GGD tracing finds most coronavirus patients are infected at home
GGD tracing shows that, of the more than 5.000 coronavirus infections recorded in the Netherlands since the beginning of May, almost all happened in places where people were in close contact with one another.
Coronavirus restrictions and infections
Since mid-May, life in the Netherlands has gradually started to regain its pre-corona outlines. Schools have reopened, and museums, theatres and restaurants reopened, under strict conditions, on June 1. More recently, July 1 saw a further relaxation of existing measures, as gyms also reopened.
Professor of clinical virology at Leiden University Medical Center, Louis Kroes, also notes that, in addition to government changes, there was quite a lot of outdoor activity in May, everything from fitness classes in parks to Black Lives Matter protests.
Changes to the Dutch government’s coronavirus restrictions were welcomed by businesses up and down the country, but many people feared that as the country started moving again, people would once again be interacting with each other, and the number of coronavirus infections would rise.
However, data released in the Volkskrant shows that, despite these changes, almost all of the 5.000+ coronavirus infections from the last two months - at least those that the GGD was able to track - took place in areas where people were in close contact with each other, like homes, workspaces, and nursing homes. This means that there were very few outdoor infections.
Since mid-May, the GGD has been asking all infected patients where they think they contracted the virus. Approximately half of these reports provide a reasonably accurate idea of the site of contamination. However, as noted by Professor of Clinical Virology at Leiden University Medical Center, Louis Kroes, there are still around 4.000 cases that have not been traceable.
Around 55 percent of infections since June 22 took place at home, 10 percent took place at work, and five percent happened as a consequence of close contact with family members. Furthermore, in the last few weeks, the GGD has not traced a single infection back to a catering establishment or a church. Only three infections took place on public transport, and seven took place at a sports club. Additionally, the data shows that, in the past two weeks, there have been fewer than 50 infections traced back to nursing homes or residential care centres.
Professor of Acute Elderly Care at Amsterdam University Medical Centre, Bianca Buurman, says that while these statistics are promising, it is still necessary to remain careful: “If [infections] increase in society again, there is a very real danger that it will spread to nursing and care homes.”