The government took under advisement today the increase in the coronavirus risk level in Estonia, based on the current infection rate, from average to above-average, or medium-risk to high-risk (yellow to orange) under the COVID traffic light system.
According to the COVID risk matrix, there is a high risk of the spread of the infection if the average infection rate over the preceding seven days is 600-1000 people per day. The current seven-day rate in Estonia is 625.1.
This indicates that the virus is being transmitted in communities outside of outbreak sites and that there is the danger of it becoming very widespread. In a high-risk scenario, COVID regulations are designed to ensure the availability of ordinary medical assistance and to avoid the need for wide-ranging restrictions.
With a heightened risk of the virus spreading, it remains very important to observe the measures that have already been put in place: wearing masks in indoor public spaces where coronavirus status is not checked, keeping your distance from others and disinfecting your hands. In places where coronavirus status is checked, you must present your COVID-19 certificate.
Alongside the number of people testing positive for coronavirus, the risk level is also determined on the basis of the average number of people hospitalised with COVID over the previous seven days, which is currently 23.4 in Estonia. In that respect the risk level at present is yellow or ‘medium risk’. It will change to ‘high risk’ if the average number of hospitalisations exceeds 30.
Vaccination provides very effective protection against falling seriously ill or being hospitalised with COVID. The more people there are who are fully vaccinated, the less pressure there will be on hospitals.
Vaccinations have been made available and as convenient to obtain as possible throughout the country. Anyone who is still undecided as to whether to get vaccinated can make an informed decision by calling the family doctor hotline (1220) or speaking to their own doctor. Information about vaccination hubs is available by calling 1247 or online at vaktsineeri.ee.
In addition to the infection and hospitalisation rates, four further indicators are taken into account in determining the overall risk level for coronavirus.
The first is the average number of deaths from COVID-19 over the previous seven days, which currently stands at 2.57. According to the risk matrix, this represents a low level of risk.
The second is the average rate of infection among the over-60s over the preceding seven days, which at present is 87.9 (rounded figure). This corresponds to the ‘medium risk’ level.
The third is the number of COVID-19 patients on mechanical ventilation, of whom there are currently 17 (‘high risk’).
Finally, the government also monitors the proportion of the adult population that has been fully vaccinated, which at present is 62.55%.