Welcome to our twentieth bulletin during the Coronavirus epidemic. In this issue (from August 6) we have information about:
- Concern about increased pace of clusters and confirmed cases of Covid-19 in France
- Towns and villages in Occitanie that have now made it a requirement to wear masks in certain public outdoor spaces (e.g. markets, main thoroughfares etc)
- Free masks (10 per week) on prescription for people with serious, long-term health conditions (affection longue durée[ALD])
Concern about increased pace of clusters and confirmed cases of Covid-19 in France
Whilst numbers of serious cases (involving hospitalisation) in France continue to reduce, the Covid-19 virus is still in circulation, with the number of clusters on mainland France steadily continuing and rising. (A cluster is where three confirmed or probable cases are identified in a period of seven days, related to one community or gathering.)
The concern for Santé Publique France (Public Health France) is that an upwards trend in the number of new clusters since the beginning of July has been confirmed. This means it is now in excess of when confinement was lifted.
In all, since mid-May, 531 clusters have been identified. Among them, 308 are “closed” (no more new cases for 14 days) and 59 “under control” (no more new cases for 7 days). 147 are being investigated and 17 have spread within communities, without the authorities managing to fully control them. All of these categories have increased in number since 8 July, including an increase of clusters not fully controlled and the number of clusters under investigation.
There are some wider-spread clusters in Quiberon, Pornichet and Annecy receiving a lot of publicity.
From 31 July, the Health Authority identified an increased number of cases among 18 to 30 year-olds who have gathered for parties (not related to known clusters) in Haute Garonne and more specifically Toulouse, which has now put that department in the moderate risk category. Hérault remains low risk, although there is a slight increase of daily diagnosed cases peaking at 21 cases on 28 July. The percentage of positive tests in Occitanie has also increased to 1.1% in the last week. There were 40,000 tests last week with an average of 57 cases per day.
Sources of clusters are being identified (in descending order of magnitude*) as:
- Public and private companies
- Other communities (falling outside the other categories used)
- Public and private establishments/institutions
- Extended family environments/gatherings
- Health establishments (medical centres, hospitals etc)
- Social housing, hostels and supported housing environments
- Schools and Universities
- Vulnerable communities
- Services for people with disabilities
- Small geographical areas
- Transport (planes, boats, trains)
- Child welfare services
- Prisons and penitentiaries
*Care Homes are excluded from the figures that have been used for this list, however numbers of cases in care homes since 8 July remain low.
Younger people (20-40) are the main group affected by the increase in numbers of Covid-19 cases. The worry is that with mild or no symptoms, and with many in this group therefore not getting tested, the risk to others is increasing.
Please keep using the recommended preventative measures, and please stay safe.
Towns and villages in Occitanie requiring the wearing of masks in certain public outdoor spaces (e.g. markets, main thoroughfares etc)
From 31 July, Olivier Véran confirmed that préfets had the right to make it mandatory to wear masks in public outdoor spaces in order to better manage the risk of Covid-19 spreading at a local level.
In Occitanie, the following towns have declared that wearing a mask in certain outdoor public spaces is a requirement (the detail of where can vary between locations):
- Argelès sur Mer
- Bagnols sur Cèze
- Grau du Roi
- Pont St. Esprit
Please do look out for further information regarding anywhere you are likely to visit to be sure you are not breaking local bye-laws.
Please be aware that this list is likely to change and grow over time.
Free masks (10 per week) on prescription for people with serious, long-term health conditions (affection longue durée [ALD])
Anyone with a condition identified as ALD (including cancer, many heart conditions, etc) has the right to 10 masks a week on prescription, free. This is due to continue until 31 August and may be revised to continue beyond that.
We recommend that anyone with an ALD makes sure they are talking with their GP and receiving due care, including masks to suit their needs.
Cancer Support France-Languedoc (CSF-L), Covid-19 response
CSF-L continues to support Anglophones touched by cancer in the Herault and Aveyron, as well as extending support to people touched by Covid-19 during the crisis. In line with guidance, this is done at distance. Our Helpline can be reached on 04 67 44 87 06. (This is a voicemail service and we aim to return calls within 24 hours of a message being left).
If there is information you would like to share with others, please contact us using our email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
We hope you stay safe and well.