At the national level, the infection rate (based on daily confirmed cases) has been at a plateau, but the situation looks different depending on where you are in the country.
“In Sweden we have a varied picture, but everyone needs to realise that we have continued spread of infection,” said Karin Tegmark Wisell of the Public Health Agency, stressing the importance of the population continuing to follow key infection prevention measures.
In Stockholm, cases have reached a plateau, whereas in Sörmland, which was also hit hard in the early phases of the pandemic, daily confirmed cases have fallen significantly. Sörmland reported only 17 new cases last week or 6 per 100,000 residents, down from a peak of 99 cases per 100,000 residents in late March.
(article continues below)
See also on The Local:
Skåne, despite being home to the country's third largest city, has had a low rate of infection for months but is now seeing an increase both in confirmed cases and in serious cases.
Skåne reported 249 new cases last week, or 18 per 100,000 residents, bringing the per capita infection rate to its highest level since June.
Stockholm also reported 18 cases per 100,000 residents (a total of 416 new cases), but this was down from a much higher peak than in Skåne. Between late March and late June, more than 40 cases per 100,000 residents were reported in the capital region every week.
Healthcare is managed at a regional level in Sweden, which means there are differences in who is eligible for a coronavirus test, as well as how contact tracing is managed, making it hard to make clear regional comparisons based on confirmed cases alone. It is also hard to compare accurately over time, since guidelines on testing have changed significantly since March, when only people who were seriously ill with the virus could be offered a test.
And although Sweden has significantly increased its testing capacity since early summer, tests per capita are well behind the figures in Sweden's Nordic neighbours, despite a comparatively lower spread of infection in those countries, and a higher share of Swedish tests are positive.
Last week, a total of 56,487 tests for an ongoing infection were carried out in Sweden (as well as 58,005 antibody tests), down from the peak of 81,801 in mid-July. Sweden never reached its own target of carrying out 100,000 coronavirus tests per week.
As of August 20th, a total of 85,810 people across the country had been confirmed as infected with Covid-19, and 5,805 people had died after testing positive.
Coronavirus LATEST: What you need to know about the outbreak in Sweden
- 'The question of face masks isn't dead': Swedish Public Health Agency director