The number of people testing positive for COVID-19 has increased significantly from 5,643 to 10,680 cases (+89%) for the week of 3 to 9 January.
Among the 10,680 new infections, the incidence rate of positive non-vaccinated persons is 1,990.26 per 100,000 inhabitants and 1,544.11 per 100,000 inhabitants for those who had a complete vaccination.
Among hospital admissions, 27 out of 49 patients in normal care were not vaccinated (22 had a complete vaccination), while 13 out of 20 patients of intensive care were not vaccinated.
The number of PCR tests performed during the week of 3 to 9 January has increased from 23,014 to 36,198.
1,510 people reported a positive rapid antigen test (RAT) for the reporting week, compared to 151 the previous week, bringing the number of positive results performed by a health-care worker to a total of 1,055. Since the introduction of self-tests, 804 positive results have been reported (with 0 cases for the week of 3 to 9 January). It should be noted that positive RATs are not included in the calculation of the positivity rate.
As of 9 January, the number of active infections has increased to 16,343 (from 8,451 on 2 January), while the number of people healed increased from 95,991 to 98,767. The average age of those diagnosed as positive for COVID-19 is 31.3 years.
For the week of 3 to 9 January, 12 new deaths related to COVID-19 have been reported. The average age of the deceased is 77 years.
In the hospitals, there were 49 new admissions of confirmed COVID-19 patients in normal care. The number of occupied beds in the intensive care unit remained stable at 20. The average age of inpatients increased from 56 to 57 years.
Positivity rate and incidence rate
For the reference period, the effective reproduction rate (R) increased, with 1.48% compared to 1.30% the previous week, while the positivity rate on all tests performed (prescriptions, contact tracing) increased from 24.52% to 29.50%.
The 7-day incidence rate increased to 1,682 per 100,000 inhabitants, compared to 889 per 100,000 inhabitants the previous week.
Compared to the previous week, the incidence rate has substantially increased in all age groups. Apart from the 75+ age group, which recorded an increase of 48%, the incidence rate increased by more than 81% in the other age groups. The largest increase is in the 0-14 age group (+195%) followed by the 15-29 age group (+103%). The lowest incidence rate is recorded in the 75+ age group (380 cases per 100,000 inhabitants).
Quarantine and isolation
During the week of 3 to 9 January, 14,511 people were in isolation (+79%) and 3,605 in quarantine (+42%).
In view of the high number of new infections, the identification of sources is currently not possible for all cases.
The family circle seems to remain the most frequent source (28.6%), followed by travel abroad (11.8%) and leisure activities (4.9%). The percentage of undetermined sources is increasing (50.8%).
Specific cases in the educational environment
The significant increase in the number of school children testing positive for COVID-19 (see weekly report) is directly related to the evolution of the spread of the virus in the general population and reflects the increase in the number of positive cases in the whole country.
In the first week back after the Christmas school holidays, there was a wide distribution of positive cases among pupils at national level: all regions of the country and the majority of schools were concerned. However, the chains of infection themselves remain limited, testifying to the effectiveness of the reinforced (daily) testing system put in place as soon as the first positive case appears in a class.
The evolution of the situation in schools continues to be monitored with the utmost vigilance. The rapid spread of COVID-19 is above all an organisational challenge for school communities.
Vaccinations: update on the situation
For the week of 3 to 9 January, a total of 42,005 doses were administered. 3,924 people received a 1st dose, 4,755 a 2nd dose and 33,326 a 3rd dose, bringing the total number of vaccines administered as of 11 January to 1,131,877.
450,399 people have a complete vaccination, which corresponds to a vaccination rate of 81.4% of the eligible population (i.e. the 12+ population).
Adaptation of the Covid law
Following the vote of 11 January 2022 on bill no. 7943, the amended law of 17 July 2020 on measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic has been adapted on the following points:
Reduced isolation time for certain groups of people
The isolation period is 10 days. It can be terminated before the 10 days are up, for the following persons:
- persons with a complete vaccination schedule that is less than 180 days (6 months) old, or
- persons who recovered from COVID-19 infection within 180 days (6 months) of the positive PCR test, or
- those who have received a booster vaccination,
and if they perform SARS-CoV-2 rapid antigen tests on days 5 and 6 of isolation at the earliest.
If the results are negative, isolation ends on day 6.
This reduction is justified by the fact that these people have a lower viral load and, in particular, a shorter period of contagiousness.
This change also applies to people placed in isolation before the vote on 11 January 2022. These persons will therefore have their isolation period reduced from 10 to 6 days, even if the certificate they received last week, today or will receive tomorrow by post does not specify this. There is no need to call the hotline to get a new certificate.
Validity period of vaccination certificates
In agreement with the European Commission, the general validity period of the vaccination certificates will be set at 270 days (9 months) from the date when the vaccination is considered completed. For the time being, the validity of the vaccination certificates issued following the booster vaccination has not been determined.
CovidCheck 2G+ system
The following people are now exempt from testing under the CovidCheck 2G+ scheme:
- those who completed their vaccination less than 180 days ago,
- those who have received a booster vaccination,
- those with a recovery certificate.
"Pop Up" Vaccination: Lëtzebuerg léisst sech impfen
To increase vaccination coverage, the Government has decided to facilitate access to vaccination by deploying temporary vaccination spots ("Pop Up" Vaccination) and mobile teams will be present in high-traffic areas (pedestrian zones, shopping malls, events organised by some municipalities).
The list of all new vaccination spots is continuously updated and can be consulted on the website covidvaccination.lu.
The evolution of the variants
Variant sequencing data are published every Friday on the website of the National Health Laboratory (Laboratoire national de Santé, LNS) https://lns.lu/en/departement/department-of-microbiology/revilux/.
Wastewater monitoring in Luxembourg as part of SARS-CoV-2
According to the latest CORONASTEP report, the contamination level of the 13 analysed wastewater treatment plants sampled by the LIST (Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology) during the first week of 2022 still shows a very high national prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 flux values. This week's results show SARS-CoV-2 flows equivalent to those at the end of December 2021, with an upward trend still confirmed. A similar trend is also observed at the regional level for most of the analysed wastewater treatment plants, without regional disparities. All CORONASTEP reports are available on the LIST website: https://www.list.lu/en/covid-19/coronastep/.
Press release by the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth, the National Health Laboratory (LNS) and the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST)