Covid-19: 7-day average drops to 309, hospitalisations below 300

Ljubljana – Slovenia’s rolling average of daily coronavirus cases has dropped to 309, just above the threshold to move to the green tier, as Covid-19 hospitalisations have fallen under 300, fresh government data show.

Out of 3,558 PCR tests performed yesterday, 326 new cases were confirmed for a positivity rate of 9.2%. A total of 44,113 people were screened with rapid antigen tests.

The number of Covid-19 patients in hospitals fell to 295 this morning, the lowest since 18 October, with 92 still in intensive care, which is four fewer than yesterday morning.

However, three more patients lost their lives yesterday, for what Health Ministry data show is an overall death toll of 4,678.

When the 7-day average of new cases falls bellow 300, Slovenia will move to the green tier, which means all restrictions except for the ban on night clubs and bars will be lifted, while visitors to some establishments and events will still need to prove their negative Covid-status, be it with a negative test, certificate of vaccination or recovery.

Speaking at the daily press briefing on Tuesday, epidemiologist Irena Grmek Košnik from the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ) said the green tier could be reached within days, “we reckon next week”.

She said precautionary measures such as the wearing of masks indoors or outdoors when social distancing is not possible would still need to be observed, as the epidemic is not over yet.

Asked when the state of epidemic could be lifted, Grmek said: “We entered the second wave on 18 October last year when we had 140 infections per 100,00 residents, 250 patients in hospitals, including 50 in intensive care, so that the [state of] epidemic will likely be over when we return to those figures.”

NIJZ data show the cumulative 14-day incidence of new cases per 100,000 residents is currently at 251.

The epidemic is subsiding as the Covid-19 vaccination rate is increasing. The government data show 36.6% of the adult population has received the first dose and 19.7% of over 18s have been fully inoculated.

NIJZ data show there are an estimated 5,360 active cases in the country, out of over 252,000 cases confirmed since the start of the pandemic.