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Coronavirus thermometer

The coronavirus thermometer will be visible on the Dashboard from 16 September onwards. This is an initial version that will be further developed in the coming period. The thermometer shows the state of play with regard to the pressure on society and the healthcare sector caused by coronavirus. The coronavirus 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. RIVM will discuss the status of the thermometer every two weeks, and if necessary on a weekly basis.

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 disease burden of the virus on society 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 sewage research, the Infection Radar, 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 the 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 other 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 the 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 the healthcare sector. The basic recommendations and additional coronavirus-specific recommendations always apply and are as follows: wash your hands often; cough and sneeze in the crook of your elbow; if you have symptoms, stay at home and do a test; self-isolate after (self)testing positive for coronavirus; ensure sufficient fresh air; get a vaccine, booster or repeat vaccination. For all advice, please visit the website of the Dutch government.

1.Low
The basic recommendations will continue to apply. If everyone follows these guidelines, the impact on society and the pressure on the healthcare sector can be expected to be limited.

2.Increased
The basic recommendations continue to apply. The impact on society and the healthcare sector has increased. Vulnerable groups in particular are at greater risk.

3.High
The basic recommendations continue to apply. The impact on society and the healthcare sector is increasing. For example, this is reflected in higher sickness absence rates in various sectors.

4.Very high
The basic recommendations continue to apply. The impact 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. This can be found here.