Aruba has seen a substantial increase of COVID cases in the past days, with a record-high number of daily new cases, active cases, and increasing positivity rate.
Since the beginning of COVID in Aruba, there was never such a drastic amount of cases of COVID19. The rapid increase of cases is due to the highly contagious Omicron variant.
It is the first time Aruba has crossed the 2000 threshold. On December 29, 2021, 2109 active cases of COVID-19 were reported. On December 28, 1500 people got tested, and 667 were positive cases. The positivity rate stood at 57% meaning that for every 1000 persons tested, more than half are positive.
Despite the increased amount of cases, the good news is that the hospital only has a few COVID patients. No COVID patients are in the ICU in Aruba, but only three are in the ICU in Colombia.
The hospital has enough bed capacity but is experiencing a shortage of employees due to COVID-19 infections.
Preliminary global research indicates that Omicron is very contagious but less dangerous. The hope is that this remains the case in Aruba as well.
The high amount of COVID cases will eventually result in some hospitalization in the future.
The local authorities urge everyone to get vaccinated since Aruba has not reached the Herd Immunity percentage yet. So far, 62% of the population is vaccinated, and to reach her immunity, we need 85%-90%. So far, more than 13000 people have received their booster vaccine. According to local data unhealthy people, who are obese, have high blood pressure, are diabetic, or are on dialysis are more affected by the virus.
Aruba is currently in high season. The forecast for this season was very promising and outstanding for our tourism sector. However, with the rise in cases, this forecast is being jeopardized. With the increased number of cases, it is a matter of days, maybe hours, before the CDC will rank Aruba as code red (high risk) in their travel advisory. We don’t have to do much to affect our tourism, as the USA will take action and advise its citizens to be cautious when traveling to Aruba. “We are already experiencing a few hundred cancelations, and the load factor of air carriers has been dropping from 75% to 60%, which is a very steep decline.
Two cruise ships were also not allowed to enter the cruise terminal due to onboard cases of COVID. If we do not decrease the number of active cases, our high season will be in serious trouble since the USA considers the number of active cases when assessing the risk level.
The recent tendency is that everyone wants to get tested. However, please keep in mind that testing is only effective when you feel ill or have symptoms. The isolation protocols have been changed for asymptomatic positive individuals. They should isolate for only five days.