In the week from 17 to 23 March, 46,005 people received a positive test result for COVID-19, an increase of 16% compared to the week before that. The reproduction number continued to rise, from 1.06 on 1 March to 1.11 on 8 March. That means that the number of SARS-CoV-2 infections in the Netherlands is still increasing. The number of people admitted to hospital or ICU with COVID-19 is also rising. 1,441 people with COVID-19 were admitted to hospital in the past week, 114 more than the week before. 313 people were admitted to ICU wards, 39 more than the week before*. The percentage of positive tests increased from 7.7% a week earlier to 8.1%** in the past week. 

More than 519,000 people were tested for SARS-CoV-2 in the GGD test lanes in the past week, and the test results are known for 517,000 of them. This is an increase of more than 56,000 tests (+12%) compared to the week before that. Children aged 0 to 12 were tested most frequently last week, followed by people aged 30 to 39. The research results from from also show an increase in the number of people with respiratory symptoms. 

Testing positive for COVID-19

In the past seven days, 264 people per 100,000 inhabitants received a positive test result for COVID-19. The highest number of reported positive tests (per capita) continues to be in the age group of 18-24 years, at 359 reports per 100,000 inhabitants. The number of reported positive tests per 100,000 inhabitants increased in all age groups (see Figure 1). The largest relative increase was among children aged 0 to 12 (+23%) and 13 to 17 (+29%). These age groups also showed the largest increase in the number of tests taken. This is probably related to the reopening of primary education and childcare on 3 February and the partial reopening of secondary schools on 1 March. The smallest increase in the number of positive COVID-19 tests per 100,000 inhabitants was seen among people aged 70 and older: 8% in the past week. This can be attributed in part to the vaccination programme.

Figure 1: Number of reported positive tests per age category per week.

Reproduction number rises to 1.11

The reproduction number rose to 1.11 (lower limit 1.08 – upper limit 1.14) on 8 March. One week earlier, the reproduction number was 1.06 (lower limit 1.03 – upper limit 1.09). A reproduction number of 1.11 means that 100 people with COVID-19 will collectively infect another 111 people. The reproduction number is updated twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays, on the Coronavirus Dashboard

What can you do? 

If everyone follows the behavioural rules for COVID-19, fewer people will be infected and it will be possible to relax the measures sooner. That means: wash your hands, stay 1.5 metres from others, and if you have symptoms, stay home and get tested. This is how we can stop the coronavirus from spreading. 

*Source: NICE Foundation

** Excluding results from large-scale testing in Bunschoten and Dronten.  If the localised large-scale test results from these locations are included, the percentage of positive tests in the Netherlands is 8%; without the large-scale test results, the percentage of positive tests is 8.1%. The percentage of positive tests including large-scale testing is 6.7% in Utrecht (6.7% excluding those results) and 6.5% in Flevoland (8.2% excluding those results).