MAPS. Covid-19: where is the epidemic in France and in your department?

In hospitals, there are still just over 20,000 patients (© Jean-Paul BARBIER / La Presse de la Manche)

The 5th wave of the Covid-19 epidemic seems to be behind us. Since a few weeks, the health situation is improving on all fronts. Evidenced by the lifting, Monday, May 16, 2022, of wearing a mask in transport, announced by Olivier Véran, Minister of Health, Wednesday 11.

We take stock at the national level and in the departments.

36,000 positive cases

With just over 36,000 positive cases per day on averagewe find the levels that we had known just before the explosion of the Omicron wave at the beginning of December 2021. The peak at the end of January 2021, with 360,000 contaminations on average, is far behind.

Mathematically, the incidence rate continues its decline. The latest figures from Santé Publique France show a little more than 400 positive cases per 100,000 inhabitants. However, we remain within the alert range that the Minister of Health had set out in February (between 300 and 500 per 100,000).

10 departments below the alert threshold

Locally, the situation is stabilizing almost everywhere in France. Only five departments are above 500 per 100,000 (Finistère, Morbihan, Somme, Ardennes and Cher).

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The departmental specificities that we had recorded at the end of March, in particular with the earlier return to school in zone B (the entire northern arc), combined with still very cold temperatures, have dissipated.

A dozen departments are even below the alert threshold (300 per 100,000): Val-de-Marne, Essonne, Charente, Gironde, Val-d’Oise, Hauts-de-Seine, Yvelines, Paris, Charente-Maritime, Lot-et-Garonne, Dordogne and Haute-Vienne .

R0 continues to decline

But this indicator must be combined with the effective reproduction rate, the so-called R0 (average number of people that an infected person can contaminate).

At the beginning of May, it is 0.68 (against 1.79 at the end of January) and continues to decline. As the government points out, “if the effective R is greater than 1, the epidemic is growing, if it is less than 1, the epidemic is regressing”.

Improvement in hospitals

On the health establishment side, the situation is also going in the right direction. Number of people hospitalized for Covid continues to decline since late April. However, we remain at a high level, with more than 20,000 patients, far from the lows that we have experienced, such as last fall (less than 6,500 patients at the lowest).

In the resuscitation services, we are also witnessing a decline, although more timid. There are still 1,329 patients there, below the alert threshold set by Olivier Véran (1,500).

In almost all regions, the occupancy rate (proportion of patients currently in intensive care, compared to the number of beds) drops to 26.28%. For comparison, this figure was 48% at the beginning of March.

Still many deaths

But the epidemic continues to kill. At the hospital, we count 100 deaths per day on average, a stable figure since the beginning of March.

The Minister of Health recalled the possibility of a “vaccination booster in the fall if ever a wave were to emerge”. The situation in South Africa, which is experiencing an explosion of cases with the emergence of two new sub-variants of Omicron, could very well happen to us.

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