The coronavirus thermometer is visible on the dashboard since 16 September 2022. The thermometer shows the state of the influence on society and the healthcare sector caused by the corona virus. The corona thermometer is based on the epidemiological situation and its interpretation by RIVM.
What is the coronavirus thermometer?
The thermometer shows the epidemiological situation at a glance. The thermometer has four different statuses. Until March 14, 2023, the thermometer was discussed every two weeks and since then RIVM will discuss the position of the thermometer every four weeks.
What does the coronavirus thermometer show exactly?
The coronavirus thermometer shows the current and expected pressure on society and the healthcare sector in the Netherlands based on the disease burden of the virus.
One example of a high burden of the virus on society and healthcare is a high level of absenteeism from work. For example, this happens when people such as teachers or police officers are unable to go to work because of coronavirus. In the status of the thermometer, any uncertainties due to a new variant and the expected compliance with applicable recommendations will also be taken into account.
What is the status of the thermometer on the Coronavirus Dashboard based on?
RIVM has various sources and studies that enable it to monitor the development of the virus. These include wastewater research, Infectieradar, research into virus variants (germ surveillance) and the number of positive tests at the Municipal Public Health Service (GGD). Hospital and ICU admissions also provide a good picture of the severity of the virus and the consequences for the healthcare sector. In addition, the situation abroad is monitored by means of close collaboration with experts and organisations from abroad.
Compliance with recommendations and measures, such as testing, isolation and vaccination, are also taken into account when determining the status of the thermometer. This is because fewer people become seriously ill as a result of coronavirus if more people comply with recommended measures.
What will the government do if the thermometer goes up or down?
When the coronavirus thermometer goes up or down, this will not automatically lead to measures. It only means that the expected infection pressure or disease burden is changing. It will then be up to the government to determine whether and which measures it will take. In this way, the government can also take social considerations into account in its decision-making. The thermometer therefore has no direct relationship with measures or sectoral plans.
What do the various statuses of the thermometer mean?
The various statues provide an estimate of the pressure on society and healthcare. The generic recommendations are: Stay at home when you are ill and, if you have minor complaints, consult with your employer whether you can work from home. In case of complaints, avoid contact with people who could become seriously ill from a respiratory infection, if contact is necessary (such as for informal care), wear a mouth-nose mask , cough and sneeze into your elbow, wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water (even if you have no complaints) and ensure sufficient ventilation of indoor areas.
The basic recommendations will continue to apply. If everyone follows these guidelines, the influence on society and the pressure on the healthcare sector can be expected to be limited.
The basic recommendations continue to apply. The influence on society and the healthcare sector has increased. Vulnerable groups in particular are at greater risk.
The basic recommendations continue to apply. The influence on society and the healthcare sector is increasing. For example, this is reflected in higher sickness absence rates in various sectors.
The basic recommendations continue to apply. The influence on society and the healthcare sector is very high. The consequences are noticeable for everyone.
Where can I find more information?
The RIVM response team has written a comprehensive recommendation which explains the functioning of the thermometer in detail in Dutch on this page.