Sunday’s Covid-19 report from Santé Public France showed the country had 12 deaths in hospital in the previous 24 hours, bringing the total number of deceased to 31,585. There were 10,569 new cases of contamination in 24 hours.
The number of deaths in Ehpads (care homes) and medico-social centres has reached 10,528, with the next update due today. The total number of deaths in hospitals is 20,725 (+12 in the 24 hours to Sunday).
France saw 3,894 people newly hospitalised in the last week, including 593 serious cases in intensive care. The test positivity rate is stabilising at 5.7%.
Looking at the pandemic situation by department, 89 departments are currently in a ‘vulnerable’ situation:
High level: 46 departments (Martinique, Guadeloupe (including Saint Martin and Saint Barthélémy), Ain, Alpes-Maritimes, Aveyron, Bas-Rhin, Bouches-du-Rhône, Côte d’Or, South Corsica, Essonne, Gard, Gironde, Guyane, Haute Corse, Haute-Garonne, Haute-Marne, Hauts-de Seine, Hérault, Indre et Loire, Loiret, Ille-et-Vilaine, Isère, Landes, Loire, Loire-Atlantique, Maine-et-Loire, Marne, Meurthe et Moselle, Nord, Paris, Pas de Calais, Puy de Dôme, Pyrénées Atlantiques, Pyrénées Orientales, Rhône, Sarthe, Seine et Marne, Seine-Saint-Denis, Tarn, Tarn-et-Garonne, Val-de-Marne, Val d’Oise, Var, Vaucluse, Vienne, Yvelines)
Moderate level: 46 departments (Aisne, Allier, Ardèche, Ardennes, Ariège, Alpes de Haute Provence, Aube, Aude, Calvados, Cantal, Charente, Corrèze, Deux-Sèvres, Dordogne, Doubs, Drôme, Eure, Eure-et-Loir, Gers, Haut-Rhin, Hautes Alpes, Haute Loire, Hautes Pyrénées Haute-Savoie, Haute Vienne, Loir et Cher, Lot, Lot et Garonne, Lozère, Mayenne, Mayotte, Meuse, Moselle, Morbihan, Oise, Réunion, Saône et Loire, Savoie, Seine Maritime, Somme, Territoire de Belfort, Vosges, Yonne)
By region: Ile-de-France, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Hauts-de-France and the Grand Est region account for 70% of patients in intensive care.
France currently has 1,045 active outbreak ‘clusters’, including 40 new ones and 171 in Ehpads. French authorities define a cluster as when there are at least three confirmed or suspected cases of Covid-19 contamination, over a period of seven days and that these people belong to the same community or have participated in the same gathering, whether they know each other or not.
Covid-19 rules relaxed in nurseries
The rules concerning cases of contact with a pupil carrying Covid-19 will be relaxed in France’s nursery and elementary schools, said the Ministry of National Education. If a child tests positive, their class will be able to “continue to function normally for other students, who are no longer considered as contact cases,” the ministry said in a statement.
Until now, if a student was considered a contact case, they could only return to school if the results of a test conducted seven days after the last contact with the confirmed case were negative.
There is one caveat to the new ruling though: “The system for identifying contact cases, their possible isolation, the possible closure of classes and even entire schools will be applied when there are at least three confirmed cases in the same class coming from different families.”
In addition, a nursery or primary school teacher who has been wearing a mask, but who has been in contact with a non-masked student who is Covid-19 positive, will no longer be considered a contact case and will no longer be asked to isolate themselves, the ministry said.
The relaxing of measures is aimed at reducing the number of class closures due to Covid-19. According to the latest official figures, 89 schools are currently closed in France due to cases of coronavirus contamination (out of a total of 61,500).
Further restrictions around Lyon
The wearing of masks, already mandatory in Lyon and Villeurbanne (Rhône), will also be obligatory in a dozen other towns in the Lyon area, such as Bron and Villefranche-sur-Saône.
Meanwhile, an authorisation ‘gauge’ for large gatherings will be lowered from 5,000 to 1,000 people, a move which has angered events professionals. “Why are we applying this when at the same time you have shopping centres all over France that can accommodate 5,000, 10,000 or even 100,000 people a day?” Anne-Marie Baezner, director of GL Events sites, told francetvinfo.
The first victim of the new measure is the Lyon Fair, which was due to start on October 8 – it has already been cancelled. Bars and restaurants, however, will not have to close early, though with a maximum of ten people at any single table.
In Ehpads, visits will be limited to two people per week and per resident.
Italy imposes testing on French visitors
Italy is imposing a Covid-19 test on travellers coming from several French regions, namely Ile-de-France, Hauts-de-France, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, Corsica, New-Aquitaine and Occitania.
Visitors from these regions will be required to present a molecular or antigenic test, performed 72 hours prior to arrival with negative results. Failing this, they will have to submit to a test at the airport, port or border post.