The Minister of Health presented this Wednesday the new mapping of the coronavirus epidemic, with reinforced red zones. New measures such as the closing of bars at 10 p.m. will be taken in these areas to fight against the epidemic. In Marseille, restaurants and bars will have to close completely.
“Red”, “reinforced red” and maximum alerts: the new map of France for the coronavirus is blazing, alas, like fireworks. During the health defense council on Wednesday morning, it was decided to review the way of presenting the progression of the epidemic on the territory. At a press conference at the end of the day, the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, presented a somewhat reassuring assessment, and announced additional measures where the critical thresholds have been exceeded. Obviously, the winter will be long, moreover Social Security has planned ammunition to provide itself with tests and vaccines in 2021.
“We are entering a period where it is more than ever necessary to be able to properly measure where we are”, declared Olivier Véran, since measures adapted to each territory will have to be taken according to this map of the coronavirus.
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The situation “Globally continues to deteriorate” at high levels, and this requires “That we take additional measures”. “We don’t do it out of heart. We are not discovering this situation ”, promised the minister.
An incidence rate that will exceed 100,000 / 100,000
More than 13,000 new contaminations were recorded on Wednesday. The incidence rate fell in one week from 83 cases per 100,000 inhabitants to nearly 95, “We will exceed 100 in the next few hours or days”, predicts Olivier Véran. The virus’s reproductive factor remains above 1, which means the epidemic continues to grow. The test positivity rate went from 5% to 6% in one week. More than 950 Covid patients are in intensive care. More than 6,000 patients are hospitalized, with more than 600 admissions in 24 hours.
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In Ile-de-France, with 50 admissions per day in critical care, 40% of resuscitation capacities could be used by October 10, 60% on October 25 and 85% around November 11. In Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, all resuscitation beds could be occupied by October 10. “If we do not take action quickly, we risk reaching a critical situation in some areas. We cannot afford to massively deprogram the scheduled activity ”, said Olivier Véran.
A dozen reinforced zones
In total, 69 departments have passed the milestone of 50 cases per 100,000 inhabitants and are therefore “red”. But there will also be a gradation with “reinforced” and “maximum alert” zones, or even the triggering of a state of health emergency.
For the reinforced red zones (Paris and the inner suburbs, Lyon, Lille, Montpellier, Bordeaux, Grenoble, Rennes, Rouen, Saint-Etienne, Toulouse, Nice), gatherings of more than 10 people will be prohibited from Monday. For major events, the limit will drop from 5,000 to 1,000 people. These provisions are already in force in Lyon, Marseille, Bordeaux and Nice. Gyms and sports halls will have to close. Bars will have to lower the curtain no later than 10 p.m.
The enhanced alert concerns areas where the incidence rate exceeds 150 cases per 100,000 inhabitants and where the incidence rate in the elderly exceeds the threshold of 50 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. Tours, Strasbourg, Dijon, Clermont-Ferrand also risk crossing these thresholds, warned Olivier Véran.
Aix-Marseille and Guadeloupe on high alert
For areas of maximum alert, namely Aix-Marseille and Guadeloupe, the measures are even more radical with the complete closure of bars and restaurants on Saturday. These companies will be financially supported, the minister promised. All establishments open to the public will also be closed, “Unless there is a strict sanitary protocol”, specified the minister. Telecommuting is strongly recommended.
To reach the maximum alert zone, three thresholds must be exceeded: an incidence of 250 contaminations per 100,000 inhabitants, more than 100 contaminations per 100,000 in the case of elderly people alone, and the occupation of at least 30% of resuscitation beds by Covid patients.
The goal is for the alert to last only two weeks. If the situation continues to deteriorate, however, a state of health emergency will be declared, paving the way for a possible re-containment. For the moment, no department is affected by this extreme measure.
Sanitary protocol relaxed in schools
In Paris, the incidence rate has just exceeded the level of Bouches-du-Rhône, despite the ongoing epidemic outbreak in Marseille. These two departments record more than 200 contaminations in one week per 100,000 inhabitants, followed by the Rhône and its capital, Lyon. The North follows, with 189 contaminations (Lille), and Haute-Garonne with 183 cases (Toulouse).
Last week, Olivier Véran had already announced an additional turn of the screw in Nice and Lyon, after Marseille, Bordeaux and Guadeloupe – a department where the virulence of the epidemic is particularly pronounced. In consultation with the local authorities, the prefects have taken measures ranging from banning gatherings of more than 10 people to the early closure of bars and restaurants in the evening.
On the other hand, the health protocol has been relaxed in schools, on the grounds that children are less contagious. In addition, the duration of the quarantine was halved, to one week.