A total of 2,547 COVID-19 infections were reported in the Dutch Caribbean in the month of July, Netherlands National Institute for Public Health and the Environment RIVM stated in its monthly update which was recently published.
The number of COVID-19 cases went down considerably in July compared to June, when 4,688 persons tested positive. Aruba reported about half (1,286) of the total number of positive test results reported on the islands, mostly due to its broader testing policy in combination with a relatively large number of residents.
Departing passengers for the United States don’t have to test as of July 1. As a result, the number of positive test results in Aruba and St. Maarten decreased in July. In Curacao, the number of COVID-19 cases remained the same.
On the other hand, in Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba, the number of positive test results increased in July compared to June, mainly due to a few local clusters and the Carnival festivities in Saba. Consequently, more people got tested in Saba and St. Eustatius in July.
In the Caribbean Netherlands and Aruba, free, low-threshold testing is still available. In Curacao and St. Maarten, the test policy became more restrictive in the past months and tests are only done on medical indication.
As expected, the share of the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 variants increased further in July after the first cases were detected in May this year. Both variants circulated in St. Maarten (30% in week 28), Bonaire (93% in week 28), Curacao (79% week 28), Aruba (93% week 28) and St. Eustatius (100% week 28). The new sub-variant of the BA.2 Omicron variant, BA.2.75, has not been detected on the islands yet. St. Maarten reported 184 positive test results in July, 14 COVID-19-related hospital admissions and fewer than five COVID19-related deaths. The number of positive test results decreased compared to June. The test positivity rate was 5%.
In St. Eustatius, 153 positive test results were reported in July, which is more than the 65 in June. More people got tested. The test positivity rate was 11%, and there were no COVID-19-related hospital admissions or deaths.
In Saba too, the number of COVID-19 cases went up from 17 in June to 43 in July. The increase happened after the Carnival period. The test positivity rate was 27%. Fewer than five COVID-19-related hospital admissions were reported and no deaths. In Curacao, 582 persons tested positive, which is slightly fewer than in June (595). The test positivity rate was 12%. In total, 32 persons were admitted to the Curacao hospital with COVID-19 and fewer than five persons died from the disease.
In Aruba, 1,286 positive test results were reported, 49 COVID-19-related hospital admissions and fewer than five deaths. The test positivity rate was 40%. In Bonaire, the number of cases increased to 299. There were fewer than five COVID-19-related hospital admissions and no deaths. The test positivity rate was 68%.
The Daily Herald.