Lozère had been able to remove the mask at school from the beginning of October. But for a week, the number of cases in the department has exploded.
Return of the mask to school in Lozère. While 12 new departments will be able to lift the measure in France from next Monday, the small department of Occitanie is the first to go the other way, due to an incidence rate that has been panicking for a few days. The prefecture had already announced earlier this week to restore the wearing of masks in establishments open to the public, even those subject to the health pass.
With one of the lowest incidence rates in France at the end of September, the Lozère department was among the first to bring down the mask for schoolchildren. But for a week, the cases have panicked. According to the latest data published Tuesday, October 12 by Public Health France, the incidence is 106 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the department, against 43 nationally. A week ago, the same indicator was 29 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in Lozère.
Clusters and low vaccination
Mathieu Pardell, director of ARS Lozère, spoke on Monday in the columns of France Blue “two clusters” in the department, within schools. This seems to directly justify the decision to impose again the wearing of the mask. Lozère is also a poor performer in terms of vaccination, with a vaccination rate of only 70%, six points below the national rate.
The director of the ARS, however, wanted to qualify this rapid increase in the incidence rate, taking into account the demographic situation of the department, the least populated in France. With approximately 76,000 inhabitants, “a rate of 100, that makes us between 80 and 90 cases in the department,” he explained to France Bleu. Logically, each case leads to a rapid rise in the indicators of the epidemic.
If this explosion of cases is not reflected for the moment in the hospital since the hospitalization rates for Covid-19 are still very low in Lozère, the prefecture and the ARS call on the population to respect the barrier gestures and to get vaccinated.