The Ministry of Health has distributed a document, agreed among the majority of the autonomous communities – with the abstention of the Community of Madrid and the Basque Country – in which four alert levels are established with specific numerical thresholds set based on key indicators for control of the COVID-19 pandemic in Spain.
Most of the regions are currently in the worst situation within these levels, with up to 15 territories (Andalusia, Aragón, Asturias, Cantabria, Castilla-La Mancha, Castilla y León, Catalonia, Ceuta, the Valencian Community, Extremadura, the Community Madrid, Melilla, Navarra, the Basque Country and La Rioja) at extreme risk, in addition to the entire country, and three others (Balearic Islands, Galicia and Murcia) at high risk.
The latest data provided by Health have confirmed a certain worsening in the healthcare pressure of the hospitals in Extremadura , which is why this community has returned to the extreme level . Its intensive care units (ICU), which previously stood at 25%, once again exceed this threshold with 26.4%.
The only value that is not at such worrying levels is that of admitted at a general level, with 10.72%.
Consequently, there is only one community at a medium risk level , Canarias, and none at a low risk level.
The location at one or another risk level would entail the application of a series of restrictions that would affect mobility, capacity and the closure of activities, among other aspects, according to the document on Coordinated Response Actions agreed by the Interterritorial Council.
This classification, however, as pointed out by the director of the Center for the Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies, Fernando Simón, is not conceived in principle for the autonomous communities, but rather its use would be more suitable for smaller territories such as provinces or the municipalities themselves .
On the other hand, neither he nor the Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, have classified the territories by these criteria.
In addition, the classification to pigeonhole a region in one level and another is not automatic, but also depends on other values such as the trend, the positivity of suspected cases, the ability to establish contingency plans, in addition to other factors such as the demography and the mobility of the territory, something that communities such as Madrid had complained about.
The common criteria from which risk levels are determined have been divided into two main blocks, which assess the level of transmission of the disease in the territory and the occupation of healthcare services.
Thus, evaluating cumulative incidence both in 14 and in seven days, besides linked to people age 65 onward, the percentage of positivity and PCR testing of the number of cases with “traceability” , that is, the positives derived from a previous patient. In the other block would be the proportion of hospital beds occupied by patients with COVID-19 and that of those admitted to intensive care units (ICU).