Covid-19: Institut Pasteur details the highest risk places of infections

Published by My B., Caroline J., Laurent P. · Photos by My B. · Published on 19 February 2021 at 18h08 · Updated on 19 February 2021 at 18h36
Where are people the most infected with Covid-19, excluding their homes? A question Institut Pasteur's latest ComCor study tried to answer to.

What are the highest risk places for Covid-19? A question preoccupying many scientists. The latest and 3rd ComCor study for Institut Pasteur confirms conclusions of the first two. This is what suggested this February 7, 2021, epidemiologist and Institut Pasteur Professor Arnaud Fontanet in Journal du Dimanche. According to this study "the spread mostly occurs within the family or between friends"

And what about the office? "Remote working protects but contamination are less common at the office than in October" Pr. Fontanet adds in an interview with JDD. Why? Surely because barrier gestures are better completed and facemasks are worn.

Last but not least, as for stores, places of worship, and public transit, these places do not increase "the infection risk either" unlike carpooling, "undoubtedly, because there is less space and facemask-wearing is not automatic".

This new study then confirms the first two, already conducted for Institut Pasteur and that considered that family meals or meals with friends were a high risk place for coronavirus infection.

Before that, an American study was carried out. Released on November 10, 2020 in Nature magazine it revealed that restaurants, gyms, bars, cafés and hotels are the highest risk places for infections. for instance, the city of Chicago – for which the study established that 85% of the contaminations happened in these kinds of places (only 10% of places visited by city dwellers).

Yet, the lowest risk places are computer stores, car dealerships, and even more surprising, pharmacies yet visited by many sick people potentially infected with Covid-19. How can this high risk of contamination be explained? The study confirms a hypothesis suggested by many scientists, naming – as explained by Express – “the longer one stays in a crowded place, the higher the risk”. The density of populations in a place has a very important role to play, this explains why restaurants, bars, cafés and other aforementioned places are logically places the virus spread the most in.

This study is particularly precise and matches with the many observational studiesINSERM research director Vittoria Colizza tells Figaro. She goes on: “Environments where it is impossible to keep distancing are those with the highest risks. It seems obvious, but studies like this one enable to quantify risks and shall guide our decisions to lift lockdown”.

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