional differences
35,142 new people who tested positive for COVID-19 were reported in the past week. That is a decrease of 25% compared to the week before that. The percentage of people who tested positive for COVID-19 last week was 12.2%, about the same as the week before that (12.3%). In the past week, 202 people per 100,000 inhabitants received a positive test result for COVID-19. The number of reported positive tests per 100,000 inhabitants in the regions of Brabant-Noord and Limburg-Noord was significantly higher than the Dutch average, reaching more than 280 per 100,000 inhabitants. The number of positive COVID-19 tests per 100,000 inhabitants decreased in all age groups (Figure 1).
This downward trend in reported positive tests is expected to have been caused in part by the fact that fewer people (-23%) were tested in the test lanes operated by the Municipal Public Health Services (GGDs). 272,681 people were tested for COVID-19 in the past calendar week, compared to 353,012 in the week before that. In particular, there was a significant decrease in the number of people tested who were under 18 years old, compared to the weeks before that (Figure 2). The decrease in the number of tests administered in the GGD test lanes seems to have been caused at least in part by the May holidays and the long weekend for Ascension Day, but may also be partly due to the use of self-tests.
Figure 1. Newly reported infections by age group, per calendar week.
Figure 2. Number of people tested by age group, per calendar week.
Reproduction numbers and contagious people
The reproduction number based on reported positive tests decreased compared to the previous week. The reproduction number for 3 May was 0.89 (lower limit 0.87 – upper limit 0.91), compared to 1.01 one week earlier.
The reproduction number for 3 May based on hospital admissions was 0.91 (lower limit 0.78 – upper limit 1.06) and remained nearly unchanged since 26 April, when the reproduction number was 0.93. On 3 May, the reproduction number based on ICU admissions was also 0.91 (lower limit 0.61 – upper limit 1.25). This was a decrease compared to the week before that, when the R number was 0.96. Due to the smaller data set, the calculations for the reproduction numbers based on hospital and ICU admissions have a greater margin of uncertainty.
The number of contagious people – meaning people who are infected with the virus and in the phase of infection that they can transmit the virus to others – was about 130,000 on 10 May. It is estimated that there were 149,000 contagious people in the week before that.*
Back to ‘normal’? Follow the measures, even after a negative test result (or self-test) or after vaccination.
Besides vaccinations, continuing to follow the measures is the way to prevent people from becoming infected. Until vaccinations have been given to everyone who wants them, this is how we can prevent the virus from spreading faster again and avoid possibly having to roll back relaxation of the measures. Fewer infections means fewer hospital admissions.
Stay at least 1.5 metres from others. If you have symptoms, stay home and get tested – even if you are vaccinated. Testing is still important if you have already been vaccinated. You can still become infected and infect others. Wash your hands regularly. Did you test positive for COVID-19 on the self-test? Stay home, isolate yourself from others, have your household members start quarantining, and contact the GGD. This is how we will stop the spread of the virus.