Coronavirus: Tuesday bulletin on case numbers in the Canton of Basel-Stadt, expansion of contact tracing required

27/10/2020 (14:30)
Press release
Department of Health

As of Tuesday, 27 October 2020, 09.20, the Department of Health Basel-Stadt had recorded a total of 2195 positive cases among people living in the Canton of Basel-Stadt since the start of the pandemic, 585 active cases in isolation and 2366 people in quarantine. The 14-day notification rate per 100,000 residents is 329. In anticipation of further increases in the number of cases, the contact tracing team has been expanded as a first step, and moved to larger premises. Further expansion of the Canton’s contact tracing capacities is required. Since last Saturday, the Basel Civil Defence Organisation [Zivilschutz] has been brought into action for Covid-19 purposes for the first time since early summer and is supporting contact tracing.

There have been 317 new infections (referred to as “active cases”) since Friday: 103 on Saturday, 81 on Sunday, 41 on Monday and 92 today, Tuesday.

Of the 585 active cases, 23 residents of the Canton of Basel-Stadt are in hospital (as of Monday 26 October 2020, 14.00; as of last Friday: 12 residents). In addition, a further 15 people from outside the canton or abroad are in hospital in the Canton of Basel-Stadt. 38 people in total are being cared for in a Basel-Stadt hospital, six of whom require intensive care.

2366 people from Basel are in quarantine: 269 are people who have returned after travelling, and 2097 are close contacts of infected individuals. The total of 2195 infections in the Canton of Basel-Stadt since the start of the pandemic consists of 1556 recoveries, 54 deaths and 585 active cases.

Diverse sources of infection

The current sources of infection are diverse, as follows: 827 new infections were registered in the Canton of Basel-Stadt during the past four weeks (period from 29 September 2020 until 26 October 2020). 26 percent (or 217 cases) of the new infections could be attributed to known or suspected sources of infection. Most people became infected within their family (22 percent) or when meeting family or friends (6 percent), during leisure time (27 percent), at work (16 percent), as well as on aeroplanes or when travelling (9 percent).

First step in the expansion of the contact tracing team

With the rising number of infected individuals and contact persons in quarantine, the number of people requiring care has now risen to around 3000. For that reason, the Department of Health has expanded the contact tracing team and increased its staff numbers as a first step. Over the weekend the team moved into larger premises where around 30 work spaces are currently available. Depending on the number of cases, 16 to 21 staff are on duty per shift. In addition to team management, two to four doctors are also available to the staff for medical queries that arise from contact with people in isolation or quarantine. In anticipation of further increasing demand on contact tracing and to support the canton’s coronavirus infoline, further support measures are required in order to take the pressure off.

Basel Civil Defence Organisation lends its support to contact tracing

Members of the Basel Civil Defence Organisation have been deployed again. According to a survey conducted among the approximately 1200 members of the Civil Defence Organisation, just under one hundred people have already signed up. The organisation is supporting contact tracing with ten voluntary members to begin with.

So as not to weaken the economy by taking away staff, those in charge of the Basel Civil Defence Organisation are relying on volunteers – as they did in the spring. From 11 March, over 200 members of the Civil Defence Organisation did a total of around 3300 days of service: for example in long-term care in care and nursing homes, in hospitals or in support of the medical services of Basel-Stadt ambulance service. The first ten members of the Civil Defence Organisation to support contact tracing have been doing so since last Saturday. Other members, who could take on Covid-19 duty at short notice, will follow in the coming days if required.

Coronavirus infoline also requires support

Additional options for support, such as expansion of the existing emergency pool of cantonal employees or support by external service providers, are required in anticipation of further increases in case numbers and to cope with the spike in calls to the canton’s coronavirus infoline.

Please note:

Case numbers continue to be updated every day on the website www.coronavirus.bs.ch.