Aarhus coronavirus outbreak: here’s what you need to know

Of 128 new coronavirus cases in Denmark from Saturday to Sunday, over half – 78 – were registered in second-most populous city Aarhus.

Aarhus coronavirus outbreak: here’s what you need to know
Aarhus Light Rail passengers on Monday. Photo: Bo Amstrup/Ritzau Scanpix

That continues a trend of increasing Covid-19 incidence in Denmark and in particular Aarhus as well as the town of Ringsted, the location of an outbreak at an abattoir.

Sunday’s figures followed on from the 169 cases registered between Friday and Saturday, of which 79 were in Aarhus.

Newly-released figures on Monday showed a total of 76 new cases of coronavirus nationwide. Although the figure is lower than the previous days, Aarhus, with 40 cases, still represents over half of the total for the country.

Data from national infectious disease institute SSI and published last week by DR shows that, between June 1st and July 28th, 61 infections were registered in the municipality, an average of a little over 1 infection per day.

READ ALSO: Why coronavirus spike in Aarhus was not caused by a single event

Authorities in the city have announced a number of measures aimed at bringing the increasing numbers of coronavirus cases in the city under control.

That includes the obligatory use of face masks on public transport in Aarhus Municipality at all times.

The requirement will remain in place for three weeks from August 11th until September 1st, the Ministry for Health and the Elderly confirmed on Monday, a longer period than the 14 days initially announced.

Passengers on public transport will need both a face mask and a ticket in order to travel.

“In order to prevent and contain the spread of Covid-19 in connection with the specific outbreak in Aarhus Municipality, travellers who begin or complete a journey in Aarhus Municipality must cover their mouth and nose by using a face mask,” the ministry order reads.

The order applies to city and regional buses, the Letbane light rail, tourist buses and ferries.

Passengers taking long-distance rail or bus services (for example to Copenhagen) will only be required to wear face masks for the part of the journey which is in Aarhus — specifically the rail or bus terminal in Aarhus.


Passengers must also wear the masks while waiting at bus and light rail stations and at ferry terminals.

Exceptions to the rule apply to “people with breathing difficulties, reduced levels of awareness, or with physical or mental impairments that prevent them from removing their own face masks,” as well as for children under 12, according to the order.

Transport operator Midttrafik on Monday morning placed people around the city to hand out free face masks to passengers who do not have one with them. Free bandages will initially be offered throughout this week, Ritzau reports. The distributors will primarily be present during rush hour.

People in Aarhus have been encouraged to avoid using public transport if an alternative is available.

After reports over the weekend that pharmacies in the city had sold out of face masks, stores in the city have now received five million of the protective item from a national stock, so they are expected to be available in pharmacies as well as drug store chain Matas on Monday.

Capacity for Covid-19 testing has also been expanded in Aarhus. Mobile test centres have been sent to the city from elsewhere in the Central Jutland (Midtjylland) healthcare administrative region.

That means testing should be available at shorter notice following bottlenecking at the weekend. Tests at stationary test centres must be booked using the portal, but appointments are not required at the mobile test centres.

It should be noted that mobile test centres are only offered to people without symptoms of Covid-19. You must bring your yellow health insurance card (sygesikringsbevis).

A list of locations for the mobile test centres can be viewed on the Aarhus Municipality website, which currently lists locations as follows:

  • Monday August 10th
    Herredsvang, Torpevænget 1, 8210 
  • Tuesday August 11th                   
    Gellerup, E&Phuset, Tinesvej 31, 8220 Brabrand 
  • Wednesday August 12th                   
    Bispehaven, Hasle Centervej 219, 8210     
  • Thursday August 13th
    Frydenlund, Fuglebakkevej 86, 8210         
  • Friday August 14th                    
    Herredsvang, Torpevænget 1, 8210       

In other measures, physical attendance of classes at upper secondary schools (gymnasier) and other youth education institutions has been postponed for 14 days.

Visiting restrictions have been introduced at nursing homes and hospitals. One nursing home, Thorsgården in the Åbyhøj area of the city, confirmed on Sunday the first case of the virus at an Aarhus nursing home since March 10th.

Three areas in the city — Bellevue and Den Permanente beaches along with the 'Spanish steps' alongside the city centre canal, have been designated 'hotspots' by police. That means police will be present and can ask people to move on if crowds begin to form.

READ ALSO: MAP: Warm Danish weather is here: these are the overcrowded areas to avoid



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IN NUMBERS: Has the Omicron Covid-19 wave peaked in Denmark?

The number of new Covid-19 infections fell on Saturday for the second day in a row, following a three-day plateau at the start of last week. Has the omicron wave peaked?

IN NUMBERS: Has the Omicron Covid-19 wave peaked in Denmark?
Graffiti in the Copenhagen hippy enclave of Christiania complaining of Omicron's impact on Christmas. Photo: Philip Davali/Scanpix

How many cases, hospitalisations and deaths are there in Denmark? 

Denmark registered 12,588 new cases in the 24 hours leading up to 2pm on Saturday, down from the 18,261 registered on in the day leading up to Friday at 2pm, which was itself a decline from the record 28,283 cases recorded on Wednesday. 

The cases were identified by a total of 174,517 PCR tests, bringing the positive percentage to 7.21 percent, down from the sky high rates of close to 12 percent seen in the first few days of January. 

The number of cases over the past seven days is lower than the week before in almost every municipality in Denmark, with only Vallensbæk, Aarhus, Holseterbro, Skanderborg, Hjørring, Vordingborg,  Ringkøbing, Kolding, Assens, Horsens, Thisted, and Langeland reporting rises. 

Hospitalisations have also started to fall, with some 730 patients being treated for Covid-10 on Saturday, down from 755 on Friday. On Tuesday, 794 were being treated for Covid-19 in Danish hospitals, the highest number since the peak of the 2020-21 winter wave.

The only marker which has not yet started to fall is the number of deaths, which tends to trail infections and hospitalisations. 

In the 24 hours leading up to 2pm on Saturday, Denmark registered 28 deaths with Covid-19, the highest daily number recorded since 20 January 2021, when 29 people died with Covid-19 (although Denmark’s deadliest day was the 19 January 2021, when 39 people died). 

How does Denmark compare to other countries in Europe? 

Over the last seven days, Denmark has had the highest Covid-19 case rate of any country in Europe bar Ireland. The number of new infections in the country has climbed steadily since the start of December, apart from a brief fall over Christmas. 

So does this mean the omicron wave has peaked? 

Maybe, although experts are not sure. 

“Of course, you can hope for that, but I’m not sure that is the case,” said Christian Wejse, head of the Department for Infectious Diseases at Aarhus University Hospital. “I think it is too early to conclude that the epidemic has peaked.”

He said that patients with the Omicron variant were being discharged more rapidly on average than had been the case with those who had the more dangerous Delta variant. 

“Many admissions are relatively short-lived, thankfully. This is because many do not become that il, and are largely hospitalized because they are suffering with something else. And if they are stable and do not need oxygen, then they are quickly discharged again.” 

Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said during a visit to an event held by the Social Liberal party that the latest numbers made her even more optimistic about the coming month. 

“We have lower infection numbers and the number of hospitalisations is also plateauing,” she said. “I think we’re going to get through this winter pretty well, even if it will be a difficult time for a lot of people, and we are beginning to see the spring ahead of us, so I’m actually very optimistic.” 

She said that she had been encouraged by the fact that Omicron was a “visibly less dangerous variant if it is not allowed to explode.”