December 3, 2021

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Therefore, the incidence is higher in the north

Therefore, the incidence is higher in the north

The latest infection rates in Tromsø and Alta are the highest since the Corona pandemic began nearly 20 months ago in March 2020.

Experience has shown that there is an increased need for hospitalization about two weeks after infection.

The National Hospital in Troms and the county municipality of Finnmark, and the University Hospital of Northern Norway (UNN) in Tromsø, had already before the last peak of infection had to reduce the number of “regular” operations to be able to accommodate Covid-19 patients.

The infection has gradually increased over the past two to three weeks. We’ve never had such large numbers before. Yes, we are concerned about infection pressure now, says acting district doctor Bjorn Oegard in Troms and Finnmark to Dagbladet.

He adds:

– In addition, we are facing the winter flu and the RS virus like the rest of the country. Yes, we are concerned about hospital capacity during the winter, especially in Kirkenes and Hammerfest.

Troms and Finnmark are the two largest county municipalities in the far north of the country with a population of 243,000 in 39 municipalities, among which Tromsø (77,000 inhabitants), Harstad (24,000) and Alta (21,000).

winter and cold

– Why does this new infection peak come first in the North, Bjorn Oegard?

– We don’t know for sure, but it may be because winter and cold with more inner life begin in the north. Indoor living with close interpersonal contact contributes to an increased concentration of infection with an increased risk of infection. This is also something we saw last winter, and now we’re also seeing infections increase further south in the country.

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Natural explanation: Acting District Physician Bjorn Oegard.  Photo: State official in Troms and Finnmark.

Natural explanation: Acting District Physician Bjorn Oegard. Photo: State official in Troms and Finnmark.
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85.4%

The vaccination rate in Troms and Finnmark is close to the national average.

85.4 percent of all people over the age of 18 have been fully vaccinated in the northernmost county municipality, compared to 86.6 percent nationally.

And the state of hospitals in Troms and Finnmark now before last, high infection rates:

About 50 percent of those admitted to hospital during COVID-19 treatment have been fully vaccinated, while the other half have not.

The majority of fully vaccinated patients are over 65 years of age and have underlying disease. Patients who have not been vaccinated are younger, some up to 20 years old.

10-12 of the 39 municipalities have a somewhat lower immunization share than the county municipality average.

On Thursday, the county doctor’s state official and his staff will hold a digital meeting to get an overview of what these municipalities need to increase vaccination.

25 to 44 years

Are there special age groups behind vaccination?

There appears to be a lag in the 25-44 age group. Why there is hope to find answers and solutions at Thursday’s meeting. There may simply be practical difficulties in getting vaccinated in such an active age group, says acting district physician Bjorn Oegard.

In addition to more vaccinations, he strongly urges not to pretend the epidemic is over, but to follow the rules in place for infection control:

Stay home if you develop symptoms of shortness of breath.

Observe the meter rule in public places. Use an alternative face mask.

Be careful with hand washing and don’t cough straight in front.