Nearly four per cent of the hospital staff examined in Brabant is infected with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). A random sample test by RIVMNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment  between 6 and 9 March reveals this. The research findings support last Friday's implemented policy. It does, however, require a few additions. 

The fact that healthcare workers are infected with the coronavirus can mean several things. It may be that the percentage of infections in hospitals is a reflection of the number of infections among the Brabant population. But it could also mean that the percentage of infections among hospital staff is higher because they can be exposed to the virus sooner as a result of their work. RIVM will investigate this further. 

Test results

From 6 to 8 March 1097 hospital workers were tested of which 3.9 per cent was indeed infected with COVID-19.  The percentages vary per hospital and are between 0 and 10 per cent. Two hundred patients were also tested. Of these patients, an average of 9 per cent was infected with the virus. Again, there are differences between hospitals. The people who were tested already had symptoms. 

Advice and measures

RIVM's previous advice to prevent the spread of the virus remains in effect. This regards the basic hygiene measures and the call not to shake hands. In the province of Noord-Brabant, the advice is to avoid social contacts as much as possible with symptoms of a cold, cough or a fever. In Noord-Brabant, the advice to work from home as much as possible and to avoid visits to busy places remains in effect. 

Events  

The central government has a framework that can help municipalities decide whether or not to allow major events to go ahead. New measures for events were announced this afternoon in Noord-Brabant.

Hospitals

RIVM carried out this research in close collaboration with the hospitals in the province: Bravis (Roosendaal & Bergen op Zoom), Jeroen Bosch (Den Bosch), Bernhoven (Uden), Radboud University Medical Centre (Radboudumc, Nijmegen), Amphia (Breda), VieCuri (Venlo), Catharina (Eindhoven), Elkerliek (Helmond), Elizabeth Twee Steden (Tilburg). Although Radboudumc and VieCuri are not located in the province of Noord-Brabant, they do have many employees who live in Noord-Brabant.