The risk level in the Netherlands

The risk level in the Netherlands is:

risk level
3
Serious
This level applies as of 2 November 2021 and has been redetermined on 30 November 2021.
IC opnames
50
Gemiddelde van 20 tot 26 November.Bron: NICE via RIVM
Ziekenhuisopnames
289
Gemiddelde van 18 tot 24 November.Bron: NICE via RIVM

The risk level is updated every Tuesday.

The risk level is an indication of the pressure COVID-19 is putting on the healthcare system. There are three risk levels: (1) caution, (2) concern and (3) serious. Which level applies depends on the average number of hospital and ICU admissions over the past 7 days.

When does which risk level apply?

The chart below shows which risk level applies based on the number of patients with COVID-19 admitted to the hospital and the ICU. Where there is a difference, the higher of the two levels applies.

Risk levels

Example 1: if the number of ICU admissions is 15 and the number of hospital admissions is 35, the risk level is ‘concern’.

Example 2: if the number of ICU admissions is 15 and the number of hospital admissions is 105, the risk level is ‘serious’.

Below you see the current figures.

How does the risk level affect the measures?

A change in risk level does not automatically mean a change in the coronavirus measures. The government looks at more than just the risk level when determining what measures are necessary. Other important factors include available ICU capacity, the burden on other parts of the healthcare sector, and whether people with COVID-19 who are admitted to hospital have been vaccinated. The government also considers the number of positive tests and the concentration of coronavirus particles in wastewater, which is analysed by the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). In addition, the government takes account of the recommendations of the Outbreak Management Team (OMT), and considers the potential social and economic impact of the measures.

In other words, the measures that apply in the Netherlands are always based on more than just the number of COVID-19 patients in hospital.

How much ICU capacity is available for COVID-19 patients?

During very busy periods ICUs in the Netherlands can step up capacity to around 1,350 beds for a short amount of time. Of those, around 200 beds are available for COVID-19 patients. The remaining beds are needed for other types of patients, including people with critical illnesses or injuries, influenza patients, people coming out of surgery and whose care may have been delayed due to the pandemic, and victims of serious accidents or disasters.

However, available ICU capacity (‘available beds’) is not just about the number of actual beds. More than that it refers to the availability of enough qualified staff to care for the patients occupying those beds.