Coronavirus: 3,240 clusters investigated in France

Published by Julie M. · Published on 2 December 2020 at 10h13
As of Tuesday December 1, 2020, France reports 3,240 coronavirus clusters currently being investigated. 100 departments in 101 are on high vigilance. The entire country is on health emergency. Mainland France is once again placed on lockdown until December 15, 2020.

France seems to gain control over the epidemic again as the country is in the middle of the second coronavirus epidemic wave. Yet, the search for clusters still goes on. The latest report of the Santé publique France agency states 3,240 active clusters in France, including 1,422 in nursing homes.

A cluster is controlled when contacts are being followed-up and there is no new case 7 days after the last case. A cluster is closed when there is no new case 14 days after the beginning of the signs of the latest case AND the end of the two-week self-isolation of contacts.

But what is a cluster?

Health authorities speak about cluster when there are at least 3 confirmed or suspected Covid-19 contamination cases on a 7-day basis and that these cases belong to the same community or took part in the same gathering, whether they know each other or not.

Where are they at today?

As of December 1, 2020, all departments require vigilance:

  • Normal level - 0 department

  • Mildly vulnerable - 1 department: (Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon).

  • Highly vulnerable - 100 departments: (Ain, Aisne, Allier, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Hautes-Alpes, Alpes-Maritimes, Ardèche, Ardennes, Ariège, Aube, Aude, Aveyron, Bouches-du-Rhône, Calvados, Cantal, Charente, Charente-Maritime, Côtes-d'Armor, Cher, Corrèze, Corse-du-Sud, Haute-Corse, Côte-d’Or, Creuse, Dordogne, Doubs, Drôme, Eure, Eure-et-Loir, Finistère, Gard, Haute-Garonne, Gers, Gironde, Hérault, Ille-et-Vilaine, Indre, Indre-et-Loire, Isère, Jura, Landes, Loir-et-Cher, Loire, Haute-Loire, Loire-Atlantique, Loiret, Lot, Lot-et-Garonne, Lozère, Maine-et-Loire, Manche, Marne, Haute-Marne, Mayenne, Meurthe-et-Moselle, Meuse, Morbihan, Moselle, Nièvre, Nord, Oise, Orne, Pas-de-Calais, Puy-de-Dôme, Pyrénées Atlantique, Hautes-Pyrénées, Pyrénées-Orientales, Bas-Rhin, Haut-Rhin, Rhône, Haute-Saône, Saône-et-Loire, Sarthe, Savoie, Haute-Savoie, Paris, Seine-Maritime, Seine-et-Marne, Yvelines, Deux-Sèvres, Somme, Tarn, Tarn-et-Garonne, Var, Vaucluse, Vendée, Vienne, Haute-Vienne, Vosges, Yonne, Territoire de Belfort, Essonne, Hauts-de-Seine, Seine–Saint-Denis, Val-de-Marne, Val-d’Oise, Guadeloupe (including Saint Marteen and St Barthelemy), Martinique, Reunion, French Guiana and Mayotte.
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At the end of lockdown, while the virus was spreading quitely, Santé Publique France set up a reporting system to alert on clusters. The identification of clusters and managing measures implemented aimed at halting transmission chains.
Facing the rising viral circulation today in the country, the number of clusters now is highly underestimated and their identification is no follow-up indicator of the epidemic. Therefore, the cluster toll will no be updated every two weeks during the epidemiologic brief.

The evolution of clusters in France as of November 12, 2020 (excluding nursing homes and limited family environment):

Since May 9, 2020, a total of 9,055 clusters including 2,006 in nursing homes have been recorded on a domestic basis. Among them, 3,698 (41%) are currently investigated. All in all, clusters have led to 113,963 cases (under 10% of the cases diagnosed).

Clusters investigated are mainly found in school and university environments, in nursing homes, in private or public companies and health facilities. The number of clusters identified - whether in companies, school environments or health facilities - represents a very low share of all these structures. We cannot deduce the frequency of the types of clusters identified, the current SARS-CoV-2 transmission modes in the population.

The six groups for which the proportion of clusters remain the highest are: nursing homes (80%), vunlerable communities (56%), medico-welfare establishments for disabled people (54%), health facilities (51%), penal institutions (44%) and social establishments for housing and insertion (39%).

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