Infections with the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 are continuing to increase in the Netherlands. More and more people with COVID-19 are turning up in the test lanes of the Municipal Public Health Services (GGDs), in nursing homes and in hospitals. To keep the Netherlands open and to keep healthcare accessible for everyone, it is especially important right now to test if you have symptoms and to get the repeat vaccination.

The upward trend in the number of SARS-CoV-2 infections is now visible in all figures. The Municipal Public Health Services (GGDs) reported a 55% increase in the number of positive COVID-19 tests last week, and the percentage of people who reported symptoms that could indicate COVID-19 in the Infection Radar survey last week rose from 4.6% to 6.0%. Higher levels of virus particles were also seen in sewage surveillance. 

A 47% increase was reported among nursing home residents. The biggest increase last week was observed in the hospitals. New admissions of patients with COVID-19 in hospital nursing wards rose by 68%. The majority of the admitted patients are over 60 years old. The number of new ICU admissions involving patients with COVID-19 is still low, but has still more than doubled compared to last week (+138%), see Figure 1. 

Figure 1: Number of new hospital and ICU admissions of patients with SARS-CoV-2, by calendar week (note: last week’s figures – for week 39 – are not yet complete)

Repeat vaccination

The infection rate shows that the autumn wave has in fact started. This wave of COVID-19 had already been expected, which was the reason for recommending the repeat vaccination with the updated vaccine. All people over 70 have already been invited, and RIVM will be sending invitations to the over-60 group this week. People under 60 years old who receive an annual invitation for the seasonal flu vaccination can also expect an invitation for the repeat vaccination against COVID-19, starting this week. The repeat vaccination helps you maintain better protection against the coronavirus and prevent serious illness.

Test if you have symptoms, stay home if you test positive, and get vaccinated

To do our best to keep the Netherlands open and to keep healthcare accessible for everyone, these recommendations are key: test if you have symptoms, stay home if you test positive (including self-tests), and get vaccinated.