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Confinement # 2: Where France is now

NEW: While the data on this site is updated nightly, the text is not! For the latest summaries check the blog.

Overall incidence rate decreasing in most departments

As of Nov 11, over 80 of the 96 mainland France departments have seen incid_tous rates decrease since confinement began.

Data notes: to make sure these decreases aren't simply due to less testing, these counts are based on the NET incidence rate change: % change of `incid_tous` minus % change of `tx_depistage`.

For a daily breakdown by department, check out these heatmaps.

Elderly incidence rate decreasing in more departments

This is a much more subtle change: from 52 departments to 64 as of Nov 15.

Data notes: to make sure these decreases aren't simply due to less testing, these counts are based on the NET incidence rate change: % change of `incid_tous` minus % change of `tx_depistage`.

For a daily breakdown by department, check out these heatmaps.

ICU saturation increasing in nearly all departments

By contrast, there are now more departments where ICU occupancy by Covid patients (rea%_dep) is increasing than there were at the beginning of confinement.

However, since Nov 6 the proportion of increasing ICU saturation departments has begun to stabilize at least.

For a daily breakdown by department, check out these heatmaps.

ICU saturation: slowly going down

At the regional level

Overall it seems like the 2nd-darkest regions, like Ile de France and Corse and perhaps Occitanie, are marginally less dark while the lighter regions seem darker.

However the darkest regions (those already over 100%) will remain burgundy for some time still, except perhaps PACA.

Data notes:
* Hospital data for that day available after 14h, but there's a 3-day lag with testing data, which is why the ICU maps are more recent than the alert map.

* To show Covid's full impact on ICU saturation, `rea%` & `rea%_dep` are based on the number of permanent ICU beds. Although hospitals have found some additional ICU capacity for the 2nd wave, this comes at the expense of other hospital care.

At the departmental level

The map below shows how much rea% varies by department, even within the same region.

What does ICU saturation mean, in reality?

Le Parisien has been profiling what’s going on in the hospitals around France during the second wave. Unfortunately, most are behind a paywall.

One example (that’s also open) is the city of Orléans in the Loiret, part of the Centre-Val-de-Loire region. As of Nov 14, Loiret’s rea%_dep was at 153%, while region rea% was 90%.

In the article from Nov 13th, they described having added 30 additional ICU beds and needing to postpone 35-40% of surgeries.

What it means is if you need a tumor removed, your surgery will still go ahead. On the other hand, surgeries for non life-threatening issues such as prostate surgery, breast reconstruction after a masectomy, or IVF procedures will be postponed.

Nonetheless, these delays can still cause pyschological harm and impact quality of life; for IVF they also impact outcome: time counts when it comes to fertility.

Full article (FR) here.

Where’s the alert map?

Nov 14: The alert map has been moved off this page for the time being. The alert triggers no longer make sense now that incidence rates have begun falling, since they drop so much quicker than ICU saturation.

For example, we now have departments back down to the alerte level because incid_tous has gone below 150 cases for 100k population, but rea% is still above 60%. In some departments, regional ICU saturation is at 97% but incidence rates are now relatively low.

How do you classify these? Even the government now has abandoned their official alert map (see the section on official numbers under Alert FAQs, further below).

Nevertheless, for the sake of consistency & transparency, you can still view my map here.

Where France is going

The curves show that the incidence rate for the elderly is growing faster than the overall incidence rate.

Granted, incidence rates are heavily subject to testing bias. For example, since mid-September there’s been a change in testing strategy to reduce bottlenecks, by prioritizing those who are symptomatic, and who are also more likely to be older.

Regardless of incidence rates, though, the plot above shows that ICU saturation is already above 30% nationally.

Moreover, if you isolate rea% (click the legend) and zoom in from Sept 1, you can see how the increase in ICU occupancy has accelerated after Oct 15.

How these trends play out in hospitals

Below you can see a rise in ICU arrivals around September 1st (zoom in). Deaths (dc) had already started a slow rise that by late October is looking speeding up.

(The big bump from Sept 18 to 25 was not from new deaths those days, but the result of catching up on a data-entry backlog.)

These national trends hide regional variations. Compare regions and departments on this page.

How is France doing compared to our neighbours?

Oct 23: In an odd coincidence, the countries where French is spoken are all at the top.

A more general observation: Spain & Belgium were, per capita, the worst-hit countries of Europe’s first wave, only to became the heralds of the second wave. A symptom of the political bickering within their regions?

Again, keep in mind testing bias: the more tests per capita, the higher the incidence rates.

For example, Luxembourg had sky-high testing rates during the summer, which was scaled back in the fall.

It’s likely that Luxembourg’s recent spike in incidence rate is partially due to testing being scaled back up, which is also more feasible in a country that is as tiny as it is wealthy.

Learn more

Alert FAQ

What are the restrictions?

The possible restrictions are determined by the alert level in your area. (Descriptions in French)

Alerte

Pour ces départements, peu de mesures supplémentaires sont ajoutées, si ce n’est que les rassemblements devront être limités à 30 personnes.

Toutefois, les préfets sont autorisés à prendre des mesures complémentaires si nécéssaire.

Alerte renforcée

De plus, le ministre de la Santé a rappelé que “le télétravail doit être favorisé autant que possible, surtout sur les publics vulnérables”.

Alerte maximale

NB: Les théâtres, les cinémas et les musées peuvent donc rester ouverts.

“Ces dispositions sont temporaires, l’objectif est qu’elles ne durent pas plus de deux semaines”, a déclaré Olivier Véran.

État d’urgence sanitaire

On October 14 2020 Emmanuel Macron announced a national health emergency due to pressure on ICUs in urban areas. As a result, since midnight Oct 17 2020, 9 métropoles (shown on map) are under curfew from 21h to 06h for a minimum of 4 weeks, possibly extending to 6.

In addition to the curfew, to slow the spread the following measures apply to the entire country:

How can I see regional breakdowns for the indicators?

Go here.

Why create yet more Covid infographics?

The goal here is to see the alert statuses, possible restrictions, and the numbers that determine these alerts in one place. The official government sites are scattered, and either static images with a lot of dense text, or are interactive but do not show the indicators that determine alert levels. They are also hard to find.

Other sites I’ve visited are overwhelming. This site is my attempt at finding a middle ground. Your feedback is welcomed.

Where can I see the official government stats on Covid-19?

The official alert map with the most up-to-date numbers:

Nov 3: this link returns a 404: file not found error, without a redirect. The ministry’s home page no longer refers to it, either, and instead points you to the SPF dashboard (link further down).

I have asked why via twitter.

* Ministère des Solidarités et Santé : Indicateurs de l’activité épidémique

The map is a static image followed by a long list of départements, which is what prompted me to create the interactive map here.

NB: Due to data availability, there will be some differences between the two. Please read About the data

For the most recent case, hospitalization and death counts for France overall:

For an iteractive map of the hospitalization and death counts from Santé Publique France: