More than 76,000 people tested positive for coronavirus in the last week, almost as many as at the peak of the second wave last December.
The number of new cases was 45% higher than a week ago, reaching 76,790, while 17.2% of all tests were positive, the RIVM said in its latest weekly bulletin.
The weekly figure has only once been higher on December 14 2020, when 77,998 positive tests were recorded in the previous seven days.
Another 1,137 people were admitted to hospital with Covid-19, an increase of 18.4%, while 204 patients were taken to intensive care, 40% more than a week ago.
Infections rose fastest in school-age children and people in late middle age, in a departure from the trend of recent weeks when the virus has spread faster in older age groups.
Around the 25 local health board regions the infection rate per 100,000 people ranged from 251 in Groningen to 687 in Zuid-Limburg, against a national average of 483.
The reproductive number R, which represents how many people each person with the virus infects, was unchanged at 1.19 on October 25.
The RIVM also confirmed another 172 deaths from Covid-19 in the last seven days, up from 102 the previous week.
In the last 24 hours another 11,352 positive tests were recorded, while the number of hospital patients with coronavirus increased by 74 to 1,647.
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