Netherlands: Are numerous COVID Outbreaks recuring in Nursing Homes that were Vaccined First?

The figures accompanying Sunday’s news: for the first time in three months, the RIVM reports more than six thousand infections. The number of reports in nursing homes is also increasing rapidly.

Nearly five thousand Infections reported per Day, over-60s Test Positive More Often Than in July

Dutch infection rates continue to rise. On Sunday the RIVM reported 6,350 coronas infections, the highest number since July 23. This brings the weekly average up to 4,994, which is 48.5 percent more than a week earlier. In the Netherlands, more than 200 infections per 100 thousand inhabitants were reported last week. Among people over 60, the number of reports is now higher than during the summer peak in July.

After the easing in late June, people in their twenties were by far the most frequently infected; 40 percent of those reported infected in July were between 20 and 30. In that month, people over 60 made up less than 5 percent of the total number of those testing positive. Meanwhile, nearly 1 in 5 persons found to be infected is 60 or older. Twenty-somethings and teenagers still test positive most often, but the gap with older age groups is narrowing.

Almost 15 Percent of Corona Tests Positive

Over 1 in 7 visitors to the GGD test lanes received a positive test result this week. The percentage of positive tests is rising rapidly. At the beginning of October, less than 8 percent of the coronate tests at the GGD were positive, now it is 14.6 percent. In the past week more than 30 thousand people a day were tested, 3 thousand more than in the previous week. The rising percentage of positive tests means that the increase in the number of reports is only partly caused by more testing.

Rapid increase in Number of Infected Nursing Home Residents, but Mortality Rates Relatively Low

More and more nursing homes are experiencing corona outbreaks. Over 500 nursing home residents tested positive this past week, the highest number in a week since February. And last week’s figures are not yet complete, so the total will likely be even higher. Over the past 4 weeks, corona contamination has been detected in nearly 10 percent of nursing homes.

What makes this outbreak different from previous corona waves is that now a large proportion of residents have been vaccinated, according to a spokesperson for the association for specialists in geriatric medicine Verenso. ‘The number of people who become seriously ill and actually die from Covid is not yet as high as before. However, we are concerned because the number of infections is rising rapidly.’ In the past week, an average of 4 residents of nursing homes died daily from corona. Around the turn of the year, over 50 deaths were reported daily.