The virus was first confirmed to have spread to Denmark on 27 February 2020. As of 14 August 2020, there have been 15,379 confirmed cases. Among these, 621 people have died, 13,216 have recovered.
On 12 March, there were 160 new confirmed cases, bringing the total in Denmark to 674. Among these were two at the nursing home where the elderly had been isolated and closely monitored since the day before because an employee was tested positive. On the same date, former footballer Thomas Kahlenberg announced that he had been declared fully recovered, making him the second publicly known recovery in the country.On 12 May, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen announced a new offensive testing strategy, which aims to “strengthen the contact tracing”.The national testing strategy is based on three essential elements: testing, tracing and isolation.
In Denmark, Aalborg University Hospital, Aarhus University Hospital, Hvidovre Hospital, Odense University Hospital, Rigshospitalet and Zealand University Hospital Roskilde have sections prepared for serious cases of COVID-19 that require treatment, as well as patients that are elderly or have pre-existing conditions and therefore are particularly vulnerable to the disease. Other hospitals were required by the regions to prepare lists of non-essential operations that can be postponed. This would allow the manpower, space and equipment to rapidly be allocated towards an outbreak of coronavirus.
On 11 March 2020, the first hospitals began postponing non-essential operations as a preparation for future cases of COVID-19, and on 17 March this was done in all hospitals nationwide. Initially, all testing of samples for SARS-CoV-2 was performed at the Statens Serum Institut, but on 25 February (before the first confirmed case in the country) this was expanded to all the hospitals that also had sections that were ready for treating serious cases of COVID-19. In early March, other hospitals started to perform the tests. On 11 March, the Danish Health Authority announced a change of strategy, which means that only people hospitalised with severe signs of respiratory illness or shortness of breath, will be examined for COVID-19 infection. As a consequence, it is suspected that COVID-19 cases in the country are underreported, and health officials expect the actual number to be significantly higher than the current amount of confirmed cases.
According to the guidelines by the Danish Health Authority, all infected people that have no or mild symptoms and are not considered particularly vulnerable are placed in home quarantine with daily contact from health professionals. Anybody that has been in close contact with someone known to be infected with SARS-CoV-2 is also placed in home quarantine. As of 2 March 122 people were in home quarantine in Denmark because they had been in contact with an infected person in Denmark or abroad; by 12 March this had increased to 1366 in Denmark and 31 in the Faroe Islands. It is expected to further increase as a result of new cases of COVID-19.
Initially, the authorities strongly recommended that all events with more than one thousand people be cancelled or postponed, but on 11 March the limit was lowered to one hundred people; this recommendation covers March, but can be extended if necessary. Among others, football (including the Danish Superliga) and handball matches were without spectators or entirely cancelled, the Dansk Melodi Grand Prix did not have an audience, concerts and conferences were cancelled or postponed, and the Euroschoolsport tournament at Esbjerg High School, where students and teachers from much of Europe were supposed to meet, was cancelled.
On 10 March, the authorities recommended that people using public transport attempt to reduce their travel in peak hours, additionally encouraged them to walk or cycle shorter distances instead if possible, and advised any persons feeling sick in any way or suspecting that they might have been infected against using public transport. In an attempt to increase the space between people using public transport, more buses and trains were added to the schedules, and there were stricter limits on the number of passengers allowed in each. From 12 March, all intercity train rides were restricted to people with seat reservations.