Covid cases are rising once again after falling for the past two months, and 38 departments in metropolitan France are seeing infection rates of more than 50 cases per 100,000 people.
This rate is the seuil d’alerte threshold under which certain Covid restrictions can be eased slightly, with limits on social mixing in schools relaxed and mask-wearing becoming optional for primary pupils.
The average infection rate for all of France was 53 cases per 100,000 people as of yesterday (October 25), and the positivity rate – the proportion of positive test results out of all tests taken in a given period – was 1.63%, figures from government-approved site CovidTracker show.
Between October 2 and 8, the infection rate had fallen to 43.4 per 100,000, before creeping up to 48 per 100,000 between October 11 and 17. In that week, case rates were only above 50 per 100,000 people in 18 departments.
As of yesterday (October 25), the departments currently experiencing more than 50 cases per 100,000 people include Nord (54 cases per 100,000), Ardennes (61)*, Oise (51), Haut-Rhin (51), Drôme (53), Hautes-Alpes (66), Haute-Savoie (60), Aude (55), Tarn (51), Lot-et-Garonne (63) and all of Ile-de-France.
Rates vary considerably across this region, with Paris recording 85 cases per 100,000 people and Seine-et-Marne’s reporting 55 per 100,000.
Elsewhere in mainland France, the highest rates are largely concentrated around the west, south and south east.
Some of the worst affected departments in the country include: Vendée (85 cases per 100,000), Deux-Sèvres (79), Pyrénées-Atlantiques (86), Haute-Loire (89), Maine-et-Loire (82), Bouches-du-Rhône (93) and Aveyron (95).
On October 11, every department of western France apart from Mayenne was below the 50 cases per 100,000 people marker, but Ille-et-Vilaine, Sarthe, Loire-Atlantique, Maine-et-Loire, Indre-et-Loire, Deux-Sèvres, Vendée, Charente-Maritime, Lot-et-Garonne and Pyrénées-Atlantiques have tipped over the seuil d’alerte.
Similarly, two weeks ago the only Occitanie departments above this threshold were Lozère and Aude. These have now been joined by Aveyron and Tarn.
Across northern and eastern areas, the majority of departments are still seeing rates well below the 50 per 100,000 threshold. These include Manche (20), Orne (21), Marne (20) and Vosges (16).
The departments with the lowest infection rates of all are currently Nièvre, where there are 12 cases for every 100,000 people, and Cantal, where there are only 5 cases per 100,000 people.
Please note that these figures were correct as of October 26, but fluctuate delay.
*Note: All the figures in the article above in brackets correspond to the incidence rate per 100,000 inhabitants, not their respective department numbers