The study by the epidemiologist, Professor Arnaud Fontanet – who is a member of the government advisory body The Scientific Council – interviewed 25,000 people in France who had tested positive for Covid-19 where they thought they had contracted the infection.
News source Europe 1 published the results today.
Prime Minister Jean Castex said many government decisions on Covid were based on the study.
Home and partners
People’s own homes were the most common site of infection, with two-thirds of people claiming to have contracted the virus from their partner entering the home from outside.
The second most common source of infection was meetings with extended family, co-workers and friends. At home and when seeing friends, people are much less likely to wear a mask, which allows the infection to spread more easily.
‘Secret’ restaurant events – but no shops
The study found that infection rates were higher in bars, restaurants and gyms, but less in stores.
And while part of the study was carried out during detention – when bars and restaurants were supposed to be closed anyway – Professor Fontanet said: “Many infections in bars and restaurants were due to secret events. ”
In contrast, he found that going to the stores did not greatly increase the risk of infection.
At the restaurant or with children
Eating out has been found to increase the risk of infection, especially as people take off their masks at the table to eat and may stop obeying barrier methods.
Being close to or caring for children was the second most common risk factor after this.
Retail and healthcare workers
People who continued to work during the pandemic were the most likely to report being infected during their stay.
This includes retail staff, healthcare workers, managers, workers, and drivers.
In contrast, university professors and teachers avoided infection the most.
The study also found that 94% of those surveyed self-isolated due to their infection, but admitted they probably did so too late. Only 42% of those surveyed said they self-isolated within the first few days of symptom onset.
Currently, France is no longer under lockdown but has instead imposed a curfew from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. The shops are open, but the restaurants, cafes and bars are not.
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