CORONAVIRUS

Spain reports 73 active coronavirus outbreaks, six more in 24 hours

Here is an overview of the main Covid-19 clusters by region. Despite the rise in cases, health authorities say further confinement measures are not needed yet

A woman is carried on a stretcher at Arnau de Vilanova hospital in Lleida.
A woman is carried on a stretcher at Arnau de Vilanova hospital in Lleida.NACHO DOCE / REUTERS

Spanish Health Minister Salvador Illa reported on Thursday that six active coronavirus outbreaks had been detected in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 73. This has led to a spike in Covid-19 cases, with 241 infections recorded on Thursday. Of Spain’s 17 regions, only Asturias and La Rioja have not reported a coronavirus outbreak.

An outbreak is defined by the ministry as a group of three or more infections with an epidemiological link, and it is considered active if there has been transmission within the last 14 days. In the case of infections detected in senior centers, one positive case is considered an outbreak, even if the patient is asymptomatic, due to the high level of risk.

The Catalan comarca of Segriá – a traditional administrative division that comprises 38 municipalities in Lleida province – reported its first coronavirus death due to an outbreak on Thursday. In a bid to curb contagion, the Catalan regional government confined the area, which is home to more than 200,000 residents, on Saturday, and made face masks mandatory in all public spaces, across Catalonia even when social distancing rules can be respected.

In addition to Segriá, the comarca of A Mariña in Galicia has also been placed in confinement, and four comarcas in Aragón have been moved back to Phase 2 of the government’s coronavirus deescalation plan.

But despite the growing number of outbreaks, Fernando Simón, the director of the Health Ministry’s Coordination Center for Health Alerts (CCAES), said that further lockdown measures will not be needed. “We are not seeing any area in Spain that needs to be confined, it does not seem necessary,” he said on Thursday.

Here is an overview of the main outbreaks in Spain that have been reported by each region.

Catalonia. Segriá is the area that has reported the highest number of new coronavirus outbreaks in Spain, with 15 in total. Of these, 11 have been detected in fruit picking companies, and have led to more than 800 cases in the past two weeks. Also in Lleida province, in the locality of Guissona, health authorities are continuing to track down coronavirus cases connected to an outbreak at the agri-food company Bon Area, the largest local business, which has led to more than 100 infections.

In the city of Barcelona, the Royal Polo Club has had to suspend its summer activities and close its restaurants after at least 12 staff members tested positive for Covid-19. In the municipality of Cassà de la Selva in Girona province, 12 youngsters have been quarantined after one of them contracted coronavirus at a children’s tennis camp; and a summer camp in Bellvís in Lleida province has also been suspended after one of the camp counselors tested positive for the disease. In the province of Tarragona, three are three new outbreaks: one which is linked to young people who attended a party in Alcanar, another among teachers at a school in El Perelló, and the last involves a family in the city of Tarragona.

Aragón. The northwestern region of Aragón has the second-largest coronavirus outbreak in Spain in terms of cases. In three comarcas in Huesca province and another one in Zaragoza province, which are on the border of Lleida, nearly 450 coronavirus infections have been reported. These areas were moved back to Phase 2 of the coronavirus deescalation plan between June 22 and 23, but residents were not confined to the area. A new outbreak has been detected at a youth center in the city of Zaragoza. And on Thursday the regional government reported two more outbreaks: one in Sábada in Zaragoza province, with six recorded cases, and one in Alacón in Teruel province with up to 12 infections, which has been linked to a person who was in Lleida.

Galicia. In the region of Galicia, 71,000 residents of the comarca A Mariña in Lugo province have been confined since Sunday due to a coronavirus outbreak that has led to 165 cases, 21 in the last 24 hours. In response to the rising number of infections, the Galician government also suspended all campaigning ahead of the regional election on July 12.

Basque Country. The regional health department is carrying out PCR tests on everyone who has been in the bar district of Ordizia, as well as their contacts. As of Thursday, 58 cases had been recorded. Half of these infections were contracted by people from outside the municipality and even outside the broader province of Gipuzkoa. In a bid to curb contagion, the Basque government has made face masks mandatory in Ordizia regardless of whether people can keep a safety distance of 1.5 meters.

Andalusia. The regional government of Andalusia reported a new outbreak on Thursday, bringing the total number to 18, of which 10 are located in Granada province. The latest outbreak, which has led to 10 cases, was recorded at a business in the comarca of Poniente Almeriense in Almería province. Also of concern is an outbreak linked to a large funeral wake in Santa Fe in Granada province, where 14 cases were recorded in 24 hours. More than 500 PCR tests have been carried out on the funeral attendees, some of whom reside in Málaga province and are in isolation as they await the results, Eva Saiz reports. The healthcare district of Málaga has recorded the largest outbreak, with 300 cases registered at a Red Cross refugee center. As of Wednesday, however, the situation at the center was considered under control.

Madrid. After Catalonia, Madrid is the region that continues to report the highest number of new coronavirus cases. On Thursday, 22 new infections were detected, but regional authorities have so far only confirmed one outbreak. This outbreak has affected seven people, one of whom has been hospitalized. Another 18 are under medical surveillance for having come into contact with a coronavirus case.

Valencia. The Valencia region has reported several outbreaks, but most involve just a few cases. On Thursday, the regional government announced that four small outbreaks had been detected in Valencia province in the past 24 hours. This number adds to the existing clusters detected in Castellón, caused by a family from Lleida during the San Juan festivities, which has led to 31 cases, and one in a meat-packing company in Rafelbunyol.

Castilla-La Mancha. Regional authorities reported a new outbreak on Thursday in Socuéllamos, in Ciudad Real, which has led to four infections. All those affected worked in employment planning in the local city hall, reports Elena Sevillano. In the province of Albacete, an outbreak in a building has led to seven cases and two hospitalizations, and in the municipality of Tarrazona de La Mancha, another outbreak has been detected among a family.

Extremadura. The regional government is investigating three outbreaks that have led to 26 cases: one in a family, another linked to a social event, and the last in a social residence, which currently only affects one worker. The first outbreak detected in the region was in the municipality of Navalmoral de la Mata, where around 50 people went into quarantine. This situation is now considered under control.

Murcia. Three coronavirus outbreaks are active in Murcia. The largest of the three has led to 38 cases and is linked to a person from Bolivia, which then spread to a fruit picking company. The other two were reported on Thursday in the last 24 hours.

Navarre. Regional authorities announced on Thursday that two new outbreaks had been detected in the past 24 hours. The first is linked to a wedding in Tudela, where 23 guests have tested positive for Covid-19. And the second is connected to a family in Pamplona that has led to five infections.

Balearic Islands. According to the latest data from the regional epidemiological department, there are 10 active outbreaks in the Balearic Islands. The latest was reported in Menorca after three Spanish tourists tested positive for Covid-19. Three of the 20 outbreaks have been detected in Mallorca and affect family groups with 14 mild or asymptomatic cases and 32 people under medical surveillance. In Ibiza, an outbreak has led to 42 infections, with 69 people under surveillance. As in Catalonia, the regional government will make face masks mandatory in all public spaces except the beach.

Cantabria. One coronavirus outbreak remains active in Cantabria, with 14 cases linked to a building in Santander. One of the people affected – an 89 year-old woman – remains hospitalized. The building was placed under quarantine in a bid to control the spread of the virus. This measure was lifted on Wednesday after no new cases were reported.

Castilla y León. An outbreak at the Río Hortega hospital in Valladolid, which led to 38 cases, is now considered under control. Three minors have also tested positive for Covid-19 in Soria, but according to the regional government, all the cases are mild.

Canary Islands. This region has three active coronavirus outbreaks, all of which are connected to the arrival of migrant boats. The first arrived on the island of Fuerteventura on June 14 with 16 cases, and the second on June 18, with 11 cases. On Wednesday, another migrant boat arrived on the island of Lanzarote, with five coronavirus cases. All those affected are in isolation and are being tested every two days for the virus.

English version by Melissa Kitson.

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