Canary Islands covid Accumulated Incidence suddenly rebounds to figures not seen since September and the second wave
The seven-day accumulated incidence (AI) curve for the Canary Islands has been steady for several weeks, but this Wednesday the data broke through the previous record of 104 cases of coronavirus per 100,000 inhabitants, on September 5, 2020, during the second wave of the pandemic, today that number has reached a seven-day AI of 105.7 cases. The infection rate will be continuing upwards too as we struggle to cope with daily infections currently more than 300 over the last few days, and now having risen to 354 over the last 24 hours.
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria has today entered the list of large cities in Spain with the worst incidence of COVID-19
The increase in AI has not been progressive or slow, quite the opposite, the average for the archipelago having doubled in just one week, going from an average of around 57 cases per 100,000 inhabitants on June 28 to 105 today. We know from previous high AI peaks, that it can take around two months to recover acceptable or low-risk levels (below 30 cases per 100,000 inhabitants), even with measures like curfew, perimeter closures, mandatory masks even outdoors and with the most restrictive alert levels.
The total accumulated cases detected in the Canary Islands since the pandemic began now stands at 63,299. 4,315 are currently still active. Just 38 are currently admitted to the ICU and 220 remain hospitalised on the ward.
The Accumulated Incidence at 7 days in the Canary Islands stands at 105.7 cases per 100,000 inhabitants and at 14 days at 170.96 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
Tenerife today has added 187 cases to total 29,544 accumulated cases and 3,139 still epidemiologically active; Gran Canaria has accumulated 23,991, 130 more over the last 24 hours, with 819 active.
Lanzarote has six new cases, having accumulated 5,791 and with 76 active; Fuerteventura has accumulated 2,743 cases, 22 more than the previous day, and 247 active. La Palma, adds seven new cases, with 588 accumulated and 13 active; El Hierro has added no new cases, continuing with 388 accumulated and 16 active, while La Gomera, has adds one new positive, having accumulated 252 in total with four active cases remaining.
To date, 1,233,230 PCRs have been carried out on the Islands, of which 3,312 were done yesterday.
98 outbreaks in the last week
The Canary Islands have registered 114 new outbreaks this week with 765 individual cases, of which 66 occurred on Tenerife, 37 on Gran Canaria, nine on Fuerteventura, one on Lanzarote and one on El Hierro
Of these, 55 are classified as social outbreaks, 25 work, 22 family, six within socially vulnerable groups, three educational and three sports.
In general, all the outbreaks have less than 10 associated cases, except for 16 outbreaks that exceed that figure, among which stand out, due to the number of people affected: a social outbreak in a BBQ on Gran Canaria with 52 cases, a work one with 42 positives also on Gran Canaria and that has affected workers from different companies, one social with 21 positives declared at a pub on Fuerteventura, one sports related on Tenerife with 18 cases, two social (one on Tenerife and one on Gran Canaria) each with 17 positives, one social with 15 affected at a place of leisure on El Hierro and a work place related outbreak on Gran Canaria that has 14 people involved.
Vaccination and less pressure in ICU
The current scenario is, however, very different from 10 months ago, when there was no vaccines against COVID and the people most affected were the elderly, which made the mortality rate much higher. Now, these large numbers of infections on the islands are not accompanied by so many deaths. Indicators for COVID-19 patients occupying ICU beds on Tenerife are beginning to turn orange (medium risk level). In total across the archipelago there are currently just 38 people admitted to Intensive Care with coronavirus; 31 of them are on Tenerife.
Both epidemiological indicators for healthcare capacity on the islands (COVID patients occupying ICU beds and non-ICU beds) were at minimum risk until just a few days ago, a clear sign that vaccinations have been having an effect. But that has now started to change.
According to the Daily Report on the Situation of COVID-19 in the Canary Islands prepared by the Ministry of Health, which is the reference taken by the regional government to establish alert levels on each island, both indicators are already at low risk, an no longer minimal risk, coloured green.
This is due specifically to the data from Tenerife, the only one where these hospitalisation indicators are at low risk (salmon) for ICU admissions and medium (orange) for patients on the ward, respectively. The rest of the islands remain green, although Gran Canaria is now very close to changing colour to low risk given for increasing occupation of its ICUs, which is far from worrying, but it is clearly starting to increase.
Changes to Alert Levels
This Thursday the Governing Council will analyse once again, as they do every week, the epidemiological situation island by island.
The current scenario looks bad again for Tenerife (with record figures too), but also for Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura, both in clear and rapid ascent.
If Tenerife rises to Alert Level 4, the most restrictive, this will include measures such as two people maximum meeting and the closing of shops by 6:00 p.m., but it will be necessary to see if the Superior Court of Justice for the Canary Islands makes any decisions in this regard, last week the courts stopped the closure of indoor hospitality at Level 3.
For its part, the central government say that regional communities already have all the necessary tools to control the pandemic, without having to approve new ones, such as recovering the curfew or imposing the closure of nightlife, as was requested by some yesterday. Some communities have even asked for mandatory use of masks outdoors to be restored; and all this is happening as we reopen to holidaymakers and a summer season where people are being encouraged to travel, enjoy social gatherings and relax, in general, compliance with anti-COVID measures.