SLIPERIET – Two residents in Umeå nursing homes died this weekend, Västerbottens-Kuriren has reported, while the number of infections in the county skyrocketed in the most serious day of the coronavirus crisis since its peak in April.
The newspaper quotes regional infectious diseases specialist Gunilla Persson as saying that a third nursing home resident died in Storuman, some 230 kilometers upriver. This marks only the second day since the crisis began that three deaths were reported in one day in Västerbotten. Seven deaths have been reported in the last week, although their precise locations are not all known.
The number of hospitalized coronavirus patients in Västerbotten also rose greatly today, to a total of 26, authorities said. On the worst day of the crisis in April, that number was 29. However, on that day, 12 were in intensive care, while today, only three are. Officials have not explained why such a lower proportion of patients are in intensive care now, compared to the spring.
The relative number of teenage and middle-aged patients is increasing versus younger adults, Västerbotten officials say. Infection control physician Stephan Stenmark remarked, “We are seeing more and more teenagers with Covid-19”, the disease caused by the virus. “This is also true of their parents, because the infection is spreading in families and among people who live in the same residence.” In addition to families, Stenmark said, workplaces are the most common site of infection spread.
As of tomorrow, laws go into effect forbidding any public events larger than eight people. Last night, speaking to the nation, Prime Minister Stefan Löfvén explained why it is now necessary for residents to be more diligent about social distancing, compared to the last few months. “The little respite we got during the summer and autumn is really over,” he said. “Now it’s November. Human health and lives are still in danger. And the danger is increasing.”
In the past week, the spread in Umeå has been less intense than in other parts of Västerbotten. Skellefteå and Norsjö have seen a relatively larger rate of increase. “Even though it looks like a slowdown” in Umeå, Stenmark said, “the strict advice to avoid spending time with others, travelling, visiting public places, and going to events and activities still applies.” The government intends the new guidelines to last at least until December 8.