France plans masks at work as daily COVID-19 cases surpass 3,000

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PARIS (Reuters) – France is proposing masks be worn in shared workspaces as the country grapples with a rebound in coronavirus cases which have risen again in the past 24 hours to more than 3,000.

Pedestrians wearing protective masks walk past a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) information board, as France steps up mask wearing as part of efforts to stem a resurgence of coronavirus disease (COVID -19) across the country, France, August 13, 2020. REUTERS / Charles Platiau

The Department of Health reported 3,310 new coronavirus infections, marking a high after the lockdown for the fourth day in a row.

The number of clusters studied has increased from 17 to 252, he said in an update to the website.

The resurgence prompted Britain to impose a 14-day quarantine on people arriving from France, and led Paris authorities to expand areas of the capital where masks are compulsory outside.

Employment Minister Elisabeth Borne said she would propose Tuesday during discussions with employer and union representatives that masks be mandatory in collective workspaces.

“One theme that pops up in all scientific opinions is the value of wearing them (masks) when there are several people in a confined space,” Borne said in an interview with French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche.

Doctors have increasingly called for masks to be mandatory in the workplace while the HCSP, a body that advises the government on health policy, has issued a recommendation calling for masks to be mandatory in all common interior spaces.

This week’s rise took the seven-day moving average of new infections above the 2000 threshold for the first time since April, when France was in the midst of one of Europe’s toughest lockdowns.

The number of people hospitalized has been on a downward trend in recent weeks even as new cases of COVID-19 have increased, experts pointing to the spread of the virus among young people.

However, the latest daily figures show a slight increase in the number of hospitalized patients, to 4,857 from 4,828 a day earlier, as well as an increase in intensive care patients to 376 from 367.

Reporting by Gus Trompiz; Editing by Alison Williams, Giles Elgood and Daniel Wallis

Our standards:Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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