There were 26% fewer new hospital admissions of patients with COVID-19 last week compared to the week before. There were 25% fewer new patients with COVID-19 admitted to ICU compared to the previous week. Fewer positive test results were reported last week* than the week before that (-11%)**.
As of this week, the Omicron variant is causing more than half of infections, making it the dominant SARS-CoV-2 variant in the Netherlands. The more rapid spread of this variant will lead to additional infections, which in turn will lead to a new increase in the number of hospital admissions. The new measures that took effect on 19 December 2021 are intended to help minimise the expected additional pressure on the healthcare system as a result of the Omicron variant.
Prevent the spread of the virus and help to prevent more hospital admissions by following the basic measures, even if you are vaccinated and even if you have had a booster vaccination.
Hospital admissions and ICU admissions
The number of people with COVID-19 who were admitted to hospital decreased by 26% last week compared to the week before, dropping to 1,063 new hospital admissions. 191 new patients with COVID-19 were admitted to ICU last week, 65 fewer new patients than in the week before (-25%). The downward trend in hospital admissions is an effect of the measures that started on 28 November, including the evening lockdown. The effect of the measures that started on 19 December is expected to be visible by early January 2022. Due to the extended treatment period required for COVID-19 patients, pressure on hospitals remains high.
Regional differences in positive COVID-19 tests
84,398 positive test results were reported last week* (11% fewer than the week before that**). 346,667 people were tested by the Municipal Public Health Services (GGDs), 9% fewer than in the week before that. Per 100,000 inhabitants, 482 people received a positive test result.
There are regional differences in the number of people who tested positive for COVID-19. The highest number of newly reported infections per 100,000 inhabitants was seen in Amsterdam-Amstelland (627), followed by Gooi- en Vechtstreek (585). The lowest number of positive test results was reported in Limburg-Noord (356). All age groups, except for people aged 18-29 years, showed a decrease in the number of reported positive tests (Figure 1).
Figure 1: Number of reported positive tests per 100,000 inhabitants, by age group (15 November to 26 December 2021).
The most recent reproduction number based on positive COVID-19 tests is for 13 December, and was 0.90 (lower limit 0.89 – upper limit 0.92). That means that 100 people who had COVID-19 on 13 December will collectively infect another 90 new people. On 13 December, the spread of the virus was still decreasing. The reproduction number is expected to rise again in the next few weeks now that the Omicron variant is dominant.
* Positive tests reported to RIVM between 21 December 2021 at 10:01 and 28 December 2021 at 10:00. The number of tests in GGD test lanes, hospital admissions and ICU admissions are shown by calendar week.
** Due to a technical malfunction between 27 December 22:00 and 28 December 10:00, not all of the positive test results and data from the test lanes have been reported to RIVM. Therefore, the figures on reported positive tests and the number of tests that are displayed today are underreporting the actual number of reported positive tests.